Catholics use water, oil, medals, ashes, scapulars, beads, and other material signs in the practice of the faith. These are called sacramentals.

Unlike the sacraments which provide grace, sacramentals do not. But sacramentals do prepare the faithful for the reception of grace.

These holy objects, gestures, blessings symbolize our desire for, and direct us toward, holiness.

Only the Church has the authority to establish new sacramentals, abolish, or change them.

The use of sacramentals should never be confused with the belief in magic or superstition.

God uses the material world to save us:

Spiritual reminders of a deeper reality:

“Holy Mother Church has, moreover, instituted sacramentals. These are sacred signs which bear a resemblance to the sacraments. They signify effects, particularly of a spiritual nature, which are obtained through the intercession of the Church. By them men are disposed to receive the chief effect of the sacraments, and various occasions in life are rendered holy.”

Catechism of the Catholic Church 1667

Aids in the spiritual life:

Strengthening and developing our faith:

Reminders of who our Lord wants us to be:

This efficacy, where there is question of the eucharistic sacrifice and the sacraments, derives first of all and principally from the act itself (ex opere operato). But if one considers the part which the Immaculate Spouse of Jesus Christ takes in the action, embellishing the sacrifice and sacraments with prayer and sacred ceremonies, or if one refers to the “sacramentals” and the other rites instituted by the hierarchy of the Church, then its effectiveness is due rather to the action of the church (ex opere operantis Ecclesiae), inasmuch as she is holy and acts always in closest union with her Head.

Pope Pius XII, Mediator Dei, November 20, 1947

Pointing toward the sacraments:

Sacramentals are related to, but different from, the sacraments:

So extraordinary were the mighty deeds God accomplished at the hands of Paul that when face cloths or aprons that touched his skin were applied to the sick, their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them.

Acts 19: 11-12

Sacramentals are in the Bible:

The Truth, Goodness, and Beauty of the Catholic Church

On a quest for the truth:

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