Giving a gift to a Catholic person


I have been spending a lot of time at my best friend's house (who is 63 years old, and I'm 20) helping him prepare for a big presentation coming up. While there, his wife has been very nice and warm to me. She cooks every time I go there, showed me how to make one of her favorite dishes, gives me food to take home, and just has been generally nice to me.

I want to buy her something to show my gratitude, but all I know about her other than the fact that their family is Vietnamese, is that she is a devote Catholic, and she isn't a very materialistic person.

I was thinking of getting a her a Catholic gift (like a nice rosary or something to decorate the house with), since that's the only thing I know she is interested in. But I'm Protestant, and was wondering would giving a Catholic gift to a Catholic person be insulting if I'm from a different religion?

What would be good to buy for her, considering that she isn't materialistic, and something that would be a warm gesture of friendship?

Thanks and God Bless.



it's not been my experience that a Catholic would find it offensive or insulting that a non Catholic went out of their way to get them a religious gift (Catholic)

My FIL often picks things up for me in foreign countries that are related to Catholism. He generally has NO IDEA what he's even brought me. But knows that it will be important to me someway.

In fact given that I've had my share of issues with my inlaws it's one thing I try to focus on that! It's one of the few threads holding our relationship together... ;)


A nice Rosary or Icon would be great. The biggest question is whether you would feel comfortable giving it, but it seems that it is in your heart to do so.

I have a couple of suggestions:
-A Rosary
-A Chaplet (like a Rosary, but a different type of Prayer Devotion, many people know about these but dont have them themselves)
-An Icon for the Home (They are something that many people desire but don’t often purchase for themselves)

I think your gesture is nice, and I would suggest learning about whatever it is that you give so that you can discuss it with them. (This is my attempt at evangelization and conversion :cool: )

A site I always go to is:


As a Catholic who once received a “Psalm 23” plaque from a very devout Buddhist couple, I think she would be touched to receive a Catholic article from someone whom she knows is not Catholic.

EDIT: angelsdefendus has an excellent suggestion that you understand the meaning of whatever gift you choose. For example, if you choose to give a rosary or chaplet, that is essentially one way that Catholics follow Jesus’ call to pray without ceasing (even if you don’t agree with the form of prayer, I hope you can at least appreciate that).


Maybe a subscription to a daily devotional or a nice prayer book. Suggestions; "Father Hardon's Catholic Prayer Book with Meditations" by Father John A. Hardon, S.J. or "Living Faith" subscription (


I recently received an enrollment in the Association of Marian Helpers. It was one of the best gifts ever!

My guess is that she probably has all of the rosaries that she needs. Enrollment in a prayer society may be a good idea.


Can you figure out her decorating tastes? For example, contemporary versus traditional furnishings? Look around her house, and then go to either a religious goods store or online to a Catholic gift store, and pick out something that would fit in nicely in her home.

I'm thinking, since she has an obvious interest in cooking, a statue of the Kitchen Madonna would fit in nicely in a kitchen, if she has a little shelf or something where she could put a small statue.

A gardener might appreciate a garden statue of the Blessed Virgin, St. Francis of Assisi, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, or something like that for outdoors.

No, it wouldn't be offensive in the least. I'm sure she will be delighted with what you select.


Perhaps she would appreciate a novena candle? Unless I know of a genuine need, I generally like to give people "consumable" gifts to help them avoid clutter. A devout Catholic probably already has a rosary, but novena candles are "consumable" so you don't have to worry about duplicating anything she already has.


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