Can Someone please explain medals?greenspun.com : LUSENET : Catholic : One Thread
I habve recently returned to the faith, and am now a fairly devout Catholic, but I have never fully understood the medals and stuff. Are they simply reminders to pray? Are there specific prayers for different medals? If so, where can I find them?
Thanks for such a clear and honest site!!
-- Prose (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 17, 2003
Metal disks imprinted with the image of Christ, the Blessed Mother, a saint, a sacred event, and so on. The Church provides a blessing for medals and has long appproved the use of them as long as they are understood as an aid to devotion and prayer; there are a large number of medals approved by the Church. At the same time the Church warns against medals if the person using the medal makes them into an object of superstition. (See Catechism of the Catholic Church 1667-1670)
The custom of wearing medals is an ancient one, traced back as far as the time of the catacombs. Religious medals are usually in similar form to that of a coin, for commemorative purposes. They are often concerned with ideas, such as the mysteries of our faith, and some serve as badges of pious associations.
Medals are worn around the nexk or on teh person and serve as a reminder as does a photograph or other relic of a loved one. Medals should be regarded in the same way as any other image; they are merely signs of the prototype inscribed thereon and in themselves have no efficacy. To consider them otherwise would be superstition and possibly idolatry.
Our holy medals are to be used as a reminder to honor the subject displayed on the medal, and a reminder of the need to advance in Chrisitian perfection.
-- patrick (email@example.com), March 17, 2003.
My grandmother had a quite a number of medals. When I was a youngster, if I was sick, she would pin some of them to my bed sheet. She said they had been blessed and that each was related to a particular patron Saint. This was over 40 years ago and I don't remember which Saints they were, but in life I understood that they (the Saints represented on the medals) may have had special empathy for the sick, or especially loved children, etc. In any case, her thoughtful choice of medals made sense to me at the time. She said I should put my hand on them and pray that I'd get better. I don't know what the official Church stand is on medals, but I think the idea is to help you focus your attention during prayer,... similar in function to the statues of the Saints in Church. The medals were much more convenient than statues because you could carry them in your pocket Today, I don't have any medals, but there was somthing comforting about them,...I think thats part of it too. Jim
-- Jim Furst (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 17, 2003.