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Jolene Schonchin wrote:

Hi, guys —

I have ordered patron saint figurines to place at my house and office.

  • Do they have to be blessed "in order for them to work"?

Jolene

  { Do I have to bless these [figurines|statues] in order for them to "work"? }

John replied:

Hi, Jolene —

Thanks for the question.

It's great that you ordered pictures of your Patron Saints, but what exactly do you mean by
"in order for them to work".

Catholics don't believe in magic. Nor are pictures, statues, Icons and so forth lucky charms that bring us good luck, prosperity, or what not. That sort of belief is pagan, not Catholic.

Certainly, it's always good to have any sacred item blessed, however a blessing is not a magic spell.

So please explain what you mean by "in order for them to work", before we can answer your question.

John

Jolene replied:

Hi, John—

Thank you for your response.

I apologize for wording my question incorrectly.

I am asking if the statues of the saints have to be blessed in order for them to help us in our daily lives.

For example, I have a statue of St. Martha to help me in the kitchen and with my household duties.

  • I understand they are representations of the saints and a reminder of the power of faith and prayer but will St. Martha hear my prayers to her if her statue is not blessed?

I hope I do not sound ignorant; I just want to make sure I am going about this correctly.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

— Jolene

John replied:

Jolene —

Let's see if we can undo some really, really, horrible religious education you got somewhere along the line.

The statues, pictures, paintings, etc., don't help us. The saints, as part of the Body of Christ, help us. Statues, and so forth, are simple reminders and "points of contact" for our faith.

A blessing is a prayer of the Church which consecrates an object, sets it aside for God, and makes it belong to God. This blessing, a prayer of the Church, also contains petitions about the object, that may be an occasion of grace for those who use it. God honors this blessing by His Church, and blessed objects are off-limits to the evil one, who fears them because they are holy.
e.g. they belong to God. These are not lucky charms. The objects have no intrinsic power of their own. They have the power of the prayer of the Church in the blessing.

My point is that you shouldn't be thinking in terms of getting the statue of St. Martha to do anything. That's idolatry and a violation of the first commandment!

Now, if you have a devotion to St. Martha, if you've read about her, ask her intercession, then the statue is reminder and "point of contact" for your faith but, at this point, I'm even concerned that if you're focused so much on the statue and the Saint, you will forget the most important thing is your relationship with Christ and the Holy Spirit. Ultimately, it's Christ that assists us in our Christian walk. The saints only do so by virtue of being in the Body of Christ.

St. Martha can hear you whether or not the statue is blessed, whether or not the statue has it's ears broken, whether or not the statue is there, whether or not the statue exists!!

I would encourage you to get back to basics of your faith. Buy a Bible and start reading it.
Buy a Catechism as well. Our faith starts and ends with our relationship with Jesus Christ.
Yes, as Catholics we understand that the Saints in heaven pray for us and some of us have beautiful devotions to certain Saints but we have to keep these things in perspective, especially when it comes to statues. They are sacred to us because of who they represent. Other then that, they are nothing but plaster, ceramic, or wood.

John

Mike replied:

Hi, Jolene —

I would just want to add to my colleague's answer.

Jesus is the source and submit of:

  • Love
  • Mercy
  • Grace
  • Our existence
  • Our family
  • Everything we have in life

What we do with what the Lord has given us depends on how we use our free will.

The Church holds up various saints throughout the ages as special people, who struggled like us in all the temptations of the world:

  • vice
  • sexual sins
  • addictions of all types
  • etc.

YET, says:

See how this holy people handled these struggles in striving to model Jesus,
Our PRIMARY MODEL?

Be like them!!!

So when someone has, like I do, a statue of St. Benedict, St. Michael and St. Jean Vianney,
it reminds me to strive to be like them.

Why? To undermine the sole mediation of Jesus.

Of course not!, but to reflect the image of Jesus in my life through the example of their lives.

Mike

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