A religious medal is a piece of metal, struck or cast for a commemorative

purpose or to increase devotion. There are many medals, produced in honor

of Jesus, Mary, saints, shrines, historical events, etc.

In EXTERNALS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, Msgr. O'Sullivan writes: "It is very

likely that the use of medals among Christians came about because of

similar ornaments common among pagan races. Charms of various kinds were

used as a supposed means of warding off danger, disease and other evils.

Even after Christianity became the prevailing religion, it seemed

impossible to root out the practice of using pagan charms. The Church,

therefore, instead of trying to prevent it, endeavored to turn it to good

ends by suggesting or tolerating the use of similar devices with Christian


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