Seven Sacraments| Sacramentals


There are seven sacraments. They were instituted by Christ and given to the Church to administer. They are necessary for salvation. The sacraments are the vehicles of grace which they convey. They are validly administered by the carrying out of the sign with the proper intention. Not all are equally qualified to administer all the sacraments. The validity of the sacrament is independent of the worthiness of the minister. Three sacraments imprint an indelible character.

Sacramentals are instituted by the Church and are effective by virtue of the Church's intercession. Institution and alteration of them is reserved to the Holy See.


     I.  BAPTISM


We must understand that medals, scapulars, holy water and any other type of sacramentals are not amulets for our protection.  They are consecrated objects that indeed help when the wearer has faith and tries to live a life of virtue.

Miraculous Medal| St. Benedict's Medal| Green Scapular| Brown Scapular| Holy Water


The Miraculous Medal came about as a result of an apparition of Our Lady on November 27, 1830. It came through a humble novice, Sister Catherine Laboure, in the course of a vision in which Our Lady appeared to her and asked her to have a medal made. On the front of the medal, was to be a representation of herself as she appeared to the Sister on this day. The back was to carry, among other things, a picture of two hearts, the Sacred Heart with a crown of thorns around it and the Heart of Mary pierced by a sword.

Here is a description of the main features of the vision, reported in the Sister's own words:

' Her feet rested on..a half-ball. There was also a serpent of greenish colour with yellow splotches. Her hands, a gesture of offering to God, held a ball of gold surmounted by a small cross of gold, that represented the globe.'

'She said, 'Have a medal struck according to this model. All who wear it shall receive great graces, if they wear it around their neck.'


The origin of the medal of St. Benedict is very ancient. It was certainly suggested by the efficacious use that the patriarch made of the sign of the cross against the assaults of the Demon narrated by St. Gregorio. Benedict XIV established the design of this medal. On one side it carries the image of St.Benedict holding a cross in his hand; on the other side there is a larger cross with Latin initials. Due to the fact that the cross represented here is an essential element of this medal, it is called the Medal - Crucifix of St.Benedict. On the back there is the effigy of the Saint, holding the cross in his right hand and the Rules in his left hand; on his right there is a cup from which a serpent is escaping (a recollection of the poisoned wine which he miraculously escaped); on the left we have a crow taking away the poisoned bread. Underneath we can read the words: "EX S.M. CASINO MDCCCLXXXX" (From the Holy Mount Cassino 1880). On the two sides "CRUX SANCTI PATRIS BENEDICTI" (Cross of Holy Father Benedict). Around the image: "EIUS IN OBITU NOSTRO PRAESENTIA MUNIAMUR" (He defends us in our death with his presence). On the front of the Medal, a Cross is represented which carries several inscription in the arms, the explanations of which follow:

C.S.P.B.: CRUX SANCTI PATRIS BENEDICTI The cross of Holy Father Benedict C.S.S.M.L.: CRUX SACRA SIT MIHI LUX May the Holy Cross be my light N.D.S.M.D.: NON DRACO SIT MIHI DUX Let the devil not be my leader V.R.S.: VADE RETRO SATANA Get behind me satan N.S.M.V.: Non suade mihi vana S.M.Q.L.: SUNT MALA QUAE LIBAS What you are showing me is bad I.V.B.: IPSE VENEA BIBAS Drink your poisons yourself

"PAX" is written under the Cross: the motto Of the Congregation of Cassino and the of the entire Benedictine Order.

The three internal eulogistic rhyming couplets are part of a very ancient series dating back at least to the XIV century which is accompanied by the figure of a monk with the cross driving away temptation. They express well the confidence which the faithful had in the defence of St. Benedict against the spiritual and material dangers the devil could procure. Some scholars have affirmed that with the exception of the one of the Most Holy Virgin, there is no other more widely diffuse Medal than that of St Benedict. The numerous indulgences which the Holy See has enriched it with, witness its singular prize and together contribute to making it the most dear and precious one to the Christian people.

An unconditional indulgence is accorded at the time of death to all those who wear, kiss or hold the Medal between the hands with veneration, on the following conditions: 1) they commend their souls to God 2) they confess or receive Holy Communion or if this in not possible invoke the Holy Name of Jesus with feelings of contrition, (or with the heart if one cannot speak).

A partial indulgence is accorded to all those who wear, kiss or hold the Medal between the hands with veneration.

Other indulgences have been conceded in the past to the Medal of St. Benedict.

The Medal of St. Benedict is used for all spiritual and temporal needs on condition that it is used with a faithful spirit. This medal is efficacious against epidemics, certain special illnesses and against the spells and temptations of the devil. It has been widely diffused throughout the entire world by missionaries. This medal also obtains the conversions of sinners, above all on the point of death. The medal helps women in labour and gives God's protection against the dangers which threaten our lives: it permits a good and Holy death. The medal of St. Benedict is very ancient. Its popularity was born in the XI century following the miraculous healing of a youth, a certain Bruno, who then became a Benedictine monk and later Pope S. Leone IX Benedict is always invoked as the patron of the Good Death. One day he appeared to St. Gertrude, saying: all those who remember me with the dignity which the Lord has honoured and blessed me with, allowing me to have a glorious death, I will faithfully assist at the point of death and will oppose all of the attacks of the enemy in that decisive hour. The soul will be protected by my presence and will remain tranquil, in spite of all of the attacks of the enemy and happily will depart towards eternal joy.


  • The medal-crucifix of St. Benedict must be BLESSED by a priest or by a deacon.
  • St. Benedict's medal is known to receive a blessing from priests so that it can deter the powers of evil as in storms, poisons, pestilence, legions of demons, etc. When you use this medal you call upon the intercession of St. Benedict.
  • It has been the custom to place this medal or the miraculous medal around the house to encircle it with heavenly protection.


Whenever there is someone in the family or a friend who is far away from the faith and you want to do something about it,   our Blessed Mother gave us one means of converting them  when she appeared to Sister Justine Bisqueyburu in 1840 carrying " the cloth of conversion---the Green Scapular".

She said, 'This holy badge of my Immaculate Heart is to be the means of conversion of souls...' Over a six year period our Lady appeared many times to Sister Justine and answered her many questions concerning the scapular and its usage.

Our Lady said the Green Scapular needs no special blessing and it doesn't need enrollment as the brown scapular. It may be blessed by any priest. If the person that we want to benefit from this scapular doesn't agree to carry it, it may be placed somewhere in his room.

Everyday one should say the prayer:


If the person for whom the scapular is intended will not say the prayer then the one who gives the scapular must say it in his or her place, everyday.

Or Lady said," The greatest graces come from using the scapular but these graces come in direct proportion to the degree of confidence in me which the user has."

St. Bridget had that confidence in the Blessed Mother. Because of it Our Lady revealed to her, 'that there is no sinner in the world, however much he or she may be at enmity with God, who does not return to Him and recover His grace, if he or she has recourse to me and asks my assistance.'



To wear the brown scapular is to trust in Our Lady who has great power of intercession before her Son.

Our Lady gave this promise of salvation to all those in the Family of Carmel.

  • One must be enrolled to obtain this promise.
  • A priest is the ordinary who enrolls members into the Scapular Confraternity.

Endorsement by the Church

Pope Paul VI said in 1965: " ...Ever hold in great esteem the practices and exercises of the devotion to the Most Blessed Virgin which have been recommended for centuries by the magisterium of the Church. And among them we judge well to recall especially the Marian rosary and the religious use of the Scapular of Mt. Carmel."

Always pray that you remain steadfast in your love for Jesus. Remember, at the crucifixion all the apostles, except John, abandoned Jesus... John remained at the cross with Mary.

St. Alphonsus: "Just as men take pride in having others wear their livery, so the Most Holy Mary is pleased when her servants wear her scapular as a mark that they have dedicated themselves to her service and are members of the Family of the Mother of God."

The Sabbatine privilege

The blessed Virgin of Mt. Carmel has promised to save those who wear the scapular from the fires of Hell; She will also shorten their stay in Purgatory if they should pass from this world still owing some temporal debt of punishment.

This promise is found in a Bull of Pope John XXII. The Blessed Virgin appeared to him and speaking of those who wear the Brown Scapular said: "I, the Mother of grace, shall descend on the Saturday after their death and whomsoever I shall find in Purgatory, I shall free, so that I may lead them to the holy mountain of life everlasting." The Blessed Virgin assigned certain conditions which must be fulfilled:

  1. Wear the Brown scapular continuously
  2. Observe chastity according to one's state in life. (married / single)
  3. Recite daily the  "Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary." This devotion may be substituted for any of the following:
    • To observe the fasts of the Church.
    • To recite five decades of the Holy Rosary
    • Or with the permission of a priest to do a good work.
Note: There is no substitute for the first two conditions: that is wearing the scapular and observing chastity. Pope Benedict XV, the celebrated World War I Pontiff granted 500 days indulgence for devoutly kissing your scapular.

INDULGENCE: The remission in whole or in part for the temporal punishment due to sins. (Remission of time spent in Purgatory.)


Holy water is used in our baptism and it has great powers to deter devils. The Lord said come to the fountain all of you who are thirsty, and when His heart was pierced there flowed blood and water.

Water is used for washing and for purifying, when it is blessed it works likewise but also in a spiritual manner.

Holy water is a sacramental that remits venial sin. Because of the blessing attached to it, Holy Church strongly urges it's use upon Her children, especially when dangers threaten, such as fire, storms, sickness, discord and other calamities. Every Catholic home should always have a supply of Holy Water. Did we realize now, as we shall after death, the many benefits which may be derived from Holy Water, we would use it far more frequently, and with greater faith and reverence.

Holy Water has its great power and efficacy from the prayers of the Church. Following, are some of the petitions the priest makes to God when he blesses water: "O God... grant that this creature of Thine (water) may be endowed with divine grace to drive away devils and to cast out diseases, that whatever in the houses or possessions of the faithful may be sprinkled by this water, so that health which they seek by calling upon Thy Holy Name may be guarded from all assaults."

The devil hates holy water because of its power over him. He cannot long abide in a place or near a person that is often sprinkled with blessed water.

Holy Water, sprinkled with faith and piety, can move the Sacred Heart to bless your loved ones, present or absent, and protect them from all harm of soul and body. When worry and fear take possession of you, give your dear ones the benefit of the Church's prayer.

Only in Purgatory can one understand how ardently a poor soul longs for Holy Water. If we desire to make a host or intercessors for ourselves, let us never forget them at the Holy Water font. The holy souls nearest to Heaven may need the sprinkling of only one drop to release them.