ORLANDO | While on vacation in Medellin, Colombia, Deacon Edwin Cardona knew he would spend some time searching for a chalice. After all, the city has a reputation for having everything a priest might need. He stopped in to Orfebrería Rodriguez on Calle 100 and explained what he was looking for.
The chalice is made of sterling silver with blue enamel behind the fleur-de-lis surrounding the upper ring. “The blue enamel reminded me of the Virgin Mary. It’s a French symbol representing Mary,” said Deacon Cardona. The lily flower, or fleur-de-lis, also represents purity. Made up of three petals, it is often representative of the Blessed Trinity as well. In art, the flower also alludes to the Annunciation, appropriate because his chalice and paten are gifts from his parents and Annunciation Parish sacristans, Larry and Chris Strain. Cardona met the couple during his pastoral year at the parish in Altamonte Springs.
Coming from a humble background, the help of the Strains was more than he could have imagined. “It was a sign from God that I will provide for you, anything that you need,” said Cardona. “This chalice isn’t for me, for my own luxury or vanity, but to offer the sacrifice of the Mass. If I can do one thing right, it is to offer the Mass in thanksgiving to God. As it says in Psalm 116, ‘I will raise the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord.’”
Medallions at the chalice base depict the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Immaculate Heart of Mary, grapes on the vine, and the Paschal Lamb which is also etched on the bottom of the paten. The Paschal Lamb image bares personal meaning. “He was the one set apart by God to both shepherd His people and to be the lamb that was slain, sacrificed for His people—for the forgiveness of our sins, for our salvation so that we can come to know God the Father. Jesus’ sacrifice has borne so much fruit for us… That’s the way I want to live my priesthood, in a sacrificial way. Knowing that I’ve been redeemed; I’ve been loved; I’ve been forgiven; I’ve been healed through Jesus as the lamb.”
By Glenda Meekins of the Florida Catholic – September 5, 2018