Sacramentals

Throughout the centuries, the testimony of many Christians, including a number of saints, confirms that objects blessed by a priest, through the power of the Church’s intercession, can repel demonic powers. Again and again, evil spirits have recoiled in dread, not just from the Sign of the Cross, but also from holy water and blessed oil, crosses, crucifixes, medals, candles, or salt (Manual for Spiritual Warfare, 55).

In a previous post, Spiritual Warfare, I mentioned that sacramentals provide protection from the devil.

Someone close to me suggested that I write a post on these valuable weapons.

In honor of Saint Benedict of Nursia, a champion in spiritual warfare whose feast we celebrate today, here’s a post dedicated to sacramentals.

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Behold the Heart

On June 16, 1675 Jesus appeared to Sister Margaret Mary Alacoque (now a saint) and asked for the creation of a new feast.

He requested for the Feast of the Sacred Heart to be celebrated on the Friday after the Feast of Corpus Christi, nineteen days after Pentecost.

In 1856, Pope Pius IX extended the feast to the Universal Church. This year, the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus is celebrated on June 28th.

The devotion to the Sacred Heart is very popular and one you may already know and/or practice. If not, I recommend learning about it.

Rather than explain the devotion, I’ll share a recent experience that connects to the Sacred Heart.

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Stations of the Cross

The Stations of the Cross — also known as the Way of the Cross, Way of Sorrows and Via Dolorosa — is one of the most popular Roman Catholic devotions. It consists of fourteen events that took place during Jesus’ Passion.

History

Do you know where this tradition comes from? (I didn’t but discovered it while researching this post!)

After Jesus’ death, the Blessed Mother walked the path of His Passion daily. When she moved from the Holy Land, she created a similar outdoor route near her home. She used stones to mark each event and prayed while she walked.

Once Christianity became legal in the year 312, the “stations” were marked along the original route in Jerusalem. For centuries, people traveled to the Holy Land to honor these sacred locations.

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