Sacramentals are objects that have been blessed by a priest. It is the prayer and action of the priest that makes the objects holy. Some examples of a sacramental would be religious medals, rosaries, scapulars, crucifixes, statues, relics, and also salt, water, olive oil, and candles. You can buy them anywhere and have them blessed by a Catholic priest. I make sure to have my items blessed with an exorcism blessing because it makes them very powerful in the fight against the devil. The priest prays a particular prayer over each object. The blessing over salt is specifically for salt, water for water, candles for candles, and so on. Sacramentals give grace to those who use them with faith. That means a person must believe in the blessing, or the grace received from them will be lessened and maybe even lost altogether.
“Sacramentals are holy things or actions of which the Church makes use to obtain for us from God, through her intercession, spiritual and temporal favors.”Baltimore Catechism 469
It is important not to attach any superstition to sacramentals. They aren’t magic, they carry the blessing of the Church, which is what makes them holy and so effective against evil. Nor are they idols as some may think, but holy objects that help us grow closer to God. Demons don’t want to be around anything sacred. That makes sacramentals necessary in the life of every Christian. I have a lot of sacramentals. But there are a few that stand out for me; the rosary, scapular, Miraculous Medal, Saint Benedict Medal, and of course, the crucifix. I wear a chain every day with Saint Benedict and Miraculous Medals and also one of the Holy Spirit. I believe they protect me from evil and any influence the devil may have over me. When we wear the brown scapular, we are draped in the Blessed Mother’s love and protection. It is a sign of our love for her. She said that “Whoever dies in this garment shall not suffer eternal fire.” That’s a big promise.
You should be enrolled in the scapular, which any priest can do, and then you are part of the Confraternity. What that means is, “Once invested in the Scapular, a person automatically becomes a member of the Confraternity of the Brown Scapular. What is meant by the Confraternity is that having been enrolled in the Scapular, you belong to a spiritual family whereby you have the privilege of being affiliated with the Carmelite Order, participating in the merits of the Carmelite Fathers and Religious in life and in death, as well as receiving the promises of Our Lady through the Scapular.” There are different types of scapulars, but the Brown Scapular is the most known. I have a Purple Scapular of Benediction and Protection that I bought after learning that it protects us and our families from natural disasters and in the event of chastisements. I also have rosaries all over the house, in my car, and in my purse. I pray the rosary daily. It is essential to stay close to the Blessed Mother, especially in these times. She hears our prayers, intercedes for us before God, and crushes the head of Satan. The devil hates Mary, so it makes perfect sense to stay close to Her as we journey this life.
“The sacramentals obtain favors from God through the prayers of the Church offered for those who make use of them, and through the devotion, they inspire.”Baltimore Catechism 470
Blessed (exorcized) salt, oil, and candles are a staple in my home. I use them daily, and I use holy water when it’s needed. I bless myself with the oil in the morning and the evening before bed. I just trace the sign of the cross on my forehead and ask God to protect me and my family from evil, accidents, and illness, specifically covid. I am confident that the Lord hears my prayers, and I am at peace. You can pray a prayer that is specific to you and your family. I cook with blessed salt every day. It’s my secret ingredient. I also sprinkle it around the house and yard periodically. You can use holy water any time, but I use it if there is some kind of trouble at home. You can’t always know if they are spiritual, but they could be, so spraying holy water around the house can solve the problem. I burn a blessed candle before an image of Our Lady of Medjugorje whenever we are home. It honors Her and causes demons to flee. It is important to remember that demons influence people, so using these holy weapons the Church gives us is a simple and effective way to protect ourselves and our families.
“The chief benefits obtained by the use of the sacramentals are actual graces; the forgiveness of venial sins; the remission of temporal punishment; health of body and material blessings; protection from evil spirits.”Baltimore Catechism 47
There are promises attached to certain sacramentals, like the rosary, which can be very encouraging for people. The Blessed Mother gave saint Dominick the rosary in the 13th century, and she also gave 15 promises to those who faithfully pray the rosary. I just want to mention three of the promises. The fifth promise is, “The soul which recommends itself to me by the recitation of the Rosary, shall not perish.” So you will not go to hell if you pray the rosary. The seventh promise states, “Whoever shall have a true devotion for the Rosary shall not die without the sacraments of the Church.” That is so vital since the sacraments are how we gain heaven. It means if you are able, you can receive Jesus in the Eucharist one last time, or obtain absolution for your sins through the sacrament of confession before your death. The last Rites forgives you of all sin so you will not suffer the fires of hell. These are all-merciful graces falling upon that dying soul from heaven. And the eleventh promise is, “You shall obtain all you ask of me by the recitation of the Rosary.” For this promise, I am asking for the conversion and salvation of my family and friends. What could be more important than that? And that is only three of the promises attached to the rosary.
So it is through a person’s faith and the depth of their devotion that grace is received through prayers and sacramentals. Sacramentals increase our love and devotion to God, the Blessed Mother, the angels, and the saints. They are also visible signs for others, whether it be family, friends, or even a stranger. Everyone who sees a crucifix or a holy image is reminded of God. The use and display of sacramentals is a beautiful, silent witness that has the power to impact people’s lives. Sacramentals inspire prayer, love, and devotion for the Lord, and through them, you and your family are receiving countless graces, mercy, strength, and untold blessings. I have attached a short informational video to each highlighted sacramental where you can learn more about each specific sacramental.
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