Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  330 / 665 Next Page
Show Menu
Previous Page 330 / 665 Next Page
Page Background

302 • Part II. The Sacraments: The Faith Celebrated


• Sacramentals are sacred signs instituted by the Church. “These are

sacred signs which bear resemblance to the sacraments. They signify

effects, particularly of a spiritual nature, which are obtained through

the intercession of the Church” (CCC, no. 1667, citing SC, no. 60).

• Among the sacramentals, blessings hold a major place. There are

blessings for persons, meals, objects, places and ceremonial occa-

sions such as graduations, testimonial honors, welcomes, and fare-

well. All blessings praise God for his gifts. Most blessings invoke

the Holy Trinity as expressed in the Sign of the Cross, sometimes

accompanied by the sprinkling of holy water.

• “Exorcism is directed at the expulsion of demons or to the libera-

tion from demonic possession through the spiritual authority which

Jesus entrusted to his Church” (CCC, no. 1673).

• “Expressions of piety extend the liturgical life of the Church, but

do not replace it. They ‘should be so drawn up that they harmo-

nize with the liturgical seasons, accord with the sacred liturgy, are

in some way derived from it and lead the people to it, since in fact

the liturgy by its very nature is far superior to any of them’” (CCC,

no. 1675, citing SC, no. 13 §3).


A number of historical circumstances also make a revival of the

Rosary quite timely. First of all, the need to implore from God

the gift of peace. The Rosary has many times been proposed

by my predecessors and myself as a prayer for peace. At the

start of a millennium which began with the terrifying attacks

of September 11, 2001, a millennium which witnesses every day

in numerous parts of the world fresh scenes of bloodshed and

violence, to rediscover the Rosary means to immerse oneself

in contemplation of the mystery of Christ who “is our peace,”

since he made “the two of us one, and broke down the dividing

wall of hostility” (Eph 2:14). Consequently, one cannot recite