The Catechism of the Catholic Church notes that in addition to the seven Sacraments instituted by the Savior, “Holy Mother Church has, moreover, instituted sacramentals. These are sacred signs which bear a resemblance to the sacraments.” They signify spiritual effects, which are obtained through the intercession of the Church. By their pious use we are better disposed to receive the chief effect of the Sacraments, which is to make us holy.
The use of sacramentals such as blessings, the holy rosary, chaplets, crucifixes, medals, blessed oil and the like, are intended to make holy various occasions in life by reminding us of the power of God’s grace at work in the Baptized. The Church makes use of many things which may help us to keep our minds fixed on the things of heaven and to express our faith in God’s abiding and provident love.