Msgr. O'Sullivan teaches that this is one of the Roman Catholic rites that

was a reproduction of pagan worship (EXTERNALS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, page

226). Justin Martyr, who died about 163 A.D., wrote, "The pagans, on

entering their temples, sprinkle themselves with water.

It is a very important sacramental of the Roman Catholic Church. A

tradition (unsupported by fact) says St. Matthew used it. In a latter

(admitted to be spurious) Pope Alexander mentions Holy Water. Its actual

use is probably from the 4th century.

Holy Water is made from a union of salt and water, both of which have

been exorcised. It is used a great deal in liturgical functions: Mass,

Matrimony, Extreme Unction and services for the dead.

Private use of Holy Water is encouraged. By making the Sign of the Cross

with Holy Water, having contrition and saying, "In the name of the Father

and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost" a person gains indulgence of 300


From HOLY WATER, Benedictine Convent of Perpetual Adoration, Imp. Charles

Helmsing (1962). "Its blessing consists of exorcisms, prayers and the

mingling of salt with water. The purpose of the exorcisms is to banish the

evil, spirit and destroy his influence.

"The prayer with which the salt is blessed implores God that it may be

the means of salvation to souls; that it may preserve from bodily harm; and

that it may sanctify everything with which it comes in contact.

"The prayer used in blessing the water implores God that it may drive

away demons; that it may cure diseases; and that it may free houses and

their inhabitants from all evil, particularly from epidemics.

"Theologians teach that holy water, when used with the proper intention

and disposition confers actual graces, remits venial sins, restrains the

power of Satan, defends against temptations, secures temporal blessings and

obtains relief for the souls in purgatory.

"A simpler form (of blessing) is to make the sign of the Cross in

silence on the child's forehead and sprinkle him or her with holy water.

Give this blessing after morning and evening prayers, before the child

leaves home for school, church, etc."


(1929). "Holy water is a Sacramental that remits venial sin. Because of the

blessings attached to it, Holy Church strongly urges its use upon her

children, especially when dangers threaten, such as fires, storms, sickness

and other calamities. Every Catholic home should always have in it a supply

of Holy Water.

"Untold spiritual wealth is concentrated in a tiny drop of blessed


"Holy Water has its great power and efficacy from the prayers of the

church which its Divine Founder always accepts with complacency.

"These are some of the petitions the Priest makes to God when he blesses

the 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. . . may be sprinkled with this water may be freed from

everything unclean.

"These prayers ascend to heaven each time you take Holy Water and

sprinkle a drop either for yourself or for another.

"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 this

blessed water.

"When worry or fear take possession of your heart, hasten to the Holy

Water font, and give your dear ones the benefit of the Church's power.

"The Holy Souls long for it. The Holy Souls nearest to Heaven may need

the sprinkling of only one drop to release their pining souls."

"Prayer: By this Holy Water and by Thy Precious Blood wash away all my

sins, O Lord."


The Bible teaches that already in ancient times God not only permitted but

commanded the use of Holy Water (Numbers 5:17). Hence the Catholic Church

should be commended, not blamed, for following Sacred Scripture."

Whenever the faithful make the Sign of the Cross devoutly with Holy Water

and pray, "In the name of the Father. etc." gain seven years indulgence.

Without Holy Water, only three years.


More progressive Roman Catholics don't practice the use of Holy Water as

much, but it is still used in liturgical functions of the church.

Leaflet from St. Albert the Great Roman Catholic Church, Kettering, Ohio

(1985). "St. Teresa of Avila, whose temptations were as terrible as

anyone's, has left us with wise words of counsel: `I have found by

experience that there is nothing from which the devils fly more quickly

than from Holy Water. They also fly fromn the Cross, but thery return

almost immediately.'"


by Alex Dunlap

"Even Cardinal Newman admitted that `holy water is of pagan origin'

(DEVELOPMENT OF CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE, page, 1949 edition, 349). Priest

Conway in THE QUESTION BOX admits that `the holy water font of today goes

back to the 6th century.'

"We are not told to drive away evil spirits with holy water, we are told

to resist the devil by the Word of God.

"Numbers 5:17 is as far removed from Roman Catholic `holy water' as day

is from night. It describes the Old Testament method of determining if a

wife, suspected of adultery, is guilty or innocent. When and where does the

Roman Catholic church follow this practice today?"

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