When you own and operate a jewelry store, you do business with people from all walks of life, and you learn that their reasons for buying, owning, and wearing jewelry are as numerous as the stars in the sky. Nowhere is this more apparent than for those individuals who choose to wear Christian jewelry. For some, religious jewelry is a simple, outward expression of their faith, while for others it’s an intensely personal and private reflection of their beliefs. The variety of inspirational jewelry available can be mind-boggling, particularly for those unfamiliar with the various items worn by members of the Catholic faith.
Religious medals are a staple of Catholic life, as are crucifixes and rosaries. Each has a personal meaning to the individual who owns it, and those who aren’t familiar with these types of religious jewelry may assume it’s a form of idolatry. Nothing could be further from the truth.
A Brief History of Religious Medals
Like so many things in the centuries-old Catholic Church, the use of religious medals was appropriated from pagan practices. Pre-Christian peoples of all social classes wore amulets that they believed would provide protection or bestow supernatural powers to the wearer. The early Catholic Church adopted a similar practice, rooted in Christian belief and without the pagan superstitions. As the Catholic faith continued to develop, pilgrims journeying to sacred sites, such as St. Peter’s in Rome, were often given a medal to mark their pilgrimage. These medals typically contained an inscription designed to encourage further reflection upon the wearer’s faith. By the 1500’s the blessing of religious medals had become standard practice, further cementing their status as sacramental items.
Blessing Religious Jewelry
Catholics who incorporate religious jewelry into their everyday lives are making more than just a fashion statement. Most will choose a religious medal, crucifix, or rosary and seek to have it blessed by their parish priest, deacon, or diocesan bishop. Blessing is a simple matter that takes only seconds to accomplish, and transforms the jewelry into a devotional object – an item that helps the wearer to recall his or her faith or to pray for the intercession of the saint whose image appears on the medal. For Catholic faithful, a blessed medal or other item of jewelry can be a powerful link in prayer to their personal faith.
Different Types of Religious Jewelry
Religious medals are only part of the story when it comes to Catholic jewelry. While some Catholics opt to wear a medallion depicting a saint, others choose to wear a crucifix. Other popular types of religious jewelry include simple crosses, bracelets, rings, and earrings bearing symbols of faith. It’s important to note that even though a rosary is fashioned much the same way as a necklace, it isn’t viewed as jewelry. The same can be said for the ever-popular rosary bracelet, as well.
The Appeal of Great One Divine™
People of all denominations like the contemporary look of the Great One Divine™ design. While the symbol began as the doodle of a student at Mater Dei, a Catholic High School in Evansville, IN, the appeal reaches across all Christian faiths. As an outward symbol of faith, the Great One Divine™ pendant isn’t Catholic or Protestant – it’s all-inclusive, just like God himself. If you’re drawn to the Great One Divine™, then the decision to wear it is completely yours.