The Jeweler's Shop: The Right Book for These Times


October 22 — my husband’s and my wedding anniversary AND the feast day of St. John Paul II. Pope John Paul was a preeminent champion of marriage and family life and someone who greatly strengthened our marriage and ministry. Admittedly, I’m still a little giddy that our anniversary falls on his feast day. Actually, that coincidence has served as a nudge to press on with our various ministries. Maybe not a coincidence, after all?

On the subject of Pope John Paul, did you know he, then Karol Wojtyla, wrote a three-act play called The Jeweler’s Shop? I wasn’t aware until about three months ago, and now thanks to the Well-Read Mom book club, I know all about it! When this year’s book list came out, The Jeweler’s Shop was the one I was most excited to read. In it, Wojtyla explores relationships between men and women, the joys — and pains — of love and marriage. It’s a poignant and poetic play about the mysteries and pitfalls of human love through the lives of three couples.


So are you ready for another coincidence? It just so happened that The Jeweler’s Shop was playing onstage at a theatre company in Minneapolis, a four-hour drive from our home in Des Moines, over the same weekend as our tenth wedding anniversary. In celebration, my husband bought us tickets, and we headed north to the Open Window Theatre. On our drive, we read the book aloud together (I read, Joel drove!). Every word of it oozes with meaning as if hand-picked, à la St. John Paul II.

After our read-aloud, I said to my husband, “Wow, would that every married or engaged couple read and be moved by the wisdom here.” It’s one of those books that will remain with me for a very long time. As one reviewer said, it is “an indispensable meditation on the mystery of marriage.”

As our Church continues on with Synod of Bishops on the Family and plans for the 2015 World Meeting of FamiliesThe Jeweler’s Shop feels like the right book for these times.

Have you read it? Thoughts?

Copyright 2014 Lisa Schmidt


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  1. Hi Lisa! I saw this article in my Bloglovin’ feed, and I just had to stop over and read … I was actually going to mention in my comments (before reading your post) about the production of “The Jeweler’s Shop” at Open Window Theatre, and to my surprise, here you are writing about it!! I live in the Twin Cities, and my Well-Read Mom bookclub went to see the play at OWT, too. It was beautiful, wasn’t it? We are so, so blessed to have OWT here, blessing our cities with quality theater that you can trust! My daughter takes a youth theater class there, too. They are doing GREAT work up here! Anyway, I am so glad you and your husband were able to come up here and see the play … for your special anniversary! (How cool that it is on JPII’s feast day!) I look forward to diving into the actual play this spring with my group. Having the play in our mind, I think it will enhance our reading of it. If you ever travel up this way again, know that you have a fellow CM contributor to visit! 🙂 God bless!

    • Hi Sarah! Goodness, not sure how I missed seeing your comment when it posted, but thank you so much for reading my post and sharing a few words. OWT is such a treasure, and I’m very impressed with their good work. I will continue to promote them and maybe even see a few more shows yet this year. Count on me to connect with you next time we head north. Food for thought, when you get to it, read the book with your husband. 🙂

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