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If You Have Something Blessed By The Pope


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#1 IgnatiusofLoyola Posted 12 May 2010 - 12:38 PM

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This issue came up yesterday when HCF was talking about her trip to Rome.

Since several posters are making rosaries to sell to pay their debts so they can enter the convent, I (kiddingly) suggested that they should give their rosaries to HCF to bring to Rome and have them blessed by the Pope at her audience with him. I'm sure people would pay more for a rosary blessed by the Pope?

But, then the question came up of whether a blessed object loses its "blessedness" if it is sold. If this is the case, a lot of people on the Internet are being fraudulent when they sell "blessed" objects. (Or, maybe not, since they only claim that the object is blessed now--they don't claim that its blessedness will continue.)

So, what's the story on rosaries and other things blessed by the Pope?

#2 MIkolbe Posted 12 May 2010 - 12:45 PM

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My aunt purchased a Rosary, when she was in Rome, at the Vatican (I believe it was at the Vatican) blessed by Pope John Paul II.

Here is a site as well:

http://www.vaticangiftstores.com/

#3 IgnatiusofLoyola Posted 12 May 2010 - 12:52 PM

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My aunt purchased a Rosary, when she was in Rome, at the Vatican (I believe it was at the Vatican) blessed by Pope John Paul II.

Here is a site as well:

http://www.vaticangiftstores.com/


So, do we infer from this that the Rosary kept its blessedness? Otherwise, we'd have to infer that the Vatican is perpetrating a massive fraud, and we don't want to do that. Or, does the Vatican gift store have a monopoly on blessed objects?

I can't believe there isn't a ruling on this handed down by some council or other in the middle ages.

#4 laetitia crucis Posted 12 May 2010 - 12:56 PM

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In one of the convents I've visited (which had a gift shop), one of the Sisters told me they couldn't sell items that were already blessed. Instead, those items are "sold" just by donations -- non-specifically-priced donations.


So... when making my own rosaries to sell, I don't have them blessed.

:idontknow:

#5 laetitia crucis Posted 12 May 2010 - 12:57 PM

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My aunt purchased a Rosary, when she was in Rome, at the Vatican (I believe it was at the Vatican) blessed by Pope John Paul II.

Here is a site as well:

http://www.vaticangiftstores.com/


Hmmmmmm... after seeing this, then maybe it really is okay to sell blessed rosaries!

I'd totally rather sell blessed rosaries instead of unblessed -- this saves people the trouble of having to get them blessed themselves. :)

Edited by laetitia crucis, 12 May 2010 - 12:58 PM.


#6 IgnatiusofLoyola Posted 12 May 2010 - 01:08 PM

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Hmmmmmm... after seeing this, then maybe it really is okay to sell blessed rosaries!

I'd totally rather sell blessed rosaries instead of unblessed -- this saves people the trouble of having to get them blessed themselves. Posted Image


As I said to HCF last night, maybe one way around this would be to give them to people with a "suggested" donation.

BTW--HCF NEVER volunteered to bring any rosaries to Rome!!!!!! This was my "bright" idea. I have a feeling she has other things to carry in her suitcase besides rosaries. But then, maybe she can be bribed (or blackmailed--I don't know her well enough to know if she has a "past"--but I doubt it.)

Also, I looked at the Vatican Web site, and if you send mementoes to them, they will have them blessed for you for a fee. Cheaper than the airfare to Rome.

But, it still sounds like there is some controversy about this. For all we know, the Vatican is the only one allowed to sell blessed rosaries. They are their own country, so they could qualify the gift shop as a nonprofit that couldn't sell anything, only take donations.

Edited by IgnatiusofLoyola, 12 May 2010 - 01:19 PM.


#7 Winchester Posted 12 May 2010 - 01:08 PM

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I believe blessings are warranted only to the original owner, but with a good maintenance record, you can sometimes still benefit.

#8 Marie-Therese Posted 12 May 2010 - 01:21 PM

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An item, once blessed, cannot be sold, insofar as it would retain the blessing. However, an item can be purchased via a "donation" so that the item isn't being purchased, per se. You make a donation, and receive a blessed item (i.e. rosary) in return. I believe, in the case of the Vatican gift shop, that once you order an item, it is then taken to the Holy Father to be blessed. Hence, you have paid for the object and already own it, so he may bless it. You didn't purchase a "pre-blessed" item, so to speak. :)

The Church's position is that if you sell an item which has been blessed, the object loses its blessing and must be blessed again by the new purchaser's clergy. Blessings cannot be sold.

ETA: I looked at the Vatican Gift shop (www.vaticangift.com) and here is what they said:

On request our Rosaries and Religious Gifts may be Blessed after purchase
by His Holiness Benedict XVI during the General Audience.


Edited by Marie-Therese, 12 May 2010 - 01:33 PM.


#9 Archaeology cat Posted 12 May 2010 - 01:30 PM

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An item, once blessed, cannot be sold, insofar as it would retain the blessing. However, an item can be purchased via a "donation" so that the item isn't being purchased, per se. You make a donation, and receive a blessed item (i.e. rosary) in return. I believe, in the case of the Vatican gift shop, that once you order an item, it is then taken to the Holy Father to be blessed. Hence, you have paid for the object and already own it, so he may bless it. You didn't purchase a "pre-blessed" item, so to speak. :)

That's what I thought. Been a long time since I've been to the Vatican, and I wasn't Catholic then, but I seem to remember there being a sign saying that if you wanted an item blessed, to let them know at the till, and then you'd pick it up again a day or two later. I think. Again, could be wrong.

#10 Piccoli Fiori JMJ Posted 12 May 2010 - 01:34 PM

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ETA: Nevermind, don't listen to me... Marie-Therese hit it on the nose...

You can sell the object, but never a blessing. That was the problem for Luther back in the day. I have given things that were blessed by others (including the Pope) to others. The blessing remains.

So, you can sell blessed items, but you must never charge for the actual blessing itself. Donations are usually what is asked for blessed items anyways.

Edited by FutureNunJMJ, 12 May 2010 - 01:36 PM.


#11 IgnatiusofLoyola Posted 12 May 2010 - 01:35 PM

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An item, once blessed, cannot be sold, insofar as it would retain the blessing. However, an item can be purchased via a "donation" so that the item isn't being purchased, per se. You make a donation, and receive a blessed item (i.e. rosary) in return. I believe, in the case of the Vatican gift shop, that once you order an item, it is then taken to the Holy Father to be blessed. Hence, you have paid for the object and already own it, so he may bless it. You didn't purchase a "pre-blessed" item, so to speak. Posted Image

The Church's position is that if you sell an item which has been blessed, the object loses its blessing and must be blessed again by the new purchaser's clergy. Blessings cannot be sold.


Thanks for the clarification M-T. Sounds like my fundraising idea is a bust. But, since HCF never offered to bring the rosaries to Rome, it was a bust anyway, with or without the ruling.

L-C--Depending on your entrance date, maybe you have enough time to sell the rosaries at an extra cost (because they will be blessed, and to cover shipping costs to the Vatican, and because it is for a good cause), and then take all the rosaries you've sold and send them to Rome to be blessed. It wouldn't surprise me if this process took awhile though, so now you can't enter until February. Yay! (I'm such a bad person. I want you to enter and be happy, but we'll miss you SO much. Could you consider it a charitable act to put off your entrance date for the good of Phatmass? Posted Image )

Edited by IgnatiusofLoyola, 12 May 2010 - 01:52 PM.


#12 Vincent Vega Posted 12 May 2010 - 01:36 PM

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Sometimes people will sell things like blessed rosaries or whatever in a case or something, and say that it's the case you're paying for and that the rosary just comes with it.
The sale of blessings (and sacraments, positions in the hierarchy, etc.) is known as simony, for the record.

#13 laetitia crucis Posted 12 May 2010 - 01:36 PM

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An item, once blessed, cannot be sold, insofar as it would retain the blessing. However, an item can be purchased via a "donation" so that the item isn't being purchased, per se. You make a donation, and receive a blessed item (i.e. rosary) in return. I believe, in the case of the Vatican gift shop, that once you order an item, it is then taken to the Holy Father to be blessed. Hence, you have paid for the object and already own it, so he may bless it. You didn't purchase a "pre-blessed" item, so to speak. :)

The Church's position is that if you sell an item which has been blessed, the object loses its blessing and must be blessed again by the new purchaser's clergy. Blessings cannot be sold.

ETA: I looked at the Vatican Gift shop (www.vaticangift.com) and here is what they said:


Thank you for the clarification, MT! :yahoo:

#14 IgnatiusofLoyola Posted 12 May 2010 - 01:46 PM

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Sometimes people will sell things like blessed rosaries or whatever in a case or something, and say that it's the case you're paying for and that the rosary just comes with it.
The sale of blessings (and sacraments, positions in the hierarchy, etc.) is known as simony, for the record.


<sigh> This is why I could never take up a life of crime--I'd make stupid mistakes like this. I guess my scheme of selling indulgences isn't going to work, either.

The truth is, I could never take up a life of crime because I have such a highly developed sense of guilt that you'd think I was born Catholic. One of my godparents was my Catholic aunt--a very pious convert. I don't remember her ever getting me away from my parents and having me secretly baptized Catholic---but you never know. I stayed at her house for two weeks when my sister was born. However, since I'd already been baptized Episcopalian, I don't think the secret Catholic baptism would have "taken" anyway, since the Catholics recognize baptisms in other faiths as valid.

Edited by IgnatiusofLoyola, 12 May 2010 - 01:47 PM.


#15 Bennn Posted 12 May 2010 - 01:58 PM

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I've always thought it was a sin to sell blessed objects.

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#16 IgnatiusofLoyola Posted 12 May 2010 - 02:35 PM

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I've always thought it was a sin to sell blessed objects.

Pax Domini,
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Yep, our researches have shown that that is the case--they agree with each other and with you!

#17 Slappo Posted 12 May 2010 - 02:38 PM

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I've always thought it was a sin to sell blessed objects.

Pax Domini,
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It is... :mellow:

I understand the whole "buy our rosary and if you'd like we'll take it to the pope afterwards to get blessed" as that is nothing different then sending it with a friend of yours. The website that was posted though specifically shows rosaries blessed by JPII and it shows them as more expensive b/c they are more rare. To me that is simony and not a good idea.

#18 IgnatiusofLoyola Posted 12 May 2010 - 02:45 PM

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I understand the whole "buy our rosary and if you'd like we'll take it to the pope afterwards to get blessed" as that is nothing different then sending it with a friend of yours. The website that was posted though specifically shows rosaries blessed by JPII and it shows them as more expensive b/c they are more rare. To me that is simony and not a good idea.


Excellent catch, Slappo!!!! I did see on the Vatican Web site that they were selling rosaries blessed by JPII. Hmm.....

Well, I'll give them the benefit of the doubt, that, since the Vatican is its own separate country, that the Vatican store has a dispensation that the payments for these rosaries are only donations, not that you're "buying" them. But, you've got me curious--I'm going to check the Web site again. It seems strange that the Vatican wouldn't follow its own rules. But, until I hear for sure otherwise, I'll assume that some special rule applies, and these rosaries are "kosher." (If that isn't mixing metaphors too much!)

Addendum: I just checked the Vatican site and it says that the JPII rosaries come in an attractive box. Do you think that, if pressed, the store will say that you are buying the box and not the rosary? I guess, in a pinch, they could get by on that technicality. Except, the selling point of the rosaries (and their higher price) is the fact they were blessed by JPII. And, ALL of the rosaries sold on the Web site come in a gift box--not only those blessed by JPII.

I don't want to think that the Vatican is doing anything against the rules, so I am going to continue to assume that there is a special dispensation of some kind that I don't know about.

Question: Is it "simony" if there are no promises actually attached to the blessing by the Pope? The Web site certainly never claims that prayers made on any of the blessed rosaries will be any more effective than those made on any other rosary.

This turned out to be a more interesting topic than I expected.

Edited by IgnatiusofLoyola, 12 May 2010 - 02:56 PM.


#19 Marie-Therese Posted 12 May 2010 - 03:11 PM

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Well, the site that Jason posted (www.vaticangiftstores.com) is not the official gift shop of the Vatican. I became suspicious when I saw those rosaries blessed by JPII. To sell such an item would be simony, imho.

The site which is affiliated with the Vatican is www.vaticangift.com They are the ones which state that they will have your religious objects blessed after you buy them, which is in perfect accord with Church teaching.

That other website, while they have some beautiful stuff, also state that they charge a fee to take your items to be blessed, which seems to me to be questionable. They do not get a private audience with His Holiness, what happens is that the items are taken in bulk to the Papal General Audience. The Apostolic Blessing given at the Audience is specifically stated to apply to any religious items brought to the Audience for the specific purpose of having the Pope bless it. So, to charge 50 Euros to have someone literally walk into the Papal Audience (which is a free event, btw) and hold the rosary out while the Pope pronounces a general blessing seems kind of shady to me.

Of course, that is only my opinion, as I said.

Edited by Marie-Therese, 12 May 2010 - 03:12 PM.


#20 IgnatiusofLoyola Posted 12 May 2010 - 03:16 PM

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Well, the site that Jason posted (www.vaticangiftstores.com) is not the official gift shop of the Vatican. I became suspicious when I saw those rosaries blessed by JPII. To sell such an item would be simony, imho.

The site which is affiliated with the Vatican is www.vaticangift.com They are the ones which state that they will have your religious objects blessed after you buy them, which is in perfect accord with Church teaching.

That other website, while they have some beautiful stuff, also state that they charge a fee to take your items to be blessed, which seems to me to be questionable. They do not get a private audience with His Holiness, what happens is that the items are taken in bulk to the Papal General Audience. The Apostolic Blessing given at the Audience is specifically stated to apply to any religious items brought to the Audience for the specific purpose of having the Pope bless it. So, to charge 50 Euros to have someone literally walk into the Papal Audience (which is a free event, btw) and hold the rosary out while the Pope pronounces a general blessing seems kind of shady to me.

Of course, that is only my opinion, as I said.


Ah, the plot gets thicker. Thanks so much for the new information. I'm going to check out the new Web site. I refuse to believe that the Vatican would do something so obviously "hinky," so I figured I was missing some important information.




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