Tag: holy water

Can I drink holy water to cleanse my sins?

Can I drink holy water to cleanse my sins?


The pious use of holy water is tied to sacramentals, like the Sign of the Cross, and the pious use can in fact conduce cleansing of venial sins, but it does not effect such cleansing. There is no forgiveness without penance. 

Article 3. Whether venial sins are removed by the sprinkling of holy water and the like?

Objection 1. It would seem that venial sins are not removed by the sprinkling of holy water, a bishop’s blessing, and the like. For venial sins are not forgiven without Penance. But Penance suffices by itself for the remission of venial sins. Therefore the above have nothing to do with the remission of venial sins. 

Objection 2. Further, each of the above bears the same relation to one venial sin as to all. If therefore, by means of one of them, some venial sin is remitted, it follows that in like manner all are remitted, so that by beating his breast once, or by being sprinkled once with holy water, a man would be delivered from all his venial sins, which seems unreasonable. 

Objection 3. Further, venial sins occasion a debt of some punishment, albeit temporal; for it is written (1 Corinthians 3:12-15) of him that builds up “wood, hay, stubble” that “he shall be saved, yet so as by fire.” Now the above things whereby venial sins are said to be taken away, contain either no punishment at all, or very little. Therefore they do not suffice for the full remission of venial sins. 

On the contrary, Augustine says in De Poenitentia [Hom. 30 inter 1; Ep. cclxv] that “for our slight sins we strike our breasts, and say: Forgive us our trespasses,” and so it seems that striking one’s breast, and the Lord’s Prayer cause the remission of venial sins: and the same seems to apply to the other things. 

I answer that, As stated above (Article 2), no infusion of fresh grace is required for the forgiveness of a venial sin, but it is enough to have an act proceeding from grace, in detestation of that venial sin, either explicit or at least implicit, as when one is moved fervently to God. Hence, for three reasons, certain things cause the remission of venial sins: first, because they imply the infusion of grace, since the infusion of grace removes venial sins, as stated above (Article 2); and so, by the Eucharist, Extreme Unction, and by all the sacraments of the New Law without exception, wherein grace is conferred, venial sins are remitted. Secondly, because they imply a movement of detestation for sin, and in this way the general confession [i.e. the recital of the Confiteor or of an act of contrition, the beating of one’s breast, and the Lord’s Prayer conduce to the remission of venial sins, for we ask in the Lord’s Prayer: “Forgive us our trespasses.” Thirdly, because they include a movement of reverence for God and Divine things; and in this way a bishop’sblessing, the sprinkling of holy water, any sacramental anointing, a prayer said in a dedicated church, and anything else of the kind, conduce to the remission of venial sins.

Reply to Objection 1. All these things cause the remission of venial sins, in so far as they incline the soul to the movement of penance, viz., the implicit or explicit detestation of one’s sins. 

Reply to Objection 2. All these things, so far as they are concerned, conduce to the remission of all venial sins: but the remission may be hindered as regards certain venial sins, to which the mind is still actually attached, even as insincerity sometimes impedes the effect of Baptism. 

Reply to Objection 3. By the above things, venial sins are indeed taken away as regards the guilt, both because those things are a kind of satisfaction, and through the virtue of charity whose movement is aroused by such things. 

Yet it does not always happen that, by means of each one, the whole guilt of punishment is taken away, because, in that case, whoever was entirely free from mortal sin, would go straight to heaven if sprinkled with holy water: but the debt of punishment is remitted by means of the above, according to the movement of fervor towards God, which fervor is aroused by such things, sometimes more, sometimes less.

8 Ways To Use Holy Water

8 Ways To Use Holy Water

“From long experience I have learned that there is nothing like holy water to put devils to flight and prevent them from coming back again. They also flee from the Cross, but return; so holy water must have great virtue. For my own part, whenever I take it, my soul feels a particular and most notable consolation.”
– St. Teresa of Avila 


When we read this quote from St. Teresa of Avila, we should be reminded of the importance of holy water. We Catholics dip our fingers in holy water and make the Sign of the Cross when entering a church in order to recall our baptism and our baptismal promises,

As you know, the baptismal promises included renouncing Satan and disdaining sin. We forget this, however, and take holy water for granted most of the time. If we use it regularly, that’s an easy thing to do.

We must remember that holy water, through a priest, is blessed by God in virtue of Christ’s baptism. The Catholic Church possesses enormous power in being able to impart sacramental grace—and holy water as a sacramental receives its power through the prayer and authority of the Church.The rite of blessing said over water by a priest to make it holy contains prayers of exorcism. It can banish demons, heal the sick, and send unwarranted grace upon us—yet most of the time we cross ourselves with this water without even thinking about how holy it really is.

You can read profound prayers of blessing that are prayed over holy water here and find a downloadable PDF here.

The fact of the matter is that holy water is a powerful sacramental and we ought to use it daily. To prevent us from using it without thinking, we should consciously find ways to use it more. Holy water can be used to bless people, places, and things that are used by humans in their goal of glorifying God with their lives.

Here is a list of eight ways to use holy water in your everyday life:

1. Bless yourself. This suggestion is obvious, but if we are only blessing ourselves with holy water on Sunday, then aren’t we missing out on the rest of the week?  You can never have too much grace or blessing in your life.  Use holy water daily.  Keeping a holy water font in the home is a great idea so that you, your family, and guests can be blessed in the comings and goings from your home.  Keep the font right by the front door to ensure you never leave home without it.

2. Bless your house.  If you haven’t taken the time to bless your house with holy water, then no time is better than the present.  Your home is the domestic Church and is in need of spiritual protection.  You can sprinkle holy water in your home yourself, or have a priest formally bless your home using holy water as part of the house blessing ceremony.

3. Bless your family. Use holy water to pray and make the Sign of the Cross over your spouse and children before they go to sleep at night. Bonding the family to each other and to God in this way is a great family tradition to adopt. Keep a holy water bottle by the bedside for this purpose.

4. Bless your work space. If you work outside of the home, sprinkling your work space with holy water is a great idea, not only for spiritual protection on the work front, but also as to sanctify your daily work for the glory of God.

St. Michael Holy Water Font

5. Bless your car. The car is probably the most dangerous place where you spend a significant amount of time each day. Never underestimate the power of holy water applied to your vehicle to keep you safe from harm’s way, when used in faith and trust in God. In fact, you can also have a priest bless your car with holy water.

6. Bless your vegetable garden. It was a common practice in the Middle Ages for people to sprinkle their vegetable gardens with holy water.  In times when people were very dependent on crops for their livelihood, lack of rain or early frosts could be devastating. Using holy water to bless and sanctify the plants that would be used for the family’s sustenance showed their reliance on God’s grace.

7. Bless the sick.  If you know of any sick friends or family, then blessing them with holy water probably counts as a corporeal and a spiritual work of mercy.  If you visit the sick in a hospital or nursing home, bless their living space with holy water and leave a holy water bottle with them as a comfort in their time of need.

8. Bless your pets. Many parishes on the feast of St. Francis of Assisi have a rite of blessing for pets. Pets are loved companions for individuals and families and often provide a great service to them, and even these can be blessed with holy water because all creation has the end of giving glory to God. This also applies to livestock and farm animals that provide labor, livelihood, and nourishment to humans.

Here is a simple prayer to say when using holy water:

“By this holy water and by Your Precious Blood, wash away all my sins, O Lord. Amen.”

There is no specific prayer to pray when using holy water, other than making the Sign of the Cross: “In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” You can also pray an Our Father or even the St. Michael Prayer when using holy water. Keep in mind that holy water has already been blessed by the prayers of the priest.

How do you use holy water?

Holy water is one of those beautiful gifts (and weapons) from God to keep us sanctified and holy in our daily lives and to keep the things we regularly use sanctified and holy. (Some parents even use holy water to bless things their children regularly use such as bicycles and school books.) If we stop and think about what a generous gift holy water is, we will use it more frequently, thoughtfully, and gratefully!

Holy Water + Ordinary H2O =Holy or Not?

Holy Water + Ordinary H2O =Holy or Not?

I was told by a layperson that we could just mix a bit of blessed water with a gallon of tap water and it would make a gallon and a bit of holy water. How can I show this to be incorrect?

How Much of Holy water should you add to ordinary water to make it Holy?

It’s actually sort of correct, but in the opposite way. If plain water is mixed into Holy Water, once the two combine, it is impossible to distinguish between the plain and the holy, so all the water becomes holy water; that is, as long as there is more holy water than plain water. It realy shouldn’t be done intentionally, but nevertheless that’s what happens.

by Fr. David 96

Doing It twice, Is it effective?

I’ve actually seen that done. In the seminary, I saw a classmate stand there with a pitcher of plain water and a small bottle of holy water. He poured the holy water into an empty vessel and then added just a little bit less of the plain water. Stir. Pause. Pour. Stir. Pause. Pour. Until the pitcher was empty.

Fr. David 96

It’s in God’s hands!

When I was an Altar Boy (nearly four decades ago), one of our jobs was to make sure that all of the Holy Water vessels had Holy Water in them. We were instructed by the priests that if there was even SOME Holy Water in there, we could add regular tap water to it. If they were dry or damp, we had to fill them with Holy Water from the reserve in the back.

Sr. Knight

Leave your comments as if it true or not AND WHY?


5 Amazing Benefits of Using Holy Water

5 Amazing Benefits of Using Holy Water

Maybe you bless yourself with holy water as you walk into Church, or you remember a small container of water that was at your grandma’s house growing up. If you’re a Catholic, chances are that you’ve encountered this blessed water at some point.

1. Use holy water to drive away the devil

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St Teresa of Avila, the famous mystic, describes a time when she used holy water in her battle against the devil.  One night in the chapel, the devil appeared at her side.  He told her that although she had escaped from his clutches this time, he was sure that he would be catching her again soon.  She used holy water to combat his presence.

“There was some holy water there, and I threw it in that direction; he never returned again…I often experience that there is nothing that devils flee from more without returning than holy water.”

2. Use holy water to overcome temptations

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In the words used to bless the holy water, the prayer petitions God so that, “every delusion and wickedness of the devil, and all unclean spirits, may fly and depart.”  The prayer also asks for a shield of protection against spiritual wickedness and evil.

If you’re feeling tempted, try blessing yourself with Holy Water to combat the tricks of the devil.  Holy water can also be used to bless rooms and houses.

3. You can use holy water to drive away sickness – and future illness too! 

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Holy water is meant to be used for the aid of those experiencing illness of the body, mind or soul.  The words of blessing are “let it be to all who take it health of mind and body.”  Later, the prayer asks God to deliver those who use holy water from pain and hurt.

But the use of holy water doesn’t only apply to illness or pain you or a loved one may be experiencing now.  You can also use it to ward off future illness and unrest.  The prayer concludes: “And if there be aught which hath ill will to the safety and quietness of the inhabitants, let it flee away at the sprinkling of this water.”

4. Holy water cleanes soul from venial sins and temporal punishments

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Many of the Doctors of the Catholic Church say that the use of Holy Water results in the removal of our venial sins and temporal punishment.  St. Thomas Aquinas wrote, “By the sprinkling of Holy Water the debt of venial sin is wiped out ; but not always, however, are all temporal punishments relinquished.”

Aquinas goes on to explain the amount of sin and punishment removed with the use of Holy Water corresponds to one’s love and faith in God and contrition for their sins.

5. Finally, don’t forget to take advantage of those sanctifying effects found with holy water

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By using holy water you can obtain actual graces! These graces can help you focus in prayer, gather more graces from attending Mass, and live out your state of life and vocation more faithfully.  Father Theiler says,

“I do not maintain that these effects of grace must necessarily be attributed to the use of holy water, because we cannot know what and how much it has effected in us.  But we do know that it can produce these effects, and we may without doubt have occasion to attribute much of our knowledge and inspiration to the use of holy water.”

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