Catholic gun owners - Had your guns blessed by a priest?


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possenti
February 10, 2005, 07:30 PM
I'm fairly new to the Catholic faith and its traditions, but it's my understanding that priests offer blessings to various possesions of the faithful.
I live in a rural area, and I've heard of priests blessing chickens, cows, bees and automobiles (mostly pick-ups). My Catholic Dictionary describes a blessing as this:

A rite by which the Church dedicates persons, places or things to a sacred purpose, or attaches to them a spiritual value, without consecration.

It goes on to explain that a blessed object does not loose its blessing by being broken, repaired, given away or lent, but only by being sold or totally destroyed.

My Godfather told me that he had some of his guns blessed years ago. During the blessing, the priest asked the Almighty for the safekeeping of the gun, that it not be used for ill purposes, and that each shot fired would find its rightful mark. Cool. I'm interested in asking my priest about this. Has anyone else ever done this?

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Vern Humphrey
February 10, 2005, 07:33 PM
I've not done it, but it's common in the Catholic parts of Germany, where hunt clubs are organized under the patronage of Saint Hubert.

possenti
February 10, 2005, 09:03 PM
it's common in the Catholic parts of Germany

Funny - my Godfather's great-grandparents were from Germany (as mine were too). He has a bumper sticker that says, "You can tell a German, but you can't tell him anything." Most stubborn people you'd ever meet... :evil:

JesseCuster40
February 10, 2005, 09:09 PM
I've halfway considered it, or at least blessing ammunition (what if I'm attacked by vampires?) but I think the priest would probably consider it rather strange to say the least, and may freak out in an alarming fashion.

SMLE
February 10, 2005, 09:11 PM
I once had a musket blessed by a Catholic Chaplain at a Civil War re-enactment. It has never malfunctioned or failed to fire since.

WT
February 10, 2005, 09:12 PM
One may be surprised at the number of priests and ministers who carry guns. I know one RC priest who always carries on night house calls.

patent
February 10, 2005, 09:15 PM
My priest is usually too busy shooting his guns to bless mine. ;-) I suppose I don't have much of an excuse for not asking though, given that's we've gone to the range together. (They also take the alter servers to the range as a reward).

The only things I've had blessed are candles and holy water. It seems like a good thing to get blessed though, especially a carry piece.

patent

taliv
February 10, 2005, 09:26 PM
hit him to bless a copy of the 2A while you're at it ;)

Preacherman
February 10, 2005, 09:32 PM
Just as long as you're not looking for a Dungeons & Dragons-type "magic missile enchantment"... :D

azrael
February 10, 2005, 09:37 PM
JesseCuster40,
Sorry dude, having them blessed by a priest wont do much...Silver bullets made from a cross that is blessed by someone at least as high up as a Bishop does somewhat better...At least according to some old book I got laying around here somewhere...

Demons?? A golden bullet blessed by a priest works somewhat better, but only on a "lesser" demon...For the "greater" variety ya need a bullet made from gold melted down from a cross, blessed by a Cardinal...Hollowing it out and filling it with the crushed bones of a Siant works for the particularly stubborn..yea kinda like a lethal reliquary...


Unpleasant Dreams :evil:

Third_Rail
February 10, 2005, 09:38 PM
"I'm wearing boots of escaping! I'm wearing boots of escaping!!"

Best video ever, Preacherman. Thanks for the reminder. :D

possenti
February 10, 2005, 09:42 PM
Just as long as you're not looking for a Dungeons & Dragons-type "magic missile enchantment"...

Bummer. I need something to help improve my groups :uhoh: .

Hawkmoon
February 10, 2005, 09:56 PM
I've halfway considered it, or at least blessing ammunition (what if I'm attacked by vampires?) but I think the priest would probably consider it rather strange to say the least, and may freak out in an alarming fashion.
He shouldn't. The Roman Catholic catechism says that self-defense is a moral duty, and the current Pope has stated the same thing in very explicit terms, twice (at least). The Pope's statements are available on this forum, that's how I know about it. Try a search.

horge
February 11, 2005, 05:04 AM
Catholic gun owners - Had your guns blessed by a priest?

Yes.

....and I understand how infinitely more important it is that God's grace rests upon me,
to be able to righteously use the lethal tools of self-defense I've been granted,
including my guns.

:)

c_yeager
February 11, 2005, 05:24 AM
I wonder if one could consider this a gunsmithing service. That way we could just send them out to an enterprising priest and recieve them back again. I would bet that such a service would be suprisingly popular and could really bolster the collection plate. ;)

I don't think there would be a conflict here since the priest could perform the service "free of charge" but, with a "suggested donation" ala weddings and funerals. So long as the funds were properly allocated it should be fine.

Alan Fud
February 11, 2005, 06:54 AM
Sorry dude, having them blessed by a priest wont do much...Silver bullets made from a cross that is blessed by someone at least as high up as a Bishop does somewhat better...At least according to some old book I got laying around here somewhere...

Demons?? A golden bullet blessed by a priest works somewhat better, but only on a "lesser" demon...For the "greater" variety ya need a bullet made from gold melted down from a cross, blessed by a Cardinal...Hollowing it out and filling it with the crushed bones of a Siant works for the particularly stubborn..yea kinda like a lethal reliquary... In case you're not aware of it, we Catholics have just about everything blessed -- we have our throats blessed (happens on Feb 2), we have our pets blessed, we have our cars blessed (priest joked that the blessing is only valid as long as I stay within the legal speed limits), etc. So having guns & ammo blessed isn't really that strange of an idea.

280PLUS
February 11, 2005, 07:47 AM
There's a blessing of boats in different places every year too...

Don't forget Rocky got blessed before his first big bout with Carl Weathers so he wouldn't get his head knocked off. (can't remember his screen name) "Hey Fadda..."

:)

My guns and ammo? Hadn't thought about it but now that you mention it...

I best just have the priest come over and do a group session.

Hey Fadda, can you make it so's every shot hits the 10 ring?

:D

El Tejon
February 11, 2005, 08:02 AM
No, but I do wear a Saint Barbara medal which has been blessed when off at gun school. :D

No holes yet! It evens works on Methodists. :D

geekWithA.45
February 11, 2005, 09:01 AM
Blessing arms and the warrior is a tradition that crosses cultures, and goes back in time all the way to rocks and sharp sticks.

I feel this can serve an important function of centering the warrior's mind on his just purpose, and assuring him of his society's support.

Henry Bowman
February 11, 2005, 09:26 AM
In all seriousness, protestants do something similar, too. For us it is more along the lines of a "dedication." That is, I would publically profess my dedication to use this [gun] in the service of the Lord, to His glory and honor, etc. This is much like the dedication of a baby being the promise of the parents. In turn, the church body, led by the pastor, promises that they will help you keep your commitment and prays for God's blessing and help.

When I was little, my father built a car wash (first one in the area). I remember just before the grand opening many friends from church and the pastor were invited there for a dedication and blessing picnic. I remember him walking through the equipment room, laying hands on each pump and asking for God's blessing. I thought of that several times later (as did my father) as I saw him covered in gease and hammering on those pumps to change and repair them or trying to fix an expensive vending machine that a vandal had destroyed to get $2.35 from it.

The question is: Are you willing to dedicate the gun to the service of God? If so, I'd say most priests or ministers would pray that it (and you) be blessed.

abaddon
February 11, 2005, 10:47 AM
The guys in "Boondock Saints" must have done this. The only explanation for that scene where they killed like 10 guys while tangled in a rope dangling from the ceiling. :D

keyhole
February 11, 2005, 11:01 AM
I've thought about having the priest come out to the range and bless it. He does a biker blessing each year, and now has become a 3 day benefit!

PATH
February 11, 2005, 12:25 PM
Yes. You can have the guns and ammo blessed. Interestingly I had never thought to have that done but I guess if you have the house blessed then the guns and ammo in there get blessed too. I think a specific blessing is okay too as long as the firearms are to be used for good intent.

Erich
February 11, 2005, 12:42 PM
Nope.

Haven't had my Dremel tool, computer or gardening shears blessed either. :rolleyes:

mbs357
February 11, 2005, 01:15 PM
I've never heard of this, but that's pretty awesome.
Go to the church, get my pistol blessed.
Heck yea.

Justin
February 11, 2005, 01:53 PM
Just as long as you're not looking for a Dungeons & Dragons-type "magic missile enchantment"... What, no +2 against goblins enhancement? :p

Gunnutz13
February 11, 2005, 02:30 PM
...isn't your screen name the name of the patron saint of marksmen...St. Gabriel Possenti ?! There is even a feast day and medallion confered on a lucky soul who protects the faith...right ? :evil:

Mr. James
February 11, 2005, 02:43 PM
Gunnutz,

You're close. The Church does not recognize him as patron saint of handgunners, marksmen or such. The St. Gabriel Possenti Society is trying to correct that oversight.

;)

From their web site: The St. Gabriel Possenti Society promotes the public recognition of St. Gabriel Possenti, including his Vatican designation as Patron Saint of Handgunners.

St. Gabriel Possenti was a Catholic seminarian whose marksmanship and proficiency with handguns single-handedly saved the village of Isola, Italy from a band of 20 terrorists in 1860.

The Possenti Society offers a variety of materials related to St. Gabriel Possenti and a biblical understanding of self-defense.

The Savior of Isola

In 1860, a band of soldiers from the army of Garibaldi entered the mountain village of Isola, Italy. They began to burn and pillage the town, terrorizing its inhabitants.

Possenti, with his seminary rector's permission, walked into the center of town, unarmed, to face the terrorists. One of the soldiers was dragging off a young woman he intended to rape when he saw Possenti and made a snickering remark about such a young monk being all alone.

Possenti quickly grabbed the soldier's revolver from his belt and ordered the marauder to release the woman. The startled soldier complied, as Possenti grabbed the revolver of another soldier who came by. Hearing the commotion, the rest of the soldiers came running in Possenti's direction, determined to overcome the rebellious monk.

At that moment a small lizard ran across the road between Possenti and the soldiers. When the lizard briefly paused, Possenti took careful aim and struck the lizard with one shot. Turning his two handguns on the approaching soldiers, Possenti commanded them to drop their weapons. Having seen his handiwork with a pistol, the soldiers complied. Possenti ordered them to put out the fires they had set, and upon finishing, marched the whole lot out of town, ordering them never to return. The grateful townspeople escorted Possenti in triumphant procession back to the seminary, thereafter referring to him as "the Savior of Isola".

The Church presently recognizes him as patron of "the Abruzzi region of Italy, clerics, students, young people in general."

GD
February 12, 2005, 10:26 AM
Thanks for the idea! I hunt with a priest every year. I'll get him bless the collection.

Pappy John
February 12, 2005, 10:36 AM
I never thought about having my guns blessed, although I do have a certain Mauser that might benefit from an exorcism. :uhoh:

GLOCKME
February 13, 2005, 01:16 PM
In my area,it would have to be done at an area other than the Church.No firearms allowed on the property,even with a proper CPL..

I do know one local Priest that wears Ruger and SW gear all the time.. :cool:

I shall check it out with him for an off site Blessing..

TheLastBoyScout
February 13, 2005, 08:08 PM
I've never heard of the priests in my area blessing any objects. Just people and animals (St. Francis' Day).


[comic book guy] St. Gabriel Possenti... Best. Patron Saint. Ever. [/comic book guy]

Never heard of him either.

GLOCKME
February 14, 2005, 04:51 PM
The same priest does a Blessing of The Bikes every year.. :cool:

carebear
February 14, 2005, 05:09 PM
What, no +2 against goblins enhancement?

No Justin, although goblins are evil in nature, they are not undead or demonic in origin thus are not susceptable to the positive effects of holy or blessed weapons, symbols or the turning or banishing powers of clerics.

Just good old fashioned smiting.

Texian Pistolero
February 14, 2005, 06:35 PM
Rumor is that some priests will only bless .45 ACP, but not 9mm. Some, nothing smaller than .380 ACP.

Is this true?

Vern Humphrey
February 14, 2005, 06:58 PM
Priests in the Order of Saint John (that's Saint John Moses Browning) will only bless weapons and cartridges he developed. Some of the more orthodox members of that order will bless a 94 Winchester, but not a 336 Marlin. Others will bless the Marlin, but only if it's in .30-30. ;)

possenti
February 14, 2005, 07:15 PM
Priests in the Order of Saint John (that's Saint John Moses Browning) will only bless weapons and cartridges he developed.

Cool. Now I have another excuse to buy that Springfield 1911 Milspec I've been drooling over...

...and the Serbu .50 BMG.

I'm sure my wife will understand. :uhoh:

horge
February 18, 2005, 06:12 AM
Jokes are nice, heheh.
But seriously...

I have never met a Catholic priest who would NOT bless a firearm.
They might be taken aback at first, if they are unused to it.
Obviously, you want to invite the priest over expressly for the blessing
---just popping up at church with firearm in hand can startle, hehehe.
Now, if it seems STRANGE to some that a Catholic priest would approve
the keeping and bearing of arms, then the actions and words of
the Christ Himself might clarify matters:

A lot is made of Jesus' admonition to Peter at Gethsemane ("Those who live by the sword..."),
but what that story shows is that

1. Peter HAD a weapon to draw
2. The Lord did not object to the Apostle Peter's keeping and bearing
of a weapon (a chereb) prior

However, Peter chose to trust his weapon instead of the Lord physically present
before him. Jesus didn't need Peter's steel, but today, many innocents
--our loved ones and even those we've never met-- just might.
For so long as Catholics keep and bear in the context of Christian belief,
they aren't "living by the sword".

The act of bringing a weapon for 'blessing' is in itself a gesture of submission
to God's will and mercy, and should be encouraged. Rather than an attempt
to obtain some sort of "+4 vs. undead" (yes, I know it was humor), it is an
expressed submission to moral guidance.

Regardless of religion involved, that sounds like a good thing.


JMHO.

:)

MikeB
February 18, 2005, 07:17 AM
Quote:
What, no +2 against goblins enhancement?


No Justin, although goblins are evil in nature, they are not undead or demonic in origin thus are not susceptable to the positive effects of holy or blessed weapons, symbols or the turning or banishing powers of clerics.

Just good old fashioned smiting.

Uhm technically a blessing spell in AD&D gives a +1 attack and +1 to your armor against all foes. So theoretically it would work against goblins.

I'm pleading the fifth as to how I know this.

patentnonsense
February 18, 2005, 07:24 AM
When is the feast day of Bl. Gabriel Possenti? Might be a good occasion, in the right parish, to organize a group blessing at a friendly local range.

possenti
February 18, 2005, 07:45 AM
When is the feast day of Bl. Gabriel Possenti? Might be a good occasion, in the right parish, to organize a group blessing at a friendly local range.

SUnday, Feb. 27. Good idea!



Jorge - Great post above.

M2 Carbine
February 18, 2005, 10:58 AM
In 1960 a Priest look me up to buy a pistol.

I sold him one and couldn't resist asking if he would be willing to kill with it to save his life.
Me thinking that a Priest should be like a good Captain and go down with the ship.

He said he would kill to save his life, he didn't want to be killed by some low life any more than anyone else.

I don't know if he blessed his gun or not. :)

abaddon
February 18, 2005, 11:32 PM
I concur with possenti - great post.

Whiskey Mike
February 20, 2005, 04:48 PM
Hello All,
I have a business that builds rifles for Law Enforcement. For quite awhile I didn't say anything at church about what it is I do. Well the subject of firearms came up one day and it slipped...Much to my surprise the Father was a shooter and hunter. We invited him out to a service rifle shoot and a USMC coach buddy of mine, gave him some intructions....TEN's and X's. Too bad most matches are on his work day. He came out to my shop back then and blessed every lathe and mill in the shop. Those machines are running six days a week and still running good. This was not in a small town, This happened in SoCal.

The Real Hawkeye
February 20, 2005, 05:16 PM
It should be perfectly ok, but you have to consider which priest you ask. The more old fashioned probably wouldn't mind, as soldiers had traditionally had their weapons blessed.

As for priests and guns, I remember talking to a mission priest in his rectory (i.e., like his apartment), and there on the table was a Beretta Model 92 in it's Beretta carrying case. I didn't comment on it, but found it really interesting.

The Real Hawkeye
February 20, 2005, 05:23 PM
Uhm technically a blessing spell in AD&D gives a +1 attack and +1 to your armor against all foes. So theoretically it would work against goblins.

I'm pleading the fifth as to how I know this.Mike, nothing to be ashamed of. I played AD&D in college too. Last time I played was around 1990. I still occasionally see some of the group members, and we talk about getting a game together, but it never happens. Too bad. I loved that game. We'd start around four in the PM and wouldn't finish till about midnight. If you have a good DM it can be an extremely fun game. And yes, it gives weapons a plus one to hit and on damage. Without at least that, it would be impossible to even damage some monsters.

HungSquirrel
February 20, 2005, 05:43 PM
(They also take the alter servers to the range as a reward).
Something tells me my parents picked the wrong church to take me to! I never got to fire a weapon as an altar boy. :(

MikeB
February 20, 2005, 05:47 PM
Mike, nothing to be ashamed of.

Not ashamed, just partially joking and partially not wanting to bring a whole AD&D conversation into this thread. Which of course I'm now partially doing anyways. Oops.

I played AD&D in college too. Last time I played was around 1990.

That's about the last time I've played the pen and paper version myself. It was in college as well. We actually had the college recognize us as a club for playing AD&D - that was kinda cool a room in the student center to play and whatnot.

I still occasionally see some of the group members, and we talk about getting a game together, but it never happens. Too bad. I loved that game. We'd start around four in the PM and wouldn't finish till about midnight. If you have a good DM it can be an extremely fun game. And yes, it gives weapons a plus one to hit and on damage. Without at least that, it would be impossible to even damage some monsters.

I agree, the game can be very interesting; especially with a good DM. I don't know if you're aware but the game Neverwinter Nights and it's add ons allow for group play with roughly accurate AD&D rules. You can play with as many people as you want over the internet, someone can even act as a DM. There are voice options available. The game comes with a toolset that allow someone to make their own modules as well. It's pretty fun I play with a couple other guys once in a while.

Too get back on topic.

Much to my surprise the Father was a shooter and hunter. We invited him out to a service rifle shoot and a USMC coach buddy of mine, gave him some intructions....TEN's and X's.

I'm not particularly religious but have a few friends who are and I've noticed this same phenomenon when shooting with them and their "pastors". I have to admit that I've also been surprised many a time when meeting a clergyman while tossing up some darts, having a beer, shooting some guns, out hiking/biking/camping, etc. things that for some reason many of us heathens don't seem to identify with clergy. Personally I like that I can share experiences with people that have very different ways of life than me and share a kinship as well without any judgements against each other through a shared hobby.

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