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Meet Marcus Daly

Marcus, what was it about John Paul II’s funeral that

inspired you to start your company, Marian Caskets?

All that wealth and splendor of St. Peter’s Square

surrounding his simple wooden casket was such a

powerful statement. The simplicity of his wooden cas-

ket was startlingly honest and moving. It elicited the

wood of the Cross and starkly set off the truth that

“naked you come into this world and naked you go

out of it.” It was death on display, plain and simple,

and it had to be grappled with. So a little while later,

we thought that maybe instead of making wooden

boats, we could make simple wooden caskets —

another form of “vessel,” but for a different journey, a

bigger journey.

Describe your caskets.

The top of the coffin is inlaid with a Marian Cross as

a reminder that Mary was at the foot of the Cross of

her Son and that she’s present with us in our sorrows,

too. “Jesus, I trust in You” is carved into the end of the

coffin, and part of the final prayer of the

Divine Mercy Chaplet i

s carved into the long side: “Holy God, Holy

Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us.”

I couldn’t think of anything more appropriate than

words of Divine Mercy.

Saint Faustina r

eceived some


explicit promises from Christ regarding death

and the praying of the chaplet, and so carving into the

casket words of the chaplet and “Jesus, I trust in You”

seems so fitting to me, like a shield against the enemy.

What’s the process for making a casket? And do

you go to bed with the sound of a belt sander

ringing in your ears?

The caskets only require about 30 minutes of belt

sanding each, but it is an especially whiny tool! I’m




nspired by the funeral of

St. John Paul II

in 2005,

woodworker Marcus Daly went from building wooden

boats to building wooden caskets dedicated to

Our Lady

and the

Divine Mercy.

Marcus and his wife, Kelly, live on

Vashon Island, Washington, with their seven children.





See a feature

on Marcus

and Marian