Have you ever heard of this?


I’ve asked several Catholic friends about this (some cradle Catholics; some converts), but none of them seem to know what I am talking about. So I was wondering if any of you have heard of this:

My mom, who is Protestant, has cousins who are Catholic. When they were growing up, the cousins would come to visit their grandma and grandpa, and my mom would see them there. They were never allowed to attend a Protestant service (their grandma and grandpa were also Protestant), their priest had to bless them specially before each visit, and they wore little sacks around their necks for the duration of the visit. I don’t know what they were for, but my mom thought they were some sort of talisman against their non-Catholic family members.

I know the Church used to be more strict about Catholics attending Protestant services, but the special blessing and neck sack-things confuse me. What are they? What are they supposed to do? The cousins are from a very traditional Italian Catholic family; is it perhaps a cultural thing?


I’ve never heard of anything like this and I’m old enough to remember when the rules about attending non-Catholic services were more stringent.

I’ve run into other stories like this and I have found that they usually sprung from misunderstandings and faulty memories. Perhaps they took a rosary out of the case and wore it around their necks.



The “sacks around their necks” and blessings may have had more of an ethnic origin. You might want to ask this in the Traditional Catholic area of CAF.:confused:


I don’t think they were rosaries; my mom is (and was, even then) familiar enough with Catholicism to recognize a rosary. She described them as little cloth bags. :shrug:

Most Catholics I have asked have also suggested that it may be an ethnic/cultural thing.

I will try the Traditional Catholicism forum. Thank you for the replies! :thumbsup:


Maybe they were scapulars.



This was my thought as well…


That’s probably it.



yeah, either scapulars or relics or something… i’m 4th generation italian in the states, and i can tell you from what i’ve seen in my own family that we italians can get pretty superstitious sometimes. i think i’ve even seen the sacks you’re talking about, but dismissed it as nothing, or rather litle more than a “Pious superstition”


Maybe they were “Agnus Dei” sacramentals. That would explain the little cloth bags?


**Whatever they where, did or said, such behaviour is not that of a Christian. A real Christian – no matter which Christian denomination - does, thinks, speaks and lives in concordance with the Holy Bible as he always knows, all his life is achieved in the face of God. Every minute of it.

Simply remember Pope Benedict XXIII. praying in a Synagog or a mosque – which both he did in a very honorable way and very Christian way in loving our next.

Our next are atheists as well as members of other religions. Simply every living human being.

Christians of any denomination, wearing signs of defence or rejection, don’t know a thing about Jesus’ word
in John 13:34 "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.“

No Christian would ever think this applies just for and among Christians! No – it is valid for everyone on earth and must be kept in order to be a Christian.

Can you imagine the Pope wearing some talisman against “whatever” in a mosque. Absurd.**


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