What To Do With a Blessed Holy Image that Broke?


An image that is broken or damaged does not reach its full purpose

Before punctuating what can be done with a sacred image that has broken, it is worth highlighting the importance and value of images in the Church. I begin by remembering that Catholics do not worship images, but they have a veneration for them. St. John Damascene says that “in the past, God, who has neither body nor appearance, could not at all be represented by an image. But now that he has shown himself in the flesh and lived with men, I can make an image of what I have seen of God. With his face uncovered, we behold the glory of the Lord “(Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1159).

In this perspective, the Catechism of the Church teaches that “in the course of the divinely inspired doctrine of our holy fathers and of the tradition of the Catholic Church, which we know to be the tradition of the Holy Spirit dwelling in it, we define with certainty and venerable and holy images … the image of Our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ, and that of Our Lady, the purest and most holy Mother of God, must be placed in the holy churches of God, in the houses and in the ways, the holy angels, all the saints and the just “(Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1161). The Church has always valued such practices that lead to God himself.

How can one zealously dispense blessed sacred images?

A first point to be observed in relation to a sacred image that has been broken is to check the possibility of restoring it, if appropriate. After an evaluation of the state of the image and not having a possibility or interest in its restoration, the next step would be to use the most coherent way of discarding the object taking into account its meaning.

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The suggestion is that there is no “need” to take broken images to deposit in churches, cemeteries, river play or other places, but they can be crushed and buried in the garden or in a vase of your house. The point is to avoid the possibility that images that have been blessed be mocked, thrown into the garbage with indignity, or left unduly.

With this, one must discard damaged images so that their spiritual value and religious meaning are not affected, avoiding any sign of disrespect.

Saint John Damascene said that “the beauty and colour of the images stimulate my prayer. It is a feast for my eyes, as the spectacle of the field stimulates my heart to give glory to God. ” Thus the function of both blessed images and holy icons in good condition is to “enter into the harmony of the signs of celebration, so that the mystery celebrated may be engraved in the memory of the heart and then expressed in the new life of the faithful” (Catechism of Catholic Church, n. 1162). Therefore, an image that is broken or damaged does not achieve its entire purpose, so it can be dispensed without any problem.


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Source: pt.aleteia.org