Q. 1. Why do Catholics promote Holy Cards?
A. 1. Holy Cards, no larger than a standard playing card, are usually imprinted with Catholic images and saints. Each of these attractive cards tell a story, be it the life of a saint, the importance of an apparition, or it defines a Catholic mystery through symbols.
The first Holy Cards started to appear early in the 15th century. Handmade, they were etched on parthcment with black ink, these often being decorated with lace or ribbon around the edge.
Today, as in the days of the 15th century, Catholics seek to own a Holy Card of their patron Saint. Many Catholics received the name of their patron Saint when they were baptised.
Many of today's Holy Cards have a prayer or sometimes a short biography of the Saint on the back.
So what is the purpose of Holy Cards?
• They serve as a reminder of one's Patron Saint.
• They educate Catholics regarding the lives of the Saints.
• They encourage Catholics to recite the prayers found on the back.
• They encourage Catholics to maintain an ongoing spiritual state of mind.
• They are a way of collecting beautiful, yet inexpensive artwork.
• They identify those who own them as Catholics (in most cases).
Holy Cards are handed out to children who are doing their First Communion to serve as a spiritual tool to enrish their lives. Other common usage is to hand them out at funerals, first Sacraments and weddings.
Those who promote Holy Cards, often the priests, seek to draw the faithful closer to God by promoting the Saints and by educating the believers on Catholic doctrines.