Mo Anam Cara Rings

By Julie O'Shaughnessy
on October 08, 2018

article on Mo Anam Cara Wedding rings

Men's Mo Anam Cara Ring - Sterling Silver
The Mo Anam Cara rings are probably one of our most popular Irish or Gaelic rings.  The meaning of Mo Anam Cara is “my soul mate” and these rings are a wonderful way to remind both yourself and your soulmate of your shared connection.

Each of these beautiful Irish rings is handcrafted in Dublin, Ireland.  Just before they receive their final polishing, each is submitted to the Assay Office at Dublin Castle for inspection and hallmarking.  It is the Irish hallmark that serves as your guarantee both of metal quality as well as the authenticity of origin.  Over the years, we’ve come across many knock-offs and imitations, but there is only one original series of Mo Anam Cara rings complete with an Irish hallmark.  Don’t accept inferior products for such an important jewelry item.

CelticByDesign.com offers the complete range of genuine Mo Anam Cara rings.  We have styles and metals to fit every budget, from sterling silver to 14K white, yellow, and two-tone gold.

Visit us online at www.celticbydesign.com for all of your Irish jewelry needs!  If you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for, just contact us and we’ll do our very best to help!

St. Valentine’s and the Irish

By Julie O'Shaughnessy
on February 15, 2018

St. Valentine’s and the Irish

Valentine’s Day, February 14th, is not a day most people associate with the Irish. And it’s true that the people of the Emerald Isle have no special Irish way in which to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Yes, our Irish Valentine’s flowers, cards, and candy are still red, not green, just like the rest of the world!
Trinity Knot Heart Pendant

But, it turns out there is an Irish connection to the original St. Valentine! Before we go into that, it’s important to understand that very little in the way of confirmed facts are known about St. Valentine, even such widely accepted things as why he was made a saint or why he is associated with love.
Celtic Knot Sterling Silver and Gold Heart Pendant

What we do know is this: he lived and worked during the 3rd century AD, his feast day is February 14th (which has been celebrated since 496 AD) and that he was laid to rest on the Via Flaminia north of Rome. Everything else is shrouded in mystery.
Sterling Silver Claddagh Knot Heart Locket Pendant

There may even have been as many as three Valentines who were saints and all associated with the February 14th date; the Bishop of Interamna, a Roman priest, and a man who died a martyr in the province (not the continent) of Africa. Some say these were all the same person and so he would have been born and lived in Interamna, worked as a  priest and later became a Bishop.
Sterling Silver Trinity Knot Heart Pendant

He was imprisoned and tortured in Rome under the order of the cruel Emperor Claudius and executed on February 14th for illegally marrying Christian couples so the men would not have to go off to war. Claudius’ army was in short supply of soldiers and he had canceled all marriages because of this, in the belief that married men were too reluctant to leave their families and join the army. But even under the threat of death, Father Valentine continued to carry out the Christian ceremony. Perhaps this is partly how his name became associated with a day of love.
Gold Mo Anam Cara Heart Pendant with CZ

There are, of course, many legends surrounding the life of St. Valentine. One of the most touching involved a jailer and his daughter Julia. Before the priest was arrested, a jailer for the Emperor of Rome brought his blind daughter to see Father Valentine at his residence, having heard of his healing abilities, both medical and spiritual. The jailer’s daughter had been blind since birth and Father Valentine knew this would be a difficult case, although he assured the jailer he would do what he could. Father Valentine gave the child some ointment for her eyes and bade her come back for rechecks.
Sterling Silver Trinity Knot Heart Earrings

The jailer, having perceived that his child Julia was of a quick mind, asked Father Valentine to teach her which he readily agreed to do. He taught her the history of Rome, lessons from nature, arithmetic and told her about God. A strong bond quickly developed between the two.
Sterling Silver Trinity Knot Love Pendant

On one of her visits with the priest, Julia asked Father Valentine if God really did exist. He assured her that He did. The child told him that she prayed daily that her eyes might be healed and her sight restored. Father Valentine gently told the girl to continue to have faith and that her future, whether she was physically healed or not, was in the hands of the Almighty.
Sterling Silver with Gold Bead Mo Anam Cara Heart Pendant

Soon afterward, Father Valentine was arrested and awaited execution in his cell. On the evening of February 13th, he wrote a last note to Julia and gave it to the jailer to give to his blind daughter. He told her to remain close to God and signed the letter “from your Valentine.”
Sterling Silver Trinity Knot Heart Pendant

When the child was presented with the note she opened it, only to have a yellow crocus fall into her hands. She could see the brilliant color of the little flower as her sight had now been restored. Pope Gelasius I named February 14 as Saint Valentine’s Day in 496 AD and symbols of love and devotion are exchanged between couples all around the world in memory of his selfless devotion.
Sterling Silver Heart and CZ Pendant

So on to the St. Valentine and the Irish. Father John Spratt, an Irish Roman Catholic priest, who lived in the 1800s, traveled to Rome in 1836 where he gave a brilliant sermon. None other than Pope Gregory XVI took notice and the Pope bestowed a gift on him, a small vessel stained with the blood of St. Valentine along with a letter of authentication of the relic.
Mo Anam Cara Sterling Silver and Gold Pendnat

Father Spratt returned to Ireland and had the relic and the letter placed in a shrine to St. Valentine in the Carmelite Church on Whitefriar Street ( which is now Aungier Street) in Dublin which is still open to visitors.
Sterling Silver Claddagh Pendant with green Crystal heart

If you are Irish (or know someone who is!) there is perhaps a no better symbol of your love than one of our exquisite Irish heart pendants, in sterling silver or gold. After all, St. Valentine has a special bond with the Irish through Father Spratt and this is a lovely way to commemorate your love with that special someone. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Mo Anam Cara - The Meaning and History of Soul Friend

By Julie O'Shaughnessy
on December 04, 2017

Mo Anam Cara - The Meaning and History of Soul Friend

In 1997, Irish writer, poet, and former Catholic priest John O’Donohue burst onto the international literary scene with his first published work, Anam Cara. The book quickly became an international bestseller and brought the Gaelic phrase ‘Mo Anam Cara’ into popular culture.

 

 Many people believe that the phrase is translated ‘my soul mate’ but it’s more accurately translated as ‘my soul friend’ as anam is the Gaelic word for soul and cara the Gaelic word for friend. O’Donohue attributes the term to the ancient Irish monks, who used anam cara to refer to a monk’s spiritual guide, teacher and companion. Other scholars believe the term is older than that and may actually go back to the Desert Fathers and Mothers and whose teachings were preserved and transmitted by the Christian monk, Saint John Cassian and whose works are celebrated by both Western and Eastern Christianity.

Men's Mo Anam Cara Wedding Band Ring 

 

The early Celtic church was completely independent from Rome and thrived in Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Northern England, Brittany, Cornwall, and the Isle of Man from the 5th through the 12th centuries. And although eventually, the concept of ‘soul friend’ came to be associated with Roman Catholic priests, these early Celtic Christians opened the role to both women and men, lay and clergy.

 Large Gold Mo Anam Cara Heart Pendant Necklace

 

Today, the words ‘anam cara’ evoke more than someone who is a spiritual guide. In O’Donohue’s words, the term has come to mean a deep and special friendship, one that cannot be broken or wounded or limited by distance, as these two individuals have been united at the level of the soul. Your anam cara is someone to whom you can reveal yourself as you truly are, without any pretense. And as O’Donohue emphasizes, this soul level love is “anything but sentimental...it is the most real and creative form of human presence.”

 Oxidized Women's Mo Anam Cara Wedding Band Ring

 

And soul friends may or may not be our husbands, wives or lovers but may simply be a friend of the same or opposite sex to whom we feel a deep, profound and lifelong connection. But being someone’s anam cara is more than ‘simply’ being someone’s friend. As Maria Popova, who in 2015 explored the concept of the anam cara in her marvelously erudite blog Brainpickings had this to say on what it takes to submit oneself to this role:

Mo Anam Cara Ogham Bracelet 

 

“But being an anam cara requires of a purposeful presence — it asks that we show up with the absolute integrity of intention. That interior intentionality, O’Donohue suggests, is what sets the true anam cara apart from the acquaintance or the casual friend — a distinction all the more important today, in a culture where we throw the word “friend” around all too hastily, designating little more than perfunctory affiliation. But this faculty of showing up must be an active presence rather than a mere abstraction — the person who declares herself a friend but shirks when the other’s soul most needs seeing is not an anam cara.”

 

Mo Anam Cara Two Tone Pendant Necklace

 

There is no better way to honor your anam cara than with this unique Celtic sterling silver and 18k gold pendant showcases that Irish phrase in the ancient Ogham script, crafted in Dublin, Ireland by true artisans. The front of the pendant showcases the Mo Anam Cara symbol in 18K gold script with the words ‘Mo Anam Cara’ inscribed on the back. Or you might prefer this beautiful sterling silver Ogham bangle, with the Gaeilc text Anam Cara as well as the Ogham script for the same term.

Mo Anam Cara Heart with gold bead

 

 

And if you are fortunate enough to be marrying your anam cara, there is no better gift for him than this stunning florentine finished men's gold Mo Anam Cara wedding band. Or for her, this gorgeous women’s Mo Anam Cara silver wedding band in an oxidized finish.

 

I’ll leave you with this poem from John O’Donohue:

 

May you be blessed with good friends.

May you learn to be a good friend to yourself.

May you be able to journey to that place in your soul where there is great love,

warmth, feeling, and forgiveness.

May this change you.

May it transfigure that which is negative, distant, or cold in you.

May you be brought into the real passion, kinship. and affinity of belonging.

May you treasure your friends.

May you be good to them and may you be there for them;

May they bring you all the blessings, challenges, truth,

and light that you need for your journey.

May you never be isolated.

May you always be in the gentle nest of belonging with your anam cara.

 

John O'Donohue

A Friendship Blessing, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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