Sand Candles for St. Mary of Egypt
How fortunate our saint was to have the benefit of confession and the Eucharist before her death! See how God loves us, even when we have sinned! But how did Father Zosimas know Mary's name? He didn't until she wrote him a note in the sand before she gave her soul to God. We can make something with sand to remind us of our desert friend!
We'll need some clean sand in a bucket of wash basin, poured to a depth of at least 6 inches. We'll need some candle wax too.
We can either buy some at the craft store or recycle all those old candle stubs we've collected over the years. Take those pieces of candle wax and place them into a large glass jar, or an old pot, and place that container into another pot filled to about 2-3 inches with water. Heat it, like a double boiler, over medium to low heat until the wax is melted. One piece of an old broken crayon, melted with your wax, will tint it any color you like.
Meanwhile, take your bucket of sand and mix in just enough water to hold it together, like the wet sand at the beach when you're making sand castles! It must hold its shape. Now "make a well in it, shaping it any way you like, a cross, a heart, or even step into it to make a footprint! The choice is yours, just be sure to make it somewhat flat on the bottom. Now, for the wicks. You can buy these at the craft store, or you can take a foot-long piece of butcher's twine and fasten one end to a paper clip. This will be the weighted end. Tie the other end to a long stick, or ruler, and set it across the top of your bucket in order to suspend the wick. Place the wick, or even several if your candle is wide enough, and when your sand is ready, gently pour in the melted wax!
It will take the shape you have made in the sand and when it has cooled completely, you'll be able to lift the whole thing out, with the sand that clings to the wax forming a perfect container for your candle! Our saintly friends are like little candles, carrying the light of Christ wherever they go. When you light your little sand candle, you can remember St. Mary of Egypt, who shone her light for Jesus all alone in the sand of the desert. Make an extra one to share the light of Christ with a neighbor, and be sure to tell them of the forgiveness that our desert friend had obtained from God.