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Chapter 22. Sacramentals and Popular Devotions • 295

matter how mighty and powerful, all things, even mountains and oceans

come to an end. I gave my life to extol the beauty of the Family Rosary.”


Fr. Peyton’s fervor in promoting the praying of the Rosary to

strengthen family life remains an inspiring context for considering pop-

ular devotion and sacramentals. This dimension of Church life has

proven to be a perennial source for discovering and relating God’s

active presence and for applying it to the details of daily Christian life.


Sacramentals are sacred signs instituted by the Church.

They are sacred signs that bear a resemblance to the


—CCC, no. 1667

Sacramentals dispose believers to receive the chief effects of the

Sacraments. They are sacred signs that resemble the Sacraments in the

sense that they signify spiritual effects that are obtained through the

intercession of the Church. Sacramentals include blessings, actions such

as processions, prayers such as the Rosary, and objects such as holy

water, palms, ashes, candles, and medals.

The Church instituted sacramentals to sanctify certain ministries,

states of life, and the variety of situations in which Christians are

involved. Their use has been guided by bishops’ pastoral decisions in

responding to specific needs that are particular to a given period of his-

tory or locality. They include a prayer, usually with a gesture such as the

Sign of the Cross or the sprinkling of holy water.

14 Quoted by Holy Cross Family Ministries,