religious medals

Pieces of metal resembling coins, blessed by the Church and used to increase devotion, to commemorate some religious event, to protect the wearer, or to serve as badges of pious societies. Some bring indulgences to the user.

Their use among Christians is very ancient; many have been found in the catacombs, often marked with the Chi-Rho, the Greek monogram which is an abbreviation of the name of Christ. In the Middle Ages, when pilgrimages were made to famous shrines, medals or “tokens” were often given to the pilgrims; and c.1475 medals were made commemorating papal jubilees. Many kinds are now in use, such as