01/06/2012 // Melborne, FL, US // sheiladanzig // Penny Martin
When Michael Martin crafted a special memento after the death of his mother in 2000, he had no way of knowing the impact this item would ultimately have.
After visiting the Holy Land, and finding himself captivated with the history-rich stones of which the city of Jerusalem, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the Wailing Wall and other holy sites were constructed, Michael’s brother Jim Martin was compelled to start a new business venture. In 1998 Holy Land Stone Company (holylandstone.com) was launched, producing hand-hewn gifts, jewelry and specialty merchandise made in the U.S. from authentic Jerusalem Stone. It was not until after the death of their mother in 2000, however, that the Martins unwittingly tapped into something even more meaningful and powerful than their original creations, which were already becoming increasingly popular.
Rita Martin had been a much-loved family matriarch, and with her passing Michael felt the need to do something to help ease the grief and suffering of the loss. He retreated to the company workshop and created a pair of hand-hewn crosses sliced from the same block of Jerusalem Stone. He gave one to his sister Ann, and the other was placed in his mother’s hand before the closing of her casket. The effect was instantaneous and overwhelming. The family—especially Ann—felt an overwhelming sense of peace and comfort, as she treasured this tangible reminder of their faith in God’s promise that they would one day be reunited in eternity.
Some time later, upon recounting the story to a business associate, Penny Martin (President of Holy Land Stone) was encouraged to start producing the same item for the general public. “At first, I was a little hesitant, because it seemed so very personal. But with some urging, and after becoming aware of the void in bereavement gifts, I became convinced that we should share this with the world, so others could be blessed by it as well.” states Martin.
Thus, the Comfort Cross® was born. These two small pieces of hand-hewn Jerusalem stone bound together with leather cord have proven to be the company’s best selling item, partly because of their rustic simplicity, and even more so because they stand as a very tangible—and powerful—reminder of God’s unfailing promise of eternal life. To find out more about the stones of Jerusalem, artisan items that are available online, or the Comfort Cross®, please visit: www.holylandstone.com
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