Religious Jewelry on Men

Growing up Italian American and Catholic, I was given my first Religious jewelry in the womb. So my son-in-law, wears a very large 14K Solid Cuban link chain with a huge Solid 14k Crucifix. I must say that it actually looks good on him. I’d never wear it, and I know my wife would never let me nor my sons wear it. Anyways we got to talking how the Crucifix and Rosaries, have become such fashion statements, instead of expressing your spirituality so to speak. He’s Puerto Rican and was telling me how in Latin culture, many men express their masculinity with large gold religious jewelry. He’s a history buff and goes on about flashy Catholic men started with the Spaniards expressing their masculinity. And how Irish Catholic men tend to wear larger chains with those Celtic related large Crucifixes/ clover medallions, due to the Spanish influence on Irish Catholicism.
he starts saying how Italian men and other Eastern European men tend to wear smaller jewelry, which makes us look trashy. I always wear my gold Cornicello/manos combo. Iguess, according to my son-in-law, white men make Christian jewelry look tacky. He’s the one whom started this whole conversation about people using religion as a fashion statement. I havent worn my crucifix in years, just because I don’t see Christ nor do I attend mass anymore. This kid never even got his communion.This kid has no idea what growing up strict Catholic is about, the responsibilities and structure us old school Catholics learned from such an early age. I was an Alter boy from age 10-12, got myself to every mass even in those lovely Chicago winters. Funny enough, I coincidentally got beat up by some Latino kids for riding my bike down the wrong block once, I was wearing my St Christopher during that too; thanks St Chrissy, you really provided safe travels for me.aha Also I can recite those masses better than reciting the alphabet. I honestly don’t regret any of it and feel fortunate to of had that early structure in my life. The Catholic Church seems to have such a bad reputation in Christianity as a whole, but for those of us that really grew up as die hard Catholic kids, it’s hard for me to not have faith; Anyways, away from me getting way off topic and ranting, what are your opinions on religious jewelry, particularly Christian/Catholic type of stuff?

1 Like
  1. If someone is going to wear it openly, then that someone better live up to it. Obviously if a man is wearing a cross but he doesn’t go to church and he’s swearing and fornicating all over the place then the cross is kind of meaningless on him. I might assume it was a gift from his devout grandma and say a prayer that Jesus actually brings him back into line with the faith some day.

  2. I am not Puerto Rican or anything close to it, and I think the size of those huge gold blingy crosses looks pretty ridiculous when they get past about 3 or 4 inches. Also if they are wearing them as a “show of masculinity” that’s obviously the wrong reason to wear a cross.

  3. You should go back to Mass, Christ would like to see you again, it sounds like you guys were good friends when you were a kid and you have fond memories of that.

P.S. I’m mostly Irish-American and have yet to see any Irish guy wearing big jewelry. Some of them wear a saint medal or a reasonably sized Celtic cross.

P.P.S. Edited to add, what kind of son-in-law tells his father-in-law that men of his ethnicity wear jewelry that looks “trashy”?
It sounds like Meathead on the old Archie Bunker show…

5 Likes

I say, to each his own. We do entirely too much judging of folks based on their looks and what they wear.

That said, it may be a sacrilege to wear religious jewelry while openly sinning and doing things that clearly go against one’s religious teachings. It may also be a sacrilege to flaunt religious jewelry or attire simply as a fashion statement, or to express masculinity, with no heartfelt devotion behind it.

But, that’s the business of the person who wears it for the wrong reasons, and really none of our business. It’s between the wearer and God. We need to be concerned about our own choices and how we live our own lives.

I say, MYOB.

1 Like

Ya know, I was so confused as to what he was saying, that I didn’t say anything regarding Irish men and jewelry. My neighborhood was predominantly Italian and Polish with some Irish families. I don’t remember any of them wearing a fist sized Celtic medallion at all. I recall most of us Catholic boys, regardless of ethnic origin, wore some type of crucifix or Saint. I remember an Irish kid wearing that a small Celtic shaped cross, those St Thaddeus pendants with a small gold eagle were popular with the Polish boys and of course I still wear my St Anthony/Cornicello/Mano combo. Had it since I was born in 1956.lol I never wore my cross, it’s too heavy and my ma would’ve killed me if I lost it.aha Ya know, I’m my era in a city like Chicago, I really only knew white guys until college. We stayed out of their neighborhood, they stayed out of ours, my father always taught real Christ like love. I thank my parents and the Catholic Church for my upbringing, I was the only kid to leave for college if I remember correctly.

150% agreed!!! I recently told a woman to stay out of my business, when I face my creator it will be just us. Why do you care if we disagree on religion? Everyone has disagreements, if we all were forced to practice one religion, it’d be 1940s Germany or certain current Middle Eastern countries. I am spiritual and respect others beliefs as long as they’re not hurting others. My son is gay and happily married, so I’m happy and support him. My youngest daughter is a Transwoman and now living authentic to herself which makes me happy. My oldest daughter is successful and has a great young family, Her husband treats her well and provides too. Though he’s a jackass, and automatically thinks I’m a racist whiteguy, just because I’m a middle aged Italian American, whom grew up in a Bronx tale era Chicago and have never said anything racist except ethnic jokes which piss him off.lol I approve of the dipshit.aha

1 Like

Ahaha the Archie Bunker Polack, Bohunk, Guinea jokes bring me back to my old neighborhood!ahaha Our neighborhood was full of names that outsiders couldn’t pronounce, that’s what every woman gets when she marries a Polish or Italian man, something long and/or hard…her new lastname.aha Honestly I could get angry about him calling me tacky, but I never know what this guy is thinking. One minute he acts all conservative religious old school Catholic, then next he’s the ultra liberal mad at me for being a tacky old white man, and he automatically assumes I’m a trump supporter, when I’ve never said anything remotely political to him, because I fear of losing brain cells. When I first met him, he’d always ask how I felt about my people always being the ignorant, violent and racist villain in the movies. My reply was, well how did you feel about how your people were perceived in Scarface? I knew that he was Puerto Rican and not Cuban, but I didn’t realize that he was mad for like a month about that.ahaha like I said, my daughter sees something in him, so as long as he treats her right, I’m happy

Salvincenza, I am about the same age as you are. Irish-Italian. Neither side of my family wore giant crucifixes. I think your son-in-law may be speaking about his experience, but that is all it is. I think it is “his age“ that wears religious jewelry as a fashion statement, not ours. I think he should have just kept his opinion to himself and not accused anyone of being trashy.

Gotta tell you though, my first thought was the same as Tis_Bearself: come home. God has been patiently waiting for you. He misses you because he never stopped loving you.

Yeah, so he thinks the smaller ones make look trashy?

I know guys like this.
I will be cheeky and say It’s not how big it is but how you use it;)

What people wear in general, I try take no thought of. Only think with curiosity or with “positive vibes”.
Quirky fashion, big makeup, purple hair, hipster style, rapper style etc etc…I don’t care.
People have their own personalities & we don’t know each other’s hearts so “each to their own” in my view.

Tbh though, I don’t really like the “flashy” mentality mixed in with religion.
Perhaps wearing religious jewellery in this ways becomes “I’m a proud Catholic” as in identity but I don’t know how much this relates to spirituality?
I wish people would just wear flashy general jewellery if that’s what they like, but leave religious jewellery something simple to be symbolic of the character of person they are following/worshipping (Christ).
A nice plain gold or silver chain on its own can express masculinity. I guess men feel limited in masculine Jewellery styles in general.

We also were raised with things like put St Christopher medallion in car to protect etc, but even with this I wonder if there can become like an element of superstition if not looked at it in the right way?
The saying being “trust in St Christopher and won’t die in an accident” but is this always true?

It can certainly be superstitious, especially if the person never actually prays to St. Christopher or practices their faith but just hangs this medal in the car and forgets about it.
I myself pray to St. Christopher, St. Frances of Rome, Our Lady of the Highway, Guardian Angel etc all the time but I know if God wills me to die in an accident it’ll happen anyway.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 14 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.