Getting a Rosary (and other objects) blessed?

I’m in many regards new to the Catholic faith. I was recently given a Rosary by a friend, and she told me, “Make sure you get it blessed by a priest!” Coming from a Protestant background, it made sense for me to get blessed, but strange that an something else would be blessed.

What does it mean for a priest to bless a Rosary, and why did it seem so necessary? Why is this important, that is?

Also, can I request other objects to be blessed (such as prayer books, cross necklaces, a crucifix for my wall, etc?)

Thank YOU! :slight_smile:

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Hi Craisin,

Firstly, welcome to the Catholic faith. I’d like to reply to your question.

I was recently given a Rosary by a friend, and she told me, “Make sure you get it blessed by a priest!” Coming from a Protestant background, it made sense for me to get blessed, but strange that an something else would be blessed.

What does it mean for a priest to bless a Rosary, and why did it seem so necessary? Why is this important, that is?

Also, can I request other objects to be blessed (such as prayer books, cross necklaces, a crucifix for my wall, etc?)

The Rosary, like a cross or Crucifix, Holy Water, Blessed Palm is a sacramental. A sacramental stems from the Church’s Sacraments, which are instruments of God’s Grace.

When you get a sacramental blessed, this holy object now becomes an instrument of blessing. As Fr. John Corapi says, that the prayers said over a blessed object are applied to every situation where that object is used. So, when a priest blesses your Rosary, you receive the blessing of the Rosary, each time you pray with it.

You should therefore get your scapula, Crucifixes and other objects blessed. If you look up the link you will see how the Church has wisely given blessings to many objects of daily use. catholicdoors.com/prayers/blessings.htm

This is so that we live our lives in such a way that we are already living as we would in Heaven - because in Heaven everything we use and every corner of our Heavenly home will be blessed.

I got my guitar blessed, so that I can praise God with my music.

You can get some salt blessed, to remind you of how you have to be salt of the earth, use the salt to bless your food or add some to clean water and then bless your house with it.

I hope I have answered your question. Please let me know if you need any more explanations.

Pax Christi

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It’s not necessary at all, but it’s a nice idea.

Both the rosary itself and the blessing are sacramentals. This is a potentially misleading term because it is very similar to the word “Sacrament” - but there is a huge difference.

The Catholic Church is filled with sacramentals. A funeral is actually a sacramental. Rosaries, artwork, stained glass windows, blessings, and holy water are all sacramentals. They serve to focus our attention on things that our physical senses cannot readily perceive. But sacramentals do not impart Grace (as Sacraments do).

Nothing “happens” to a rosary (or holy water, or anything else) when it is blessed (meaning neither the substance nor the accidents of the object are changed).

God gives us the material world, and pious folks set aside some portion of their material goods for the worship, praise, and glory of God. These material things are thus consecrated for religious purposes. A blessing both a promise and a prayer - a promise that we will not use this object except for the glory of God, and a prayer that the object will help inspire us (meaning ourselves and maybe others) towards God (in the same manner that a flag might inspire feelings of patriotism).

FWIW, this principle has clear Biblical merit. The goblets in the ancient Temple of Jerusalem had been “blessed” (reserved for sacred use). The Temple was sacked, and King Belshazzar ordered that those goblets be brought for use in a pagan banquet, whereupon a mystical hand wrote upon the wall. The prophet Daniel was called upon to translate the writings, and he determined that Belshazzar had offended God (citing, specifically, the abuse of the goblets). Belshazzar died that very night (see Daniel 5-6).

“The LORD’s curse is on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the home of the righteous.” (Proverbs 3:33)

"Now it was told King David, saying, “The LORD has blessed the house of Obed-edom and all that belongs to him, on account of the ark of God.” (2 Samuel 6:12)

“If the house is worthy, give it your blessing of peace. But if it is not worthy, take back your blessing of peace.” (Matthew 10:13)

The Church is not built on nice ideas my dear chap. There is a reason for everything we do in the Church. If you don’t know something please go read the CCC before passing on your own thoughts to others as if they are Catholic truth. Sacramentals stem from the Sacraments, they need to be blessed before they are used so that the prayers of the Universal Church can be applied to the person using that Sacramental.

Hmmm. I’m not very bright. I managed (with great difficulty) to read CCC 1667-76 which specifically deals with this subject of sacramentals. But I didn’t see anything that corroborates your claim that a rosary (or any other object) needs to be blessed in order to function as a sacramental. Or that sacramentals stem (ie, originate) from the Sacraments.

Will you kindly cite the specific CCC article to which you refer, for the benefit of us who are not as knowledgeable as yourself?

Here you go

CHAPTER FOUR
OTHER LITURGICAL CELEBRATIONS

ARTICLE 1
SACRAMENTALS

1667 "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."173

The characteristics of sacramentals

1668 Sacramentals are instituted for the sanctification of certain ministries of the Church, certain states of life, a great variety of circumstances in Christian life, and the use of many things helpful to man. In accordance with bishops’ pastoral decisions, they can also respond to the needs, culture, and special history of the Christian people of a particular region or time. They always include a prayer, often accompanied by a specific sign, such as the laying on of hands, the sign of the cross, or the sprinkling of holy water (which recalls Baptism).

1669 Sacramentals derive from the baptismal priesthood: every baptized person is called to be a “blessing,” and to bless.174 Hence lay people may preside at certain blessings; the more a blessing concerns ecclesial and sacramental life, the more is its administration reserved to the ordained ministry (bishops, priests, or deacons).175

1670 Sacramentals do not confer the grace of the Holy Spirit in the way that the sacraments do, but by the Church’s prayer, they prepare us to receive grace and dispose us to cooperate with it. "For well-disposed members of the faithful, the liturgy of the sacraments and sacramentals sanctifies almost every event of their lives with the divine grace which flows from the Paschal mystery of the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Christ. From this source all sacraments and sacramentals draw their power. There is scarcely any proper use of material things which cannot be thus directed toward the sanctification of men and the praise of God."176

Various forms of sacramentals

1671 Among sacramentals blessings (of persons, meals, objects, and places) come first. Every blessing praises God and prays for his gifts. In Christ, Christians are blessed by God the Father "with every spiritual blessing."177 This is why the Church imparts blessings by invoking the name of Jesus, usually while making the holy sign of the cross of Christ.

1672 Certain blessings have a lasting importance because they consecrate persons to God, or reserve objects and places for liturgical use. Among those blessings which are intended for persons - not to be confused with sacramental ordination - are the blessing of the abbot or abbess of a monastery, the consecration of virgins and widows, the rite of religious profession and the blessing of certain ministries of the Church (readers, acolytes, catechists, etc.). The dedication or blessing of a church or an altar, the blessing of holy oils, vessels, and vestments, bells, etc., can be mentioned as examples of blessings that concern objects.

1673 When the Church asks publicly and authoritatively in the name of Jesus Christ that a person or object be protected against the power of the Evil One and withdrawn from his dominion, it is called exorcism. Jesus performed exorcisms and from him the Church has received the power and office of exorcizing.178 In a simple form, exorcism is performed at the celebration of Baptism. The solemn exorcism, called “a major exorcism,” can be performed only by a priest and with the permission of the bishop. The priest must proceed with prudence, strictly observing the rules established by the Church. Exorcism is directed at the expulsion of demons or to the liberation from demonic possession through the spiritual authority which Jesus entrusted to his Church. Illness, especially psychological illness, is a very different matter; treating this is the concern of medical science. Therefore, before an exorcism is performed, it is important to ascertain that one is dealing with the presence of the Evil One, and not an illness.179

source: http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p2s2c4a1.htm

Hi. Welcome to the Catholic faith!! It is not “necessary” to have religious items blessed (and yes, you can have religious jewelry, books and wall crucifix blessed as well), but it is an added bonus. When a priest blesses something, such as rosary, it is like attaching a prayer to the item. Since the priest is acting in the person of Christ through the sacraments (although blessing of itmes is a “sacramental”, not a “sacrament”), it’s like asking Jesus to give you His blessing every time you use the item.

I hope that was helpful - I know my explanation isn’t the best.

Hi Craisin :wave: and welcome to the Catholic Church. I suppose it really goes without saying that having something blessed dosn’t end with a Priest. You can even have something blessed by a Bishop, Cardinal or even the Holy Father as well. I have several rosaries, some are blessed, some are not. But the rosaries I’ve been using most lately are the ones that were blessed by both Pope John Paul the Great and Pope Benedict. One of my sisters knows someone who knows someone else who is studying in Rome, so he was able to obtain a Papal Blessing on both of these very cherished rosaries. I even think I’m praying the rosary more often because of the blessings. So a blessing on a sacramental really can help you in your prayer life. :thumbsup:

Hello, I am a new Catholic. I have been back for about one year now. I am concerned over the question of having items such as rosaries, crucifixes blessed by a priest, Bishop or Pope. I am still confused if this is really necessary! If I pray with a rosary that has not been blessed, are my prayers being heard? This doesn’t make sense to me. Isn’t this just something of personal preference? It is not easy as a new Catholic to just walk up to a priest to get something blessed! How do I do this? I don’t really know any priests, do I just call the Rectory? **If this is so important then why isn’t there a special Mass at least once a year where all parishoners can bring their items to be blessed? **It seems to me also that one can get too attached to material things in this manner. If you had a special rosary blessed by Pope John Paul II and now he is deceased, and you lose this specail rosary- oh how upsetting that would be!!! You can never have that particular rosary replaced! It seems to me you have to put things in perspective and not get attached to these items. Plese help me on this one!!!

I think to ease your mind it really is as simple as walking up to a priest and asking him to bless your rosary, crucifix etc. Most the blessings I’ve had done to religious items take the priest all of a minute to do, it’s usually a little prayer accompanied by sprinkling the item with holy water. I think the priest has other, longer options available if he chooses but I think the short blessing works just as well. I’ve had rosaries blessed by my parish priest on the way out after church was over.

It would be terribly upsetting to lose a rosary blessed by Pope John Paul II, but I think what you’re talking about has more to do with attachments we place on things rather than what their actual value may be. Yes it would be nice to have that rosary but the blessing of your local priest is no less efficacious than that of a pope or bishop. For some people the item blessed by a favorite priest may be more special than one that came all the way from Rome.

ChadS

BridgetM, I’m not sure if anyone else addressed this, and I don’t think it’s much discussed these days anymore, but objects (including rosaries, etc.) can have evil spirits “attached” to them. I have heard from a very reliable source, that many of the drug shipments that come into the U.S. via Mexico are “blessed” (cursed, actually) by a satanic priest. These drugs then carry an evil spirit with them and the users are not just affected bodily by the drugs, but spiritually, also. In other words, their souls are adversely affected! I know this all sounds kind of like “look out for the boogey man” but it is a spiritual truth. Blessing these objects gets rid of any evil spirit that may have been attached to the object.

Even though I didn’t post the original question, the answers were super helpful! Thank you so much. I have a beautiful rosary that I can’t wait to have blessed!

I have a related question, just slightly different. I am still a Candidate in RCIA so have not received Reconciliation or Confirmation. I do pray the Rosary daily. Recently I have started learning how to make rosaries, primarily for missions… but since I don’t have one myself, I am going to make one for myself as well.

Since I’m not a “full Catholic” yet is it still OK to ask Father to bless my rosary?

I also wonder if I may have Holy Water at home.

It’s fine to have Father bless your rosary. I’m sure he’s well aware you being in RCIA so he’d be more than happy to do it.

Use the rosary in good health and congratulations in becoming Catholic. It’s the best decision you can ever make.

ChadS

I think what’s more important is that your prayer is sincere and heartfelt. IMHO, it’s not necessary to have your rosary blessed, but it can be an added bonus. When a priest blesses rosary beads, or any item, it’s as if he attaches a prayer to them to make your prayer more fervent and powerful. :slight_smile:


“How beautiful is the family that recites the rosary every evening.” – Blessed John Paul II

Just my two cents worth…having the rosary, crucifix, etc, for me, has the effect of making it more holy since it has been blessed by a priest.

That is why, a broken rosary, when blessed, is not just thrown in the trash, but must be disposed of properly.

It is also a catholic practice to have our houses/homes blessed. I have had my vehicles also blessed.

:)What about having a Rosary blessed more than once . . . by different priests throughout different times in your life? I’ve always felt that this is OK, but is there anything wrong with it? Would like you input on the subject. Thanks

I regularly have items blessed. I’ve had a whole duffel bag of relics, crucifixes, rosaries, statues, and rings blessed while on pilgrimage in Italy… Most Catholic pilgrimage sites actually have little stations or tables set up with a priest there expressly to bless persons and objects.

Padre Pio regularly blessed items for those coming to him for confession. Also, he regularly returned rosaries and other items to petitioners without completing his blessing on them because they were “blessed already”.
He would know if, say, a rosary had already been blessed by the persons local Priest. If it were already blessed, he’d insist that another blessing wasn’t necessary.

This should speak volumes to the importance and real efficacy of priestly blessings…

I know this is nit picky but I thought some might enjoy the information. I hand make rosary beads at home from dried flower petals given to me from specific events in peoples lives. (an example is flowers from a wedding, funeral or christening) It is a very long but gratifying process.

On the matter of the Rosary versus a rosary.

"The Rosary is a form of prayer in the Catholic Church or a string of prayer beads used to count the component prayers. When used in the form of prayer, the word is usually capitalized “the Rosary”, as is customary for other names of prayers, such as “the Lord’s Prayer”, “the Hail Mary”, “the Magnificat”. When referring to the beads, it is normally written with a lower-case initial “a rosary”.

My assumption is that this is to remind the individual that the prayer is the important part and that the object is a tool to help the individual meditate on the message.

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