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Sharon Olheiser wrote:

Hi, guys —

I make Rosaries and had several blessed. Some people have approached me to sell them.

  • Can a blessed item be sold?


  { Can the Rosaries I have made and blessed, now be sold and, in general, can blessed items be sold? }

Mike replied:

Dear Sharon,

Once Rosaries are blessed, no, you can't sell them. They are consecrated to God.

That said, if someone buys an unblessed Rosary, you can sell them, then have them blessed.

Here is a related question we received in reference to selling a Holy Bible:

I commend your vocation to make Rosaries! Maybe you can talk with neighboring priests about convenient times people could stop by to have their unblessed Rosaries blessed.

I hope this helps,


Bob replied:


Thanks for the question.

You can in theory sell a blessed item, provided that it is not being sold for the blessing, which is abrogated upon the sale, for blessed items cannot be sold. So if you were to sell it, the person would have to have it re-blessed.

The sin of simony is trying to profit from things that essentially belong to God—making spiritual things a point of commerce. I don't think you were trying to do that, but you did things backwards.

As a rule, sell whatever items, then the purchaser can have it blessed. If you want to make these gifts there is no need to have them re-blessed.

So . . . if you sell these pre-blessed items, just explain it to the purchaser so they will know to have them re-blessed.


Bob Kirby

Mike replied:

Hi Bob,

You said:
You can in theory sell a blessed item, provided that it is not being sold for the blessing, which is abrogated upon the sale, for blessed items cannot be sold.  

Hmmm. <Scratching my head.>

I thought once blessed, always blessed. (As long as you are sure!)


Bob replied:

Hi, Mike —

I realize that it's unclear.

She can sell it without committing simony if she is not selling it with the blessing being the point of value for sale.  In other words, she is selling the item, which happens to be blessed, but the blessing is only incidental to the item itself.  The intent matters.  

For example, if you inherited something of value from a family member, but had no use for it and planned to sell it, you can do so.  If the item was blessed prior to your ownership (whether you know it or not) it would not fall under simony, provided you were not selling it for the blessing.  

It's analogous to the principle of double-effect—the circumstance where you intend one thing but another thing happens that may be immoral in and of itself, but because it is not intended as such doesn't impute any wrongdoing to the doer.  

It's like an abortion happening in the process of a life-saving remedy for a pregnant mom.  That is the only case in which an abortion can become licit.  

It is not the abortion that is intended but saving the woman.  Intent matters.

So if she were to sell those items, they lose their blessing and have to be re-blessed.

  • Does that make more sense?


Mike replied:

Yes, it does.



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