Category Archives: Sacramentals and Relics

Sacramentals and Relics

Sacramentals: The sacramentals that are most familiar to us are the rosary, the brown scapular, and the miraculous medal. They all have this in common: they are blessed, visible objects that the Church sanctions for holy uses in order to achieve through the merits of the faithful certain effects, mainly of a spiritual nature. Although, like the sacraments, they are visible signs of spiritual things, they do not confer sanctifying grace ex opere operato, but ex opere operantis.  The conferring of sanctifying grace by a worthy reception of any of the seven sacraments is achieved by the operation of the act itself. Sacramentals, on the other hand, confer grace grace dependent on the subjective devotion of the individual using them.  The more fervent the recipient is in using the sacramental, the greater the increase of grace.

Other commonly used sacramentals are holy water, blessed oil, blessed candles, various approved scapulars, and many approved medals, such as the St. Benedict Medal, which is the oldest and most highly indulgenced of all sacramental objects.  But the term covers much more.  Excepting the sacraments and the public prayer of the Church (divine office and five litanies) blessings of ashes and palms, blessed foods, and even the Confiteors and Creeds and the giving of alms can all be considered sacramental.

The Church has always honored the bodies of the faithful departed in her funeral and burial rites. Just as the body of the deceased is blessed and sprinkled with holy water, so, too, is the very ground in which the deceased is buried, a consecrated ground. All of this is to give reverence to the body of the faithful departed, which was once a temple of the Holy Ghost, and which will rise at the last day in immortal glory.

Our flagship article for sacramentals is Catholic Sacramentals — Gifts of Grace.

Relics: The bodies of the canonized saints or blesseds are more worthy of veneration because these bodies were employed in heroic acts of love of God and neighbor.  They may be the saint’s entire remains (in some cases the body is incorrupt), or a part of the body. These are first class relics and they are often venerated in churches in glass sarcophagi or reliquaries. Second class relics are taken from the clothing of the saint. Third class relics can include anything touched by the saint. God often grants favors to those who venerate the relics of His saints, i.e., spiritual blessings and cures. Such favors, if they are miraculous, are God’s sign that the holy person is worthy of canonization.

The Crucifix is Mandatory in Padua Public Schools and Offices

Padua, June 25 – The mayor of the northern city of Padua declared Wednesday that all public buildings must display a Catholic crucifix.    “Now every office and every school will get a nice mandatory crucifix donated by the city. Hands off the crucifixes or you will be in trouble”, Mayor Massimo Bitonci, who is from the anti-immigrant Northern League party, wrote on his Facebook page. … More →

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Veil of Manoppello Sparking New Interest in America

CNA: The Shrine to the Holy Face of Christ tucked into Italy’s Appennine mountains is starting to catch the attention of the world, particularly that of American Catholics. “We have a lot of Italians, of course, and many Germans but now we’re seeing more and more pilgrims from the U.S.,” said Sister Blandina Paschalis Schloemer, a Trappist nun and daily pilgrim that lives within eye-shot of … More →

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Relics of St. Peter to Be Exposed for First Time Ever

National Catholic Register: For the first time and to coincide with the end of the Year of Faith, the Vatican is to put on public display the relics of St. Peter. Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, announced the Vatican’s plans in a Nov. 8 article in the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano. Recalling how many pilgrims have made … More →

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David Ortiz Wears The Scapular

And, on a lesser note, Red Sox romp over Detroit last night (September 4) 20-4. Here’s a picture of David Ortiz wearing what appears to be a red scapular. From Uni7Watch  August 8, 2013 : Anyone know what that is around David Ortiz’ neck, from last night’s game, (good spot by Kris Hunt). In case anyone would like to know more about Scapulars. Comment Box: Steven Pindar: David … More →

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Flag of France used officially in the Kingdom of France and Bourbon Restoration and still used by legitimists today.

Oldest Daughter of the Church, II

[Part I] Given all the years that have passed, and despite all of this history, one might well wonder why we should care about the French Monarchy and its claimants. It has been gone, after all, for a long time. For that matter, why should its claimants and their partisans struggle so strenuously for it? The answer is several-fold. For Frenchmen, of course, the shadow … More →


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The Baptism of King Clovis by St. Remigius

Oldest Daughter of the Church

The American in Paris of Traditionalist bent will, in addition to the usual sights, doubtless seek out the Traditional Mass at such churches as the SSPX’s Saint Nicolas-du-Chardonnet or else Versailles’ Notre Dame des Armees. After Mass, he will then notice a number of vendors of newspapers and magazines, mostly young. Some may — much to the Yankee visitor’s surprise — be sympathetic to the … More →


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Precious Blood, Holy Grail

Medieval romances generally fell into four categories: the Matter of Rome, which dealt with such classical heroes as Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar; the Matter of France, whose tales were inhabited by Charlemagne and such heroes as his nephew Roland; the Matter of Britain, which encompasses the Arthurian legends; and the Crusade Cycle, which dealt with the doings of Godefroi de Bouillon and his … More →


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Pollen Expert’s New Discovery Confirms Age of Holy Shroud at 2000 Years

Vatican Insider: Here’s a clip from Palynologist Marzia Boi’s report: “The pollen traces on the Holy Shroud which have so far been linked to the geographic origin of the  relic reveal what oils and ointments were put both on the body and on the sheet. These discoveries have an ethno-cultural meaning linked to ancient funeral practices. These non-perishable particles capture the image of a 2000-year-old … More →

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Relics of Six Mexican Priest Martyrs Venerated in Los Angeles Cathedral May 14-24

These six martyrs were canonized by Pope John Paul II in 2000. The martyrdom of Father Jose Maria Robles Hurtado is highlighted in the movie For Greater Glory, the story of the Cristeros heroic resistance to the anti-clerical, masonic-supported persecution launched by the Mexican communist regime in the 1920s. The movie is due out next month. California Catholic Daily: Relics of six priests martyred during … More →

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Modern ER Miracle: Man Wearing Scapular Returns to Life After Being Declared Dead

“Oh, good, Father. I’ve been waiting for you. I want to go to Confession. Here is the account of the witnessing priest.

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Exposition of Christ’s Seamless Tunic in Trier Cathedral April 13 – May 13

The sacred tunic of Our Lord has only been exposed for veneration sixteen times since it was first displayed in 1521. The last exposition was in 1996. What a wonderful pilgrimage this would be to see the seamless robe of Jesus, woven by the hands of His Blessed Mother. Catholic Culture reports: Christ’s sacred tunic, housed in a reliquary at the cathedral in Trier, will … More →

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A Grace: Tens of Thousands of Russians Come to Venerate Relic of Our Lady’s Sash

Imagine. People had to wait in line in freezing cold for 24 hours. Yahoo News: Braving freezing cold temperatures and ice-covered sidewalks, tens of thousands of Russians stood in line Wednesday to see and kiss a newly arrived relic of the Virgin Mary in Russia’s largest Orthodox cathedral. Full report is here.

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Novena to Our Glorious Lady of Mount Carmel Begins Tomorrow July 7

July 16 is the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. There is something particularly wonderful about this feast, a double major liturgically, which makes it so embraceable for the faithful children of Mary. Perhaps it is the appealing simplicity of it, the maternal tenderness of it, as well as the magnanimous generosity of the promise. I used to be astonished when I was young … More →

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St. Anthony’s Relic Has Been Found and Returned

Catholic Culture: Police in Long Beach, California, have arrested Maria Solis, 41, in conjunction with the theft of a relic of St. Anthony of Padua from a parish on June 13. The relic was discovered undamaged in her living room and has been returned to the parish; the suspect is not a parishioner. Read more here.

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780 Year-Old Relic of Saint Anthony Stolen From California Church

AP report: A 780-year-old religious relic of St. Anthony of Padua has been stolen, and parishioners at a Southern California Catholic church are praying to the patron saint of lost causes and missing objects for its speedy return. More on this here.

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