Many times my “Non-Catholic” friends have asked me down through the years, “Why do you Catholics wear medals around your necks”? I often explain in the following way. Medals carried or worn for devotion have a long history in our Church. Christians in the early church struck medals to remember particular saints or stories from the life of Christ. One example from the second century found in the catacombs bears the portraits of Sts. Peter and Paul.
In the Middle Ages, the use of medals largely waned in popularity. By the 12th. century, the practice of casting tokens in metal grew up around pilgrimage sites, with the medals serving as souvenirs and reminders of devotion. The popularity of medals began to grow during the Renaissance but did not reach widespread use until the post-Reformation period. The practice of striking papal jubilee medals began as early as 1475, which helped popularize the idea, as the special medals made their way all around the world.
Many Catholics and some non-Catholics today wear medals. It is practice to have your medals blessed by a Priest or Deacon and then it becomes a Sacramental object to be respected. Sacramental objects can help draw grace through our prayers to Our Blessed Mother, and the saints. Next week we will discuss the most popular medal, “The Miraculous Medal of Our Lady”.
God Bless and have a terrific week!
Deacon George +