Challenge Grant: Our Boosters will match donations up to $45,000. We have $41,010 to go. Please donate!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

MEDALS

Coin-shaped metal disks bearing the image of Christ, Mary, or some saint, some shrine, or sacred event. They are blessed by the Church and are used to increase devotion. The use of medals is very ancient; many have been found in the catacombs, some with the chi-rho symbol. During the Middle Ages the pilgrims, on leaving a place of pilgrimage, were given medal tokens of the shrine. And today pilgrims to Rome, Lourdes, and elsewhere purchase medals that commemorate their visit. The efficacy of a metal depends on the faith of the person who wears or carries it, and on the Church's indulgenced blessing attached to this sacred object. There are innumerable medals approved by the Church. Among the most commonly used are the scapular and miraculous medals in honor of the Blessed Virgin.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Cardinal Kasper's nose is growing again October 18
Challenge Grant Begins as Synod Ends October 17
What's wrong with this Synod, IV: Unprepared for marriage October 17
No, mainstream religious orders aren't attracting vocations as fast as younger traditional orders October 17
The Synod: Is the sky falling? October 17

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
Cardinal Parolin: UN must protect innocents from Islamic State CWN - September 30
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6