Each year we produce a Christmas card, the sales proceeds of which go to the Education Fund.
This year’s card is another of the lovely roadside crib scenes that are a feature of the Paraguayan countryside at Christmas.
Inside are Christmas Greetings in English and Guaraní, and on the reverse it says:
This wooden painted mural appeared outside a house on the quiet road leading to Santa María in Advent 2017, with a thatched roof to protect it from the elements.
The cards are A6 sized, and come with C6 envelopes. They are priced at £4.50 for 10
plus postage and packing (second class delivery):
£1.75 for 2 packs;
£3.00 for 3 or more packs.
To order these cards email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
or write directly, enclosing a cheque, to
Gloucestershire GL56 9HH
Cards from previous years are also still available – why not buy several different packs? Ask for them by name.
An angel head with wings was a frequent theme in the art of the Jesuit-Guaraní missions (1609-1768). This angel was painted in Santiago, Paraguay, founded at the same time as nearby Santa María de Fe.
Christmas falls in mid-summer in Paraguay, and people place fragrant fruits before the crib.
This wall hanging was made by a sewing co-operative (www.santamariadefe.com) which gives work to thirty poor women of all ages in Santa María de Fe.
This crib was placed in an ox cart on the road to Santa María de Fe, Paraguay, in December 2014.
The standing figure in the background is the Virgin of Caacupe – the most famous statue of Mary in Paraguay – while the other plaster figures show the simple style typical of cribs made in Aregua.
This painted wooden panel depicting the Holy Family is found in the museum of Santiago, a Jesuit-Guaraní mission close to Santa María de Fe in Paraguay: the two were founded together.
Shepherd and Star
The sewing cooperative called Taller de Hermandad (www.santamariadefe.com)
gives work to thirty poor women of all ages in Santa María de Fe,
and produces intricately embroidered appliqué.
This wall hanging was one of those used by the Paraguayan post office
for a set of Christmas stamps.
A late seventeenth-century statue of Mary with the Christchild, of great historical and artistic importance, is housed in the parish church of Santa María de Fe, Paraguay.
This mural, painted by Nino Sotelo in 2008, shows the Guaraní indigenous carrying it out in triumphal procession during the period of the famous Jesuit Guaraní missions (1609 – 1768)
Particularly well-known among the wooden carved statues of the Jesuit-Guaraní missions (1609-1768) is this beautiful large crib in the museum of Santa María de Fe.
Martina, seen here in a Nativity Play, is from a very poor family who live on the outskirts of Santa María de Fe. She was a student at the Institute founded by the Santa Maria Education Fund, but took time out to look after her baby.
Students like this would have no hope of further education and future employment but for the generosity of overseas donors. This was our very first Christmas Card – we still have a few copies left for our supporters.