Burning of palms


as i understand it, we as catholics can burn palms from palm sunday during severe weather for divine protection. Is my understanding correct? If so, when and where did this practice originate?


I never heard of that, but in our parish we burn palms from the previous year to provide ashes for the following Ash Wednesday.


This is what I found at another site:

The effects of the sacramentals are to free us from spiritual, bodily, and temporal evils, and bring us spiritual, bodily, and temporal advantages. They heal suffering and wrong, dispel trouble of mind, moderate the passions, temper temptations, save us from barrenness, drought, storms, and devilish plagues, and send us growth, fruitfulness, and bodily strength.

I have no idea when this began, though.


Palms are burned for Ash Wednesday ashes and to dispose of last years palms. Some faithful burn a blessed candle during severe weather, the “Light of Christ” will dispel the darkness and fear.


I would rather spend the time saying a prayer or trying to think of the goodness of God.


My family lived through the HUGE 1957 Tornado in Fargo, ND. It was because of this tornado they developed the Fujita Scale. Dewey Thornquist recorded it start to finish from the top of W-DAY TV making it the first one ever filmed in entirety.

My great aunt, God rest her soul, was Sister Marie Phillips, and was the librarian at the Catholic High School named Shanley High School. Her convent was in south Fargo, and it was summer, so she was no where near the school she loved. It's a good thing too. The tornado was so powerful that it took the metal beams that were the corner post of the gym, and twisted them like giant corkscrews.

My Grandfathers good friend was killed. He had already beat Hitler, maybe Tojo, so he told his wife as she begged him to come inside to the basement, "You go in, I am going to watch for a bit then I will be in.". Unfortunately when the Tornado was close enough it created such a suction he was unable to get in the house to shelter. All that was found was an arm and they only knew it was his by a very unique tattoo.

One family lost 4 kids if I remember right.

My Grandparents, mother and uncle went to the basement. They sat and watch a 193- or 4- something car rock back and forth from the winds - so hard the tires were leaving the ground of the 2 ton vehicle.

The tornado was close now and my Grandma grabbed some palm branches and started praying for help as she burned them with a lighter over a toilet bowl.

6 blocks away now the tornado was barrelling down on their house. Then it stopped and turned north rather than the southerly direction it was on.

You can not, I repeat can not, tell any of us in this family, not the nuns or the priests, (its good because they believe it too), there is nothing wrong with burning palms in times of trouble. God loves a burnt offering and the fact you are thinking of him first in very human time, he will extend protection. Look at How he saved my family.

Burn away. As long as you are doing it to glorify, no, to rely on God you are fine. We will burn a leaf or half a lead nuemerous times in a year. Just take the left over ash and put it in a flower garden. Seems the flowers live a touch of God that close to them.

Peace, love, to you all and all glory belongs to God

Remember, we are Catholics, not judges or jury's. With God nothing is impossible so Everyone, Everyone can be saved. Don't make the door so narrow no one can enter - least of all yourself!

How you judge others is how you'll be judged. Imagine God snubbing his nose at you while a replay is played of you doing it to a non-catholic on judgement. Have faith in God. Be true to him. He can fight many of his own battles and it is through our actions we draw others closer to us and God.



Hadn’t heard of it myself— I had heard the Chaplet of Divine Mercy was originally a prayer against storms, so it tends to be my go-to prayer during tornado season.

A little digging brings up references to it being an Italian/French custom:

An Italian and French custom is to break off a piece of the palm and burn it during fierce storms or natural disasters, while praying to St. Barbara, the patron saint of storms.

but no reference to the age of the custom.

Another site mentions:

It is custom to break off a piece of the palm and – while praying to St. Barbara (or St. Walburga) for her intercession, and lighting a blessed candle (especially one blessed at Candlemas) – burn it for protection against storms. I offer this prayer against storms from the Pieta prayerbook (etc…):

where the custom incorporates the flame of a blessed candle.

Interesting! You learn something new every day… :slight_smile:


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