Category: 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.

Our flagship article for relics is Left Behind.

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 … Continue reading