Adorning the necks of many Catholic Church members can be found an assortment of material expressions of their steadfast beliefs and faith. Embedded within such an intense generational symbology is a widespread tradition that reaches to the very core of Catholic religion. For centuries, Catholics, in particular, have turned to this material expression of their faith for numerous reasons that reach far beyond their intrinsic qualities and appeal to close friends, and families.
Whether these firm Catholic Believers choose to wear a golden (or silver) cross, or an elegant military medal that boldly portrays the likeness of St. Christopher or St. Michael, the possibilities for wear encountered with religious-type jewelry is near endless. With such a massive, global, population of devout believers, it is no surprise that the traditional elements of this material expression have endured for centuries and have served a very valuable functional purpose within the lives of those who wear them. No matter what an individual's profession, organizational affiliation, or state in life may be, according to the Catholic Faith, they can turn to their own patron saints in their times of need and even in times of peace and personal harmony.
Beyond the inherent, external, qualities of look, presence and appeal, a much deeper meaning can be derived from the wear of this kind of elaborate religious jewelry. For a soldier who is departing shortly for a lengthy combat tour fighting overseas in foreign lands, the presence of a golden military medal, firmly attached to the lengthy chain accompanying their dog-tags, speaks volumes of their steadfast faith and the protection that they hope to find in its wear. As it dangles vigorously alongside the soldier's engraved tin dog tags, its wear helps to complement prayer and intercession that are pursued in the most trying of times.
In the most recent global war on terrorism combat theatres of Iraq, and Afghanistan, many Catholics have been called upon to serve, not just in the United States' Armed Forces, but, also, in many other militaries that complement an established coalition in those areas. From Polish to Canadian military service personnel, these military inspired Catholic jewelries, like military medals and crosses, also have a deep-rooted appeal to them, as well, as they serve their respective countries bravely alongside their own countrymen.
The centuries-long tradition of Patron Saint recognition, by the massive established Catholic Church, is clearly the lifeblood and foundation for this widespread material expression. While their individual situations are important, with thousands upon thousands of viable Patron Saints, soldiers may not be the only ones who have an affiliation with an organization or group that requires a certain amount of protection and security. For law enforcement officers, or any societal role/position that requires increased consideration in threats during time spent in the line of duty, they can also find safety and security in their Patron Saints, as well. This established connection gives meaning and provides hope and security as they engage in the daily duties of their respective professions.
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