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Candles

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  • Candles

    I work retail in a mostly Mexican neighborhood. We sell a ton of candles with pictures of saints on them; they're officially labeled as "religious candles". I assume these are Catholics buying them; what exactly is their purpose?
    "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

  • #2
    Assuming they are of the types that also exhibit a diverse choice of colors (The picture indicating the corresponding saint for the color and petition).



    Their purpose is to petition a saint or angel with something. For example, to St. Anthony of Padua, a maroon candle for special petitions, green for financial aid, orange to find love. To St. Michael (the angel) , violet-fuchsia for spiritual protection against pride, envy, and selfishness. The candles are maintained lit to aid in the recalling of the petition, to dedicate the candle to the selected saint during the prayer, and to stay mindful about the prayer. They are quite handy when one is unable to reach a monastery or cathedral, where they may house a statue of a saint or Jesus himself, and light a candle there.
    Last edited by Andius; 01-01-2015, 05:44 PM.
    Ladino, Guatemalan, Hispanic, and Latin, but foremostly, Christian.

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    • #3
      They smell nice too
      That's what
      - She

      Without a clear-cut definition of sin, morality becomes a mere argument over the best way to train animals
      - Manya the Holy Szin (The Quintara Marathon)

      I may not be as old as dirt, but me and dirt are starting to have an awful lot in common
      Stephen R. Donaldson

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Andius View Post
        Assuming they are of the types that also exhibit a diverse choice of colors (The picture indicating the corresponding saint for the color and petition).



        Their purpose is to petition a saint or angel with something. For example, to St. Anthony of Padua, a maroon candle for special petitions, green for financial aid, orange to find love. To St. Michael (the angel) , violet-fuchsia for spiritual protection against pride, envy, and selfishness. The candles are maintained lit to aid in the recalling of the petition, to dedicate the candle to the selected saint during the prayer, and to stay mindful about the prayer. They are quite handy when one is unable to reach a monastery or cathedral, where they may house a statue of a saint or Jesus himself, and light a candle there.
        Interesting. In Orthodoxy, we light candles in remembrance of the departed, but that's about it. They're usually plain beeswax, though I've seen them in jars like that (without saints pictured on them).
        Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

        Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
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        I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

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        • #5
          So, do they have to be special candles you buy, or can I take an old one I have around here and glue a picture of somebody on it and then pray to that person?


          Securely anchored to the Rock amid every storm of trial, testing or tribulation.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by mossrose View Post
            So, do they have to be special candles you buy, or can I take an old one I have around here and glue a picture of somebody on it and then pray to that person?
            I'm fairly certain you could make one yourself, if that was your inclination. I've seen them at secular grocery stores, mostly with Goya products. I think I even have a couple upstairs, though I had no idea what they were for when I bought them.
            Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

            Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
            sigpic
            I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

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            • #7
              Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
              I'm fairly certain you could make one yourself, if that was your inclination. I've seen them at secular grocery stores, mostly with Goya products. I think I even have a couple upstairs, though I had no idea what they were for when I bought them.
              I don't want to make one, just wondered if they were specially blessed by a priest or something.

              Personally, I pray directly to God or Jesus or the Holy Spirit, without a candle.


              Securely anchored to the Rock amid every storm of trial, testing or tribulation.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by mossrose View Post
                I don't want to make one,
                I would be if you did!
                just wondered if they were specially blessed by a priest or something.
                I don't think so - though if they were, there would be no difference as far as I can see between a commercially made product and something homemade.
                Personally, I pray directly to God or Jesus or the Holy Spirit, without a candle.
                I'm certain that you misspoke here, and intended to say "the Father" rather than "God" .

                I pray directly to God, and I pray to the saints, and I ask others still living to pray for me. I sometimes light a candle before praying; it seems to help get me in the right frame of mind.
                Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

                Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
                sigpic
                I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

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                • #9
                  I wonder how widespread these kinds of candles are (with pictures of saints and symbolic colors)? Maybe they are more prevalent among Hispanic Catholics? I've never seen them in the parts of the US, Europe and Canada where I've lived.
                  βλέπομεν γὰρ ἄρτι δι᾿ ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγματι, τότε δὲ πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον·
                  ἄρτι γινώσκω ἐκ μέρους, τότε δὲ ἐπιγνώσομαι καθὼς καὶ ἐπεγνώσθην.

                  אָכֵ֕ן אַתָּ֖ה אֵ֣ל מִסְתַּתֵּ֑ר אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מוֹשִֽׁיעַ׃

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
                    I would be if you did!
                    Thought you might!

                    I don't think so - though if they were, there would be no difference as far as I can see between a commercially made product and something homemade.
                    It's interesting.

                    I'm certain that you misspoke here, and intended to say "the Father" rather than "God" .
                    You are correct. I should have said, "God the Father".

                    I pray directly to God, and I pray to the saints, and I ask others still living to pray for me. I sometimes light a candle before praying; it seems to help get me in the right frame of mind.
                    And I pray to God and ask others still living to pray for me. Never prayed to any saints, living or dead, and have never lit a candle before I pray.

                    And quit pokin' me in the eye!


                    Securely anchored to the Rock amid every storm of trial, testing or tribulation.

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                    • #11
                      Its common to purchase a candle and have it blessed by a nearby priest. In the Catholic Calender there are multiple major feast days during advent Christmas and the New Year. I imagine that especially in the Hispanic population the sell of a St. candle would be high. Happy New Year. Today is the day of the Theotokos.....
                      A happy family is but an earlier heaven.
                      George Bernard Shaw

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by mossrose View Post
                        And I pray to God and ask others still living to pray for me. Never prayed to any saints, living or dead, and have never lit a candle before I pray.
                        Just curious, what is your understanding of 'the communion of the saints' in the Apostles creed? I presume it is not only the living saints in the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church, just mentioned previously in the creed, but it could be read as a further specification of the sharing of all things in common among the living faithful. Do you think it applies to the saints who are no longer living? Personally, I also do not typically use the language of praying to the the saints, but I do think of myself as praying in communion with all the angels and saints.
                        βλέπομεν γὰρ ἄρτι δι᾿ ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγματι, τότε δὲ πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον·
                        ἄρτι γινώσκω ἐκ μέρους, τότε δὲ ἐπιγνώσομαι καθὼς καὶ ἐπεγνώσθην.

                        אָכֵ֕ן אַתָּ֖ה אֵ֣ל מִסְתַּתֵּ֑ר אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מוֹשִֽׁיעַ׃

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by robrecht View Post
                          Just curious, what is your understanding of 'the communion of the saints' in the Apostles creed? I presume it is not only the living saints in the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church, just mentioned previously in the creed, but it could be read as a further specification of the sharing of all things in common among the living faithful. Do you think it applies to the saints who are no longer living? Personally, I also do not typically use the language of praying to the the saints, but I do think of myself as praying in communion with all the angels and saints.
                          One of my favourite hymns is The Church's One Foundation.

                          The church's one foundation
                          is Jesus Christ her Lord.
                          She is his new creation
                          by water and the word.
                          From heaven he came and sought her
                          to be his holy bride.
                          With his own blood he bought her,
                          and for her life he died.

                          Elect from every nation,
                          yet one o'er all the earth,
                          her charter of salvation:
                          one Lord, one faith, one birth.
                          One holy name she blesses,
                          partakes one holy food,
                          and to one hope she presses,
                          with every grace endued.

                          Mid toil and tribulation,
                          and tumult of her war,
                          she waits the consummation
                          of peace forevermore:
                          till with the vision glorious
                          her longing eyes are blest,
                          and the great church victorious
                          shall be the church at rest.

                          Yet she on earth has union
                          with God, the Three in One,
                          and mystic sweet communion
                          with those whose rest is won:
                          O happy ones and holy!
                          Lord, give us grace that we,
                          like them, the meek and lowly,
                          on high may dwell with Thee.
                          The last verse is pertinent to what you are asking me. I believe that all believers are saints, living or dead, not just those whom the Catholic Church canonizes. Those already in the presence of the Lord are at rest, while we who are alive are still struggling with the presence of sin in our lives. They have achieved perfect holiness while we still struggle with our sin nature. One day we will be like them.

                          We have union with God, as do they. We have sweet communion with them because we are all part of that body of Christ, the Church, whether we are still in this life or have passed into glory. I do not believe that any of those members of the body of Christ who are in His presence even care about what we are doing or thinking or that they hear us praying to them. They are focused on the worship of God.

                          The communion of the saints in the Apostle's Creed is, then, imo, referring to not only the fellowship of the body of Christ still living, but that union in Christ with those who have died as part of the same body.


                          Securely anchored to the Rock amid every storm of trial, testing or tribulation.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by mossrose View Post
                            I do not believe that any of those members of the body of Christ who are in His presence even care about what we are doing or thinking or that they hear us praying to them. They are focused on the worship of God.
                            Thanks!

                            I like to think that they still care about us, which would include what we are thinking and doing.

                            Just to clarify one point just in case you or others may not be aware. The Catholic church does not only consider those who have been canonized to be saints. The canonization process arose in order to prevent abusive practices.
                            Last edited by robrecht; 01-05-2015, 02:06 PM.
                            βλέπομεν γὰρ ἄρτι δι᾿ ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγματι, τότε δὲ πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον·
                            ἄρτι γινώσκω ἐκ μέρους, τότε δὲ ἐπιγνώσομαι καθὼς καὶ ἐπεγνώσθην.

                            אָכֵ֕ן אַתָּ֖ה אֵ֣ל מִסְתַּתֵּ֑ר אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מוֹשִֽׁיעַ׃

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by robrecht View Post
                              Thanks!

                              I like to think that they still care about us, which would include what we are thinking and doing.

                              Just to clarify one point just in case you or others may not be aware. The Catholic church does not only consider those who have been canonized to be saints. The canonization process arose in order to prevent abusive practices.
                              I wasn't aware of that, thank you!


                              Securely anchored to the Rock amid every storm of trial, testing or tribulation.

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