The online lathe

December is beginning and with it Christmas. This season invites everyone to share, but it is also a time for shopping. Both realities can be united by acquiring the products that are on sale by the consecrated people who live in cloistered communities, helping their subsistence through these purchases.

Paloma López Campos-December 6, 2022-Reading time: 4 minutes
Christmas Sweets

Iesu Communio

The religious institute of Iesu Communio, founded in Burgos in 2010, has its origins in the Poor Clares. They drink from the teachings of St. Francis and St. Clare, being part of their spirituality to respond to the call of Christ "I thirst" for the Cross. They carry out apostolic work with young people, meeting with people who come to the parlors of their convents in Burgos and Valencia. This community of nuns makes a living from their work, which consists essentially of making handmade sweets, floral decorations, watercolors and even books.

Every year, Iesu Communio launches a Christmas special that is available for sale on its website. In addition to the lottery sales, the sisters of Iesu Communio present a wide variety of sweets, such as turrones, roscones de reyes, truffles and chocolates. The products can also be purchased in different lots that vary in size and price. These sweets are a sample of the traditional confectionery that the nuns of Iesu Communio have been preparing for many years, with the legacy they have inherited from the Poor Clares. The Christmas products are not only confectionery, but also decorations, from Advent wreaths to table centerpieces or even greeting cards made with watercolor.

El Torno

In Seville, the "El Torno" store has been selling handcrafted products from different bakeries since 1989, with the aim of helping to support the city's convents and monasteries.

Among the various sweets that can be found in its online store are the Hail Marys, almond hearts, marzipan figurines, polvorones, nougat or alfajores. The purchase of these products can also be done in person by going to the physical store that has El Torno in the Plaza del Cabildo, Seville.

Declause Foundation

The Declausura Foundation is an initiative whose purpose is to help monasteries and convents throughout Spain, providing materials to understand the contemplative life and, of course, selling their products. It was born in 2006 in the bosom of the "Fundación Summa Humanitate". Its mission is "to support contemplative life in order to satisfy any of its needs, bringing this silent reality closer to society". A list of the material aid needed by different convents and monasteries in Spain can be found on its website, giving easy access to the user who wishes to collaborate. On the other hand, the foundation reviews the contracts and energy supplies that the communities have, also training the contemplatives in matters that are essential for the support of the monasteries and convents.

For Christmas they have for sale sweets such as St. Joseph's pebbles made by the Discalced Carmelite nuns of Zaragoza, a panettone made by the Poor Clare sisters of Ourense or polvorones made by the Benedictine nuns of León. The entire catalog can be found on the foundation's website, through which you can also place and manage your order.

The sweets of my convent

Another website that facilitates the sale and purchase of handmade products made by the contemplatives is "Los dulces de mi convento" (The sweets of my convent). This initiative was born after the COVID 19 pandemic, when many religious communities began to notice the shortage of means because people could not go to the lathes to buy, so they had no economic income. From that moment, "the sweets of my convent" was born as an online store that would allow the purchase of products made by the religious. In this project they have collaborated with "Mensajeros de la Paz" and have continued with the work even after the return to normality after the pandemic.

 On the web platform you can buy cakes and cupcakes, jams, doughnuts, cookies, pastries and even olive oil. They have added a special Christmas section to their website with products such as wine donuts, egg yolks, chestnuts in syrup, marzipan and nougat. The information on the products includes the convent and monastery where they were made and a brief description of the product.

Contemplare Foundation

The Contemplare Foundation is a project that seeks to bring the contemplative life closer to non-consecrated persons. It is directed by a group of lay people who collaborate with more than 120 convents and monasteries.

Many different products can be purchased on the website. They have gourmet items, such as cheeses, wines, beers, liquors, chocolates or nuts. Also for sale are handcrafted products, altarpieces, nativity scenes, images of the Virgin, medals, crucifixes and rosaries. You can also find gifts of birth, such as layettes, flowers or baby clothes and, in addition, there is a section of natural cosmetics in which there are soaps, creams, essential oils or lip balms. 

The sale of products is not only aimed at individuals, but the Contemplare Foundation also works with more than fifty companies, selling customized products with the image of the brand.

The convent bazaar

The Samaritan Carmelites of the Heart of Jesus, also known as the Samaritan Carmelites of the Fuencisla, have a website called "the bazaar of the convent". On this platform they offer for sale all their products. Among their work is the elaboration of sweets, natural care products, mugs, scented candles, books, liturgical articles (some of them only for sale to priests) and embroidery. Their work is not only on the Internet, but they have opened a physical store next to the Cathedral of Segovia. The aim of this whole project is, as they themselves say, to raise funds for their foundations and projects.

Christmas, being a special season, also implies a different production of items. Therefore, they sell nougat, marzipan, delicacies, candles with nativity scene figures, soaps, tablecloths and books, all of them Christmas themed.

Made in faith

"Made with faith" is an initiative that was born to work, at first, only with the monasteries and convents of Seville and surroundings. Its objective was to give visibility to the products of these communities to help their maintenance. However, there was soon an increase in demand and many other religious wanted to join the project. Currently, they work with convents and monasteries in Seville, Malaga, Badajoz and Cordoba.

Among the products you sell are yemas, almendrados, cupcakes, roscos de vino, tejas, alfajores or empanadas. Although there is no Christmas section on your website right now, many of the items for sale are appropriate for these dates, such as marzipan, polvorones and mantecados.

A gift for everyone

During Christmas shopping it is easy to have in mind to collaborate with the religious communities in Spain, helping their maintenance and acquiring handcrafted and quality products for homes that are a gift for everyone, for those who make the products and for those who receive them.

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