Boston Jeweler and Archdiocese Make History

Boston-based Seán Patrick Cardinal O’Malley and Long’s Jewelers teamed up to make rings of historical significance. Two 18k gold rings are replicas of fumie, which are Japanese medallions featuring the image of Christ. Fumie date back to 17th-century Japan when Catholics were being persecuted; those suspected were ordered to step on a fumie, with the notion that a true Catholic would consider it sacrilegious to step on an image of Christ. If determined to be Christian, believers had the choice of renouncing their faith or being put to death. Cardinal O’Malley wished to honor the devout by creating these rings.

Long’s Jewelers modeled the rings after an authentic 17th-century fumie and made the new pieces with the help of design software. Cardinal O’Malley was reminded of the fumie when producer/director Martin Scorsese asked him about their historical significance for film research.