The Widows’ Guild program recognizes and assists all widows of Pennsylvania Masons. Widows are given a Masonic Blue Slipper Pin, which is universally recognized among Masons as identifying the wearer as the widow of a Mason, and a personalized membership card to the Widows’ Guild. On the back side of the membership card is the toll-free number for the Masonic Outreach Program. The program provides financial assistance, attorney/legal support, durable and medical equipment and a variety of educational information and referral services for widows and others in need.
“When I receive ‘Blue Slipper Stories,’ I realize I’m not the only one out there. My husband and I had been together 24/7. It’s taken me years to discover who I am again. I didn’t have anyone really helping me until now. All you have to do is ask. I’m thankful for everything the Masonic Outreach Program and Widows’ Guild have given me.”
– A Member of the Masonic Widows’ Guild
The pin’s history comes from the Book of Ruth in the Old Testament. During the time of Boaz, the next of kin were to look after the widow and offspring. In Ruth’s case, the next of kin refused to honor this requirement for Ruth, so Boaz agreed to take up the task. When Boaz met with the next of kin to seal the deal, the next of kin drew off his shoe and handed it to Boaz as a token for the bargain to take care of Ruth. Boaz held the shoe up for all to see as witnesses of the deal. To this day, the blue slipper symbolizes our duty to care for our widows of the fraternity.
One of the obligations Masons vow to uphold is to serve and support the widows of their fraternal brothers. Many wives have been proud supporters of their husbands’ Masonic traditions. They, too, have devoted their time and talents to enrich the bonds formed within the Fraternity. By honoring a Masonic widow with a Blue Slipper Pin, remembering her husband and making her feel special, you are easing the minds of all Brethren, as they too realize their loved ones will never be alone.
Events to honor Masonic widows with a pin presentation may include hosting a dinner, brunch, tea or simply a meet and greet at an already stated lodge meeting. For more information on how to host an event for Masonic widows, contact the Masonic Charities relations administrator at 717-367-1121, ext. 33497 or firstname.lastname@example.org.