What do you think of when you think of medals? It is possible, even probable, that most people think of Olympic medals when they think of them at all. This is because many people watch sports and they root for their favorite athletes to win a gold, a silver, or a bronze medal. These medals are great and meaningful. In addition to Olympic medals, there are other medals that are just as meaningful. These medals are called devotional or religious medals. Did you know that non-religious medals are called secular medals? Devotional medals are usually associated with Christianity.
Did you know that religious medals are more varied than secular medals? This is because they are not only created to celebrate people, such as the Blessed Virgin and Saints; they are also created to celebrate past historical events, such as miracles. Religious medals also are made to commemorate personal graces such as First Communion and Ordination. Devotional medals are used for more than we know. They are also used for recalling the mystery of the Roman Catholic faith. They are also specially blessed to serve as badges of pious associations and to protect the wearer from harm. It also seems as if these types of medals are rich and creamy. This is because they are often enriched with indulgences.
It was at one time doubted whether anything in the nature of a purely devotional was known in the early age of Christianity. Certain objects of this kind were described and figured by seventeenth century writers on the Catacombs. In addition, a few such objects were preserved in museums. If we think about this for a bit then, we will believe that the existence of medals had been established. This is because the use of amulets and talismans in pagan antiquity was widespread. Moreover, many monuments show how objects of this type were worn around the neck by all of the classes. Plus, early Christians no doubt made use of devotional or religious medals.
It is probable that the traditions formed by the class of objects that have been discussed here never entirely died out, still little evidence exists of the use of medals in the Middle Ages. No trace of such objects remarkably survived despite the artistic skill put into the making of the medals. There were no traces of such objects surviving even though there was value in the metal itself. It is also extremely difficult to have a specific date of the making of some medals created from lead or pewter. These medals might have been hung around the neck with religious intent. This information about devotional medals seems to prove that religious medals have meaning.
There are different types of religious jewelry medals. The private medals are a very large class of medals. However, they are extremely rare. Private religious medals are made for individuals in order to celebrate marriages, first communions, and deaths. In addition, these kinds of medals were only given to friends. Therefore, it seems that private religious medals have special meaning.