Bomboniere are "favors" or keepsakes given to guests at weddings, baptisms, first communions, or confirmations as a memento of the special occasion. It's a huge tradition in Italy, and there are entire stores dedicated to the specialty of making handmade bomboniere.
Years ago when I was in Italy and announced that I would be getting married, my Nonna said two things: a) I am coming to your wedding and b) While you're in Italy I'm going to buy your bomboniere so you can carry them back with you to the States.
Oh, the excitement visiting the stores and seeing the variety of bomboniere. We eventually ordered 150 bomboniere for the guests, as well as several upscale ones for immediate family. My relatives carefully packaged all 150, and I carried them by hand when I traveled back home.
|The bomboniere from our wedding featured a bronze replica of one of the panels from the magnificent bronze doors at the Church of San Zeno Maggiore in Verona, Italy|
This past weekend our youngest celebrated his First Holy Eucharist, and to prepare I wanted to make bomboniere with religious artwork representing this very special sacrament. I also wanted the artwork to have been created by a member of a religious community -- either a priest, sister, or brother.
I found exactly what I was looking for at Trinity Stores, an online store based in Colorado which features religious artwork and icons by eight world renowned artists. After browsing through the artwork, I was drawn to the works by Br. Arturo Olivas who paints Catholic images in the style of New Mexican religious folk artists of the 18th and 19th centuries.
There were many images to choose from, but in the end I selected an image featuring San Pascual Bailon, a 16th century Spanish shepherd who became a Franciscan lay brother. He served his fellow Franciscans by working as a shepherd, gardener, porter, and cook. He was particularly devoted to the Eucharist, and in religious art he is often shown in the brown robes of a Franciscan, working in a kitchen and contemplating the Eucharistic host suspended in mid-air in a monstrance.
Because of San Pascual's devotion to the Eucharist, and because his feast day is in May, I thought he would be perfect in the bomboniere for Timothy's First Communion. I ordered the artwork and some small frames.
|St. Pascal Baylon|
~by Br. Arturo Olivas, SFO
|Timothy's First Communion Bomboniere|
|Featuring the bomboniere in a centerpiece|
|Timothy's First Communion Luncheon|