What Does One Do With Old Statues or Holy Cards?

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Catholic : One Thread

I am in the process of taking care of mother's belongings. Of course, my step-dad wants to keep a lot of her things...but she had so many statues (belonging to Grandparents) - some are quite beautiful,but some are really in bad shape.

I cannot possibly keep 'all' of them. I do not have the room. What do I do with them? Does anyone know what the rules are concerning old statues and holy picture cards? She had so many picture cards. I can't possibly keep all of them either.

I'm sure someone on the forum knows the rules regarding purging of these things. Thank you for letting me know what I should do with them.


-- MaryLu (mlc327@juno.com), January 12, 2003


Dear MaryLu,

There are no "hard and fast rules" on this, but the Church has long taught that blessed objects ("sacramentals"), when they have outlived their usefulness, should be "respectfully destroyed if normal methods of disposal might give scandal". Basically it means that such items should not just be thrown in with the everyday trash. The recommended methods of disposal are typically either burning (for items that will burn), or burying (for any such items).

-- Paul (PaulCyp@cox.net), January 12, 2003.

Ummmmm I don't know if this is proper etiquette, MaryLu but you could sell them on Ebay. :) People like me like to collect those kinds of things and look all over Ebay for them. (If you decide to go that route, post a note here, ok??)

Or maybe you could give them to your church. Or some kind of shelter, you know?

God bless~

-- Jackiea (sorry@dontlikespam.com), January 12, 2003.

I like to leave these things in the church- or maybe you could drop them off at the CCD office. or just put in the doorway (inside) with a "please take"sign. SOMEBODY always wants them...pass them on!

You might make some poor old lady very happy.


-- Jane (jane@don't like spam.either), January 12, 2003.

Jackiea, I found out we're not supposed to sell blessed items when I thought of selling my old guitar. I had had it blessed, as I do all my instraments, so I handed it down to my daughter instead.

-- theresa Huether (Rodntee4Jesus@aol.com), January 12, 2003.

Dear Theresa,

I don't think a guitar would really come under the category of "blessed objects". People have many things blessed in this way, including cars, boats, and homes, and that does not preclude selling them later. It is really specifically "religious" objects that are referred to here - what the Church would call "sacramental" objects. Even these can be sold though, as long as it is clearly understood by both parties that the sale price relates to the physical object only, and is in no way influenced by the fact of the blessing. So, you could sell a rosary blessed by the Pope - but not for more than the price that the same rosary would bring, unblessed.

-- Paul (PaulCyp@cox.net), January 12, 2003.

well, THAT puts things in a different perspective.....thank you Paul.Of course, why didn't I think of that, we buy and sell blest cars all the time..

-- Theresa Huether (RodnTee4Jesus@aol.com), January 12, 2003.

Oh, I know about the blessed items, Theresa and relics, too. If I'm selling a rosary bracelet with a relic medal on it, I always make sure to say that the medal is free, they're just paying for the bracelet.

But what of statues, cards, etc. that AREN'T blessed? Couldn't you still sell those?

Take care~

-- Jackiea (sorry@dontlikespam.com), January 12, 2003.

Hey Jackiea- you can sell holy cards and whatever you want in this line on ebay- you just can't sell actual relics- but of course people get past this by selling the container and giving the relic as a gift. I know it sounds a little odd (and actually it IS) but there really isn't anything wrong with it. It's just a way of preserving the pricelessness of the relic. Best thing about Catholicism, is its ability to be both/and, a coincidence of opposites, a way of thought that holds all paradox in one whole thing. It's a good thing. Coincidence of opposites is the way to go. Don't get too legalistic about this, people need certain things in their life. Ebay isn't such a bad place to get them. COuld be worse. :-)

Love you dear... J.

-- Jane (jane@don't like spam.either), January 12, 2003.

I wouldn't sell them...my brother is going to have the statues restored and then give them to a local church where he works..they have a book store and the money goes to the poor...I feel better about that now...as for the holy picture cards, some of them are so beautiful...I am going to keep some, and pass on the rest...

My pastor did not want the statues....


-- MaryLu (mlc327@juno.com), January 12, 2003.

Dear Jackiea,

I would check with my brother about the statues...I don't know if he took them home yet..you are welcome to them.


-- MaryLu (mlc327@juno.com), January 12, 2003.

It is gratifying to see that this person has respect for sacred things.

Too bad many of our priests blatantly ripped out and threw out the old altars, tabernacles, pulpits, statues, vestments, vessels, and more after Vatican II with no qualms. Sad but true.

-- Dave M (irejectsociety@yahoo.com), January 13, 2003.

Well, if you're not anxious to make money from them, I would go along with the "leaving them in the back of the church" suggestion. I love it when other people do that. :-)

-- Christine L. :-) (christine_lehman@hotmail.com), January 13, 2003.

Well, my brother is definitely going to have the statues restored and then donate them to the thrift-shop - he spoke to them about it and they will be delighted to get them...

BTW, I am not in the habit of bringing all of my 'crap' to the pastor's doorsteps!

The statues will be placed in the hands of people who appreciate them..my pastor does not like people, just their money...loves those donations....

Thank you all for your advice....


-- MaryLu (mlc327@juno.com), January 13, 2003.

Just a FYI, there are many people out there who love these statues and who don't have the money to buy them. Nuns in convents for instance. A lot of the time the local parish will not take them, but a local group of sisters will.

Sometimes they keep them, sometimes they find them a good home with a person who will take care of them, and sometimes if they are rare, they sell them to antique collectors and put the proceeds to good use.

Admittedly most of the folks who buy these items are not Catholic, but simple collectors, but I have yet to meet one who will not treasure and care for a beautiful old devotional. I often scout Ebay myself for things I can restore, and keep and/or donate.


-- n/a (silverducayne@mauisun.org), February 11, 2003.

Another place to donate them might be to your local Catholic school. I know that we used to get the medals and holy cards when we passed our religion tests. They could be used as a special prize for students who excel--that is, if they still teach religion in Catholic schools. I read somewhere that there are more non-Catholics than Catholics attending these days....

-- GT (nospam@nospam.com), February 12, 2003.

Any sacramental (used in your home or church)can be sent to 'Helpers of Saint Joseph' 200 Franklin Ave,Ellwood City,PA 16117. Sacramentals are sent to Catholic Missions or stored until needed. Its better then seeing vestments,relics and other sacraments on Ebay for sale.

-- Stephen Rubino (srubino@zoominternet.net), March 09, 2003.

I would appreciate some statues i have been lookin for ever for kind people like your self if its not to much to ask please send me some My adress is Rt. 1 box 199-C kermit WV 25674 united states

-- LJ Muncy (holyghostfire_2004@yahoo.com), May 01, 2003.

Those artifacts belonged to a loved one, so keep them for one day you may regret losing them. Those artifacts could become small heirlooms for generations to come. Dollar signs are of little importance.

rod. .

-- rod (elreyrod@yahoo.com), May 01, 2003.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ