Tattoos and Catholicism


This may be a stupid question, but gets it goes.

I’ve gone through a lot in my life. The worst was when I lost 4 family members, including my dad, within months of either.

I have had many health issues, mental as well as physical. Recently I was forced to have a hysterectomy because my female issues were so bad.

I nearly lost my dog whose both what I call my “furkid” and my medical service animal. By the grace of God she got better.

I say by the grace of God, cause I honestly believe her health improving when it was so dire was God. Everyday I make it through I believe is a day God helped me through.

I was thinking of getting a small tattoo on my wrist as a reminder of my struggles, and that God wants me to always keep fighting. Something to remind me that I can over come. And honor my loved ones and my love of animals.

I was thinking of having the chorus to the song “Carry on my wayward son, there’ll be peace when you are done” written on the shape of a rosary, with a cross at the bottom and two gold roses on either side to represent the golden flowers St. Bernadette saw on our lady’s feet, then inside the rosary shaped lyrics, a paw print for my love of animals, and inside that AKF for always keep fighting.

But then I heard you can’t get a tattoo if you’re catholic.


Perhaps you can tell us where you heard this.


A friend of mine said she read it on a catholic website, and she asked her grandmother who said tattoos are “the Mark of the beast” no matter the meaning. They mutilate the skin which goes directly against the bible’s laws on self mutilating or something along those effects.

And I don’t want to do anything the church teaches against


My understanding is that it’s not encouraged by the Church but at the same time it’s not a sin to get one.

I contemplated getting one myself however after praying on it, I came to realise I was doing it for the wrong reasons.

God bless you and continue to give you strength.


That is definitely not accurate, the mark of the beast will not be voluntary, tattoos are. Plus if they were truly the mark of the beast, you could not physically get a tattoo that gives glory to God in anyway.


So there is no dogma about tattoos?

More than likely I’ll chicken out being afraid of pain… But deep down I feel seeing that when I wake up, or when it catches my eye, will remind me to keep praying and keep fighting through the hard times with faith.


The Church has no teaching against tattoos.


There are literally dozens on threads on this topic.
Use the search function, but I will tell you…there are as many opinions as there are posters.


I did use the search and got some weird word game where tattoo was used… And a bunch of other unrelated topics that mentioned the word tattoo that went on for pages.


This came up pretty quick

Is this what you’re after?



There’s no dogma on about 99.9% of stuff people ask about on here.


My 2 cents: Put that much thought and effort into helping others in similar situations. Make your life a prayer of thanksgiving. People will notice that.


My daughter & her husband have tattoos. The only objection I have to them is artistic - I think plain skin looks better.

Maybe a St. Francis medal would be appropriate? You could put one on your “furbaby’s” collar & wear one yourself on a chain or pin.


It isn’t about the pets. It’s about my struggles, my losses, my overcoming through faith. And it isn’t for others, it’s for me. It’s not about art or feeling more attractive as some people get tattoos want to feel. It’s a personal representation of a spiritual Mark on my soul left by God. To keep me pushing forward… Reminding me whenever I look at it… What I’ve overcome, and how


Originally Posted by Drea_Mea View Post
But then I heard you can’t get a tattoo if you’re catholic.

I think it stems from Leviticus 19:28

Keep My Decrees
26 Ye shall not eat any thing with the blood: neither shall ye use enchantment, nor observe times.
27 Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard. **
28 Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.**


Is it possible that you could wear a scapular instead and
remember all you have overcome each time you look at it?
Just a thought :slight_smile:


There is no Catholic teaching that forbids tattooing.

It is frowned upon in the Jewish faith, can’t remember why.


I was taught that tattoos are forbidden, because Man is made in G_d’s image, and it is therefore sacrilegious to defile the body with a tattoo. To the best of my knowledge, this is NOT from the Catechism.


The closest provision in the Catechism that might arguably ( I personally don’t think so) cover tattoos is:

“Except when performed for strictly therapeutic medical reasons, directly intended amputations, mutilations, and *sterilizations *performed on innocent persons are against the moral law.”

One would have to define “mutilations”.

Here is a very good article on the topic:

The best quote from it IMO:

[FONT=Sabon-Roman][size=2][LEFT]Body art as a form of adornment that
is ordered to the ultimate good of the person
and to humanity, if it observes modesty
and avoids vanity, and if it
respects the fundamental integrity
of the human person — including
the integrity of the body — that
kind of body art can be morally
permissible. But this is quite distinct
from personal mutilation
that many of today’s extreme tattoos[/LEFT]
and piercings entail.


That’s the thing… Defining mutilations… Cause Catholics still practice circumcisions on infants… That would be considered mutilation on an innocent by some… So what is mutilation defined as.

I dunno. Even a priest couldn’t answer this. So I don’t know. Maybe I can have an artist make me a bunch of temporaries in the style I want, wear it and see if I want to make it permanent or forego it. As it is, 9 out of 10, I’d back out. I don’t like pain.

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