The Sacramentals

Lesson 36 from the Baltimore Cathechism

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469. What are sacramentals?

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.

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that those who believe in him may not perish, but may have life everlasting. (John 3:14-15)

470. How do the sacramentals obtain favors from God?

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.

471. What are the chief benefits obtained by the use of the sacramentals?

The chief benefits obtained by the use of the sacramentals are:

  1. actual graces;
  2. the forgiveness of venial sins;
  3. the remission of temporal punishment;
  4. health of body and material blessings;
  5. protection from evil spirits.

472. Which are the chief kinds of sacramentals?

The chief kinds of sacramentals are:

  • blessings given by priests and bishops;

  • exorcisms against evil spirits; third, blessed objects of devotion.

473. Which are the blessed objects of devotion most used by Catholics?

The blessed objects of devotion most used by Catholics are: holy water, candles, ashes, palms, crucifixes, medals, rosaries, scapulars, and images of Our Lord, the Blessed Virgin, and the saints.

And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense. (Luke 1:10)

474. How should we make use of sacramentals?

We should make use of the sacramentals with faith and devotion, and never make them objects of superstition.

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