What is Holy Water?

Holy water—water that has been blessed—is a common sacramental. You’ll find holy water fonts at Catholic Churches across the world, and many Catholics even have bottles or fonts of holy water in their homes.

It’s a sign that recalls our Baptism and points us to Christ and the sacraments.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church , paragraph 1667 says: “Holy Mother Church has, moreover, instituted sacramentals. These are sacred signs which bear a resemblance to the sacraments. They signify effects, particularly of a spiritual nature, which are obtained through the intercession of the Church. By them men are disposed to receive the chief effect of the sacraments, and various occasions in life are rendered holy.”

In Fr. Rocky’s Lenten Lessons, he speaks about the importance of holy water and the significance of blessing ourselves with it as we enter the church. “This gesture is also a sacramental and can absolve us of our venial sins and protect us from the devil. As St. Teresa of Avila said, ‘Nothing drives away the devil faster than Holy Water.’ Blessing yourself with holy water as you enter the Church will remind you that you are in a sacred place for a sacred time.”

When a caller asked Patrick Madrid about the purpose of holy water, he explained, “Blessed salt or holy water, reading the Bible or praying the Rosary, these are all sacramentals that help us go in the direction of salvation.”

It’s important to note that holy water isn’t a superstitious practice, and we shouldn’t treat it as such. Patrick told another caller, “Holy water, water that has been blessed, … it doesn’t have magical properties, it doesn’t have miraculous properties. It has spiritual properties but they’re not miraculous in the physical world.”

So what can we use holy water for? Besides the obvious—blessing yourself—you can use holy water in a variety of ways. Sprinkle some around your house to bless your home, your car, or your workplace. You can bless others as well! Get in the habit of blessing your children, your family, and friends! It’s a simple gesture that reminds us of our Baptism—professing that we belong to Christ and renounce Satan.

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Lindsey is a wife, mother, and contributing author at Relevant Radio. She holds a degree in Journalism and Advertising from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Lindsey enjoys writing, baking, and liturgical living with her young family.