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Sunday Blessings: a digital custom with ancient origins

Sunday Blessings: a digital custom with ancient origins

Whether it's from a close friend or a distant relative, at least once in our life we have all received a cheerful image, brightening our morning or encouraging positive thoughts. In a world brimming with digital connections, where smartphones and computers have become modern-day extensions of ourselves, the tradition of sending blessings and wishes via WhatsApp, chat, or email has turned up as a beautiful way to spread the virtual world with love and positive vibes.
It is a modern custom that transcends geographical boundaries, uniting Catholics all over the world. Many faithful use this custom especially on Sunday, that is a day of rest, and it takes on a deeper significance when accompanied by these digital expressions of faith.
Yet, the tradition associated with the Sunday blessing has ancient roots, originating long before the digital age…

Sunday blessings: the origins

The tradition of Sunday blessings has deep roots in religious and cultural history, particularly within the Christian faith. Sunday, that is the Lord's Day, is a day of rest because it corresponds to the day when Jesus rose from the dead, following his crucifixion on Good Friday. His Resurrection is the milestone of Christian faith and it holds an important meaning: it symbolizes the victory of life over death.

Arisen Christ Table Crucifix

Arisen Christ Standing Crucifix

The early Christians began gathering for prayer on Sundays, and this practice gradually became the day of worship, replacing the Jewish Sabbath - which falls on Saturday. The concept of blessing on Sundays likely originated from the desire to invoke God's favor, guidance, and protection for the week ahead during these moments of prayer.

Sunday blessings in liturgical practices

Sunday blessings in liturgical traditions are deeply integrated into the structure of masses and services. These serve to sanctify the day, invoke God's guidance and favor, and provide a sense of spiritual nourishment and empowerment for what to come. It is usually given at the end of the Sunday Masses, when priests and clergy members impart blessings to the parish community. 
A well-known example is the recitation of the Aaronic Blessing from the Old Testament: 

"The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-27

Pope’s Sunday Blessings

The Pope's Sunday blessing holds a special place in the Catholic Church and is something completely different from the typical one that occurs in local parishes. 
Depending on the liturgical season, the Holy Father imparts his Sunday blessings in St Peter’s Square during the Angelus or Regina Caeli prayers. Both of these prayers are traditionally associated with the Blessed Virgin and are recited or sung by the Pope and the gathered faithful. Having the opportunity to attend these events gives the opportunity to receive the blessing from the Pope himself, that is a great source of grace for those who receive it. 

Also, the peculiarity of his blessing is the fact that it extends not only to the people attending the mass, but also to the objects and everything inside and around the square. That is why to have a religious item blessed by the pope it is enough to bring it St. Peter's Square during papal audience.

What about those who are unable to travel all the way to Italy? 
At you can purchase religious items from the Vatican and request a complimentary blessing for your Catholic shopping.

Blessed Rosaries

Blessed Rosaries from the Vatican


The tradition of Sunday blessings, that is in local parishes or through the Pope's special blessings, is the perfect opportunity to feel God's presence in our lives. 

As Catholics, we need these blessings because these are not only a source of grace, but also a means of connecting with the rich history and traditions of the Catholic Church, which represents the solid roots of our identity.

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