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Religious Art 

The use of sacred images, such as paintings, statues, and other religious art as a way of honoring Our Lord, His Mother and the Saints is an almost entirely Catholic devotion, and one that is often misunderstood by non-Catholics.

We use these images the way we use all other pictures, as a reminder of a person or people we love, not un-like a wife who carries an image of her husband in a locket, or a father who puts pictures of his children on his desk at work. While the photo is not itself the person representing, it is a symbol, a connection in a way. Should we not do the same for our loved ones in Heaven?

But even more than this, they are not only visual reminders but sacramentals when properly blessed. God uses images (pictures, crucifixes, statues, medals, etc.) to bestow graces, help us in our spiritual life, console and encourage us, when they are used with devotion. Realizing that we are not venerating the image in itself, but rather what and who it represents, it becomes a special connection, an outward sign for the spiritual life, a connection with the triumphant part of the Mystical Body of the Christ which we cannot see or hear.