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Old Jul 15, 08, 12:05 pm   #1
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Q for Roman Catholics about 'souvenir' holy water

I've been to several RC religious sites where holy water is for sale. I understand holy water is blessed by a priest. I'm curious though if someone can tell me about the water sold as souvenirs. Is the water collected at that site and then blessed? Is it water brought from somewhere else and then blessed at the site? Is there any requirement, for there to be a connection between the water and the site?

Thanks
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Old Aug 5, 08, 12:51 pm   #2
 
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I don't know about requirements, but I was at St. Brigid's Well in Ireland, and met a very nice Dominican father who was collecting water from the spring and blessing it, bottling it, and labeling it (with two helpers). He gave me a bottle when I came by, rather than selling it. I then donated some cash to him for the church (he didn't require that). He was very nice.
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Old Aug 6, 08, 5:58 pm   #3
 
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Originally Posted by l'etoile View Post
I've been to several RC religious sites where holy water is for sale. I understand holy water is blessed by a priest. I'm curious though if someone can tell me about the water sold as souvenirs. Is the water collected at that site and then blessed? Is it water brought from somewhere else and then blessed at the site? Is there any requirement, for there to be a connection between the water and the site?

Thanks
As far as I know, selling anything blessed is a form of simony and is strictly forbidden by the church; not that it probably hasn't been done over the past 2000 years.
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Old Aug 6, 08, 9:51 pm   #4
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As far as I know, selling anything blessed is a form of simony and is strictly forbidden by the church; not that it probably hasn't been done over the past 2000 years.
Interesting. Thanks
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Old Aug 6, 08, 10:49 pm   #5
 
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Church Doesn't Sell Blessings

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Originally Posted by guy44134 View Post
As far as I know, selling anything blessed is a form of simony and is strictly forbidden by the church.
This is quite true, excepting a regrettable German rogue operation that cheesed-off a certain priest named Martin Luther.

That is why the Dominican priest gave away the bottle of holy water to the previous poster.

Many Catholic holy sites, like Fatima, have nearby (and off-property) trinket booths that sell God-knows-what completely unsanctioned and unprofited by the Church. Instead of supporting these lice, pilgrims can buy (unblessed) gift items in the church shop. In Mexico, the government owns the Church's buildings, and the priests are often helpless to stop the sale of images of false saints and superstitious junk from the steps of their own churches.

Also, it is quite acceptable to fill a small (emphasizing small) bottle from the holy water urn in the back of a church and taking it home. We are quite OK with that. (Although personally, I would have preferred not to see the young Japanese tourists splash each other from the giant holy water urn in St. Peter's at the Vatican.)

If the OP is visiting Israel for instance, he or she can always fill a small bottle of water right from the Jordan River and take it home. I am sure any home town priest would be happy to bless said water, thus making holy water from the Holy Land.

Last edited by Bowgie; Aug 7, 08 at 12:31 am. Reason: spelling
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Old Aug 7, 08, 1:31 am   #6
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There is certainly a tradition of being able to buy items at holy places and having them blessed to take home. My mother used to have a fancy glass bottle (purchased in gift shop) that had been filled with water from Lourdes (free, not purchased) and then blessed during a service there. I have a rosary (purchased) that was blessed at a Papal audience (no charge). So the physical items had a price, but the blessings did not.

I would be quite suspicious of anything advertised as already blessed, as the only blessing involved might be of the scam artist's pocket.
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Old Aug 7, 08, 9:34 am   #7
 
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I always liked the classic recipe for holy water: take regular water and boil the h*ll out of it.
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Old Aug 7, 08, 10:19 am   #8
 
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As far as I know, selling anything blessed is a form of simony and is strictly forbidden by the church; not that it probably hasn't been done over the past 2000 years.
Hm, interesting. Never really thought about this. I have family members, who've had e.g. new cars blessed (holy water & the works) - at some point those cars were sold... : ponder:
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Old Aug 7, 08, 12:10 pm   #9
 
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Hm, interesting. Never really thought about this. I have family members, who've had e.g. new cars blessed (holy water & the works) - at some point those cars were sold... : ponder:
The answer is that the blessing is lost when someting is sold.
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Old Aug 10, 08, 12:30 pm   #10
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Originally Posted by Bowgie View Post
If the OP is visiting Israel for instance, he or she can always fill a small bottle of water right from the Jordan River and take it home. I am sure any home town priest would be happy to bless said water, thus making holy water from the Holy Land.
You can buy bottles of "holy water from the River Jordan" in many tourist shops in Israel. "Holy Land Earth" is also available as is "Holy Land Air" (yes, this is an empty can).

To the best of my knowledge, none of these is considered holy by any religious authority -- Christian, Jewish, Islamic, or even Animists.
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Old Aug 19, 08, 8:53 am   #11
 
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Many Catholic holy sites, like Fatima, have nearby (and off-property) trinket booths that sell God-knows-what completely unsanctioned and unprofited by the Church.
At Lourdes, which is famed for it's healing water, the trinket booths don't sell the water itself, but they sell the most hideous water containers ever. Like plastic milk jugs in the shape of the virgin, with a couple of dabs of paint for eyes and lips. Very tacky.
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Old Sep 28, 08, 8:19 pm   #12
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I always liked the classic recipe for holy water: take regular water and boil the h*ll out of it.
Perhaps that explains what I was told as a child when looking at some of the plastic bottles smackfu perfectly described filled with liquid from Lourdes "that it was because the water was holy that it stayed fresh and never went off"...
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Old Sep 28, 08, 8:24 pm   #13
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Originally Posted by smackfu View Post
At Lourdes, which is famed for it's healing water, the trinket booths don't sell the water itself, but they sell the most hideous water containers ever. Like plastic milk jugs in the shape of the virgin, with a couple of dabs of paint for eyes and lips. Very tacky.
My grandmother has one of these Mary bottles where the crown on Mary's head is the cap
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