Friday, 20 September 2019

Prayer Cards - part 1

In the Christian tradition, holy cards or prayer cards are small, Devotional pictures mass-produced for the use of the faithful. They usually depict a religious scene or a Saint in an image about the size of a playing card. The reverse typically contains a prayer, some of which promise an indulgence for its recitation. The circulation of these cards is an important part of the visual folk culture of Roman Catholics, and in modern times, prayer cards have also become popular among Orthodox Christians and Protestant Christians, although with the latter, biblical themes are emphasised within them.

Old Master prints, nearly all on religious subjects, served many of the same functions as holy cards, especially the cheaper woodcuts; the earliest dated surviving example is from 1423, probably from southern Germany, and depicts St. Christopher, with hand-colouring, it is found as part of the binding of a manuscript of the Laus Virginis (1417).

The earliest known woodcut, St Christopher, 1423, Buxheim, with hand-colouring

 Later, engraving or etching was more commonly used. Some had elaborate borders of paper lace surrounding the images; these were called Dévotes dentelles in France.
One use of such cards is illustrated in an early 15th-c painting of The Annunciation by Robert Campin, which stages the event in a bourgeois home; above the fireplace, a print of Christopher carrying the Christ child is tacked to the wall, possibly as a more affordable alternative to a painting.
The invention of colour lithography made it possible to reproduce coloured images cheaply, leading to a much broader circulation of the cards. An early centre of their manufacture was in the environs of the Church of St. Sulpice in Paris; the lithographed images made there were done in delicate pastel colours, and proved extremely influential on later designs. Belgium and Germany also became centres of the manufacture of holy cards, as did Italy in the twentieth century. Catholic printing houses such as Maison de la Bonne Presse in France, and Ars Sacra in Germany) produced large numbers of cards, and often a single design was printed by different companies in different countries.

Maison de la Bonne Presse

Maison de la Bonne Presse
Ars Sacra

Ars Sacra

This is part 1 of a 5-part series on Prayer Cards:

Art Nouveau Prayer Cards:

Au pied de la Croix
( At the foot of the Cross )

C'est à Marie que nous confierons le soin de nous préparer à la Communion…
( It is to Mary that we will entrust the task of preparing us for Communion… )

Ce n'est plus moi qui vis, c'est Jésus - Christ qui vit en moi.
( It is no longer me who lives, it is Jesus Christ who lives in me )

Ecce Panis Agelorum
( Behold the bread of angels )

Jesus es Pastor…
( Jesus is Shepherd, all souls are the sheep of his fold he knows and loves all )

Joyeuses Pâques
( Happy Easter )

La Divina Pastora
( The Divine Shepherdess )

Marie, ô très douce Mére...
( Mary, oh very sweet Mother… )

O Jésus, vous êes toute ma joie...
( O Jesus, you are all my joy… )

Qui amas animas...
( Who do you love? )

Regina Sacratissimi Rasarii ora pro nobis
( Queen of the most holy Rosary, pray for us )

S. Mater Christi
( St. Mary, mother of Christ )

Salutaris Hostia!
( To Mary! )

San Guiseppe pregate per noi.
( St. Joseph pray for us. )

Seigneur je sens que je vous aime...
( Lord, I feel that I love you… )

Souvenir de Premiere Communion.
( Souvenir of First Communion. )

St. Joseph

La Source
( The Source. Full of grace and gentleness, the child Jesus has given to drink his small precursor. In Heaven, happy conqueror, I will get drunk on glory at the source of his heart )

A Happy Eastertide

A la mort, l'ame chrétienne s'élève au ciel.
( At death, the Christian soul rises to Heaven. )

A Marie
( To Mary )

A szeplötelen fogantatás.
( The Immaculate Conception. )

A vous mon Dieu, je me confie, hélas! sur terr tout passe tout finit.
( To you, my God, I confide, alas! On Earth all passes, all ends. )

Abrité par la Croix
( Sheltered by the Cross )

Allez au plus doux des médecins
( Go to the sweetest of doctors )

AM - Ave Maria monogram.
Tous vous fleurs de Marie
( All you flowers of Mary )

Amour Pour Amour - C'est là toute la loi de Jésus
 ( Love For Love - This is the whole law of Jesus )

Bon Ange - Guidez moi vers ma mére
( Good Angel - Guide me to my Mother )

Bring your gifts to the Lord.

C'est la Reine des Cieux…
( She is the Queen of Heaven. The moon under her feet on her head a crown of stars )

Chant de Noël
( Christmas Song )

Comme de petits oiseaux accoutons auprès de Jesus...
( Like little birds accustomed to Jesus… )

Comme une Mère caresse son enfant, ainsi je vous consolerai.
( As a mother caresses her child, so I comfort you. )

Cor Marie, gratia Plenum.
( The heart of Mary, full of grace. )

Crowning of the Virgin Mary

Crowning of the Virgin Mary

Die Mächtigen stürzet Er vom Throne und erhebet die Niedrigen.
( The mighty overthrow Him from the throne and lift the low ones. )

Dieu beille sur lys et l'oiseux
( God watches over the lily and the bird )

Dieu pénètre le fond des cœurs.
( God enters the depths of hearts. )

Discite a me quia mitis sumet humilis corde...
( Learn from me, for I will take with humility… )

Divin Pasteur, Sauver Nous
( Divine Pastor, Save Us )

Douce Marie, Mère Chérie, Priez Pour Nous.
( Sweet Mary, Mother Dear, Pray for Us. )

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