From a reader…
As a Catholic and a practitioner of the 2nd Amendment, I was wondering if or there are blessings for firearms.
The priests in my local parish strike me as a bit squeamish when it comes to firearms, so I haven’t approached them directly. But, if I found a priest who was willing, are there any prayers or Saints that you recommend? A web search turned up a Canonized priest who chased away some bad guys with a pistol. I was looking for something more.
My front runners so far are St. Michael the Archangel and Our Lady of the Rosary for her intercession at the Battle of Lepanto.
In the old Roman Ritual there are blessings for all sorts of things, tools, machines, gizmos, etc. There is not a specific blessing for weapons. The Ritual says that it is intended as a model for the local development of rituals that include blessings, etc. I once adapted a blessing in the Roman Ritual mountain climbing equipment for the hardware that was to go into someone’s knee replacement.
There are blessings for lime kilns. Why not guns? There are blessings for cars. Why not guns? There are blessings for telegraphs… ships….
We want tools which we use to work, especially in time of urgent need.
When you are hanging on the edge of the mountain, you want those ropes and picks and Karabinerhaken not to break. When you are in the car at 60 MPH, you want it to be steerable and brake-able. Right? When you need to use a gun, for hunting or defense, you want it to function, right? We do our part to make sure that all our kit is in good repair, that our ships are ship-shape and Bristol fashion and that our guns are clean and in proper condition.
But there are the unknowns. We ask God to do His part.
I always warn people that whenever I bless cars by request, they usually are involved in an accident soon after. One time when I did this, sure enough, the lady came back and told me she had been in a fender bender. I mentioned that I had warned her, but she reposted, “Just think about how bad it might have been if you hadn’t blessed the car!”
There is a blessing for “all things”, which is what we use when there is no specific blessing.
After the usual introduction, the blessing prayer is…
Deus, cujus verbo sanctificántur ómnia, bene+dictiónem tuam effúnde super creatúram istam (creatúras istas – PLURAL, of course); et præsta, ut quisquis ea (eis) secúndum legem et voluntátem tuam cum gratiárum actióne usus fúerit, per invocatiónem sanctíssimi nóminis tui, córporis sanitátem, et ánimæ tutélam, te auctóre, percípiat. Per Christum Dóminum nostrum.
Yes, one can bless weapons. Weapons are tools, like any other tool. They are, in themselves, morally indifferent. They can be blessed. We can ask God to be especially mindful of their safekeeping, for their proper function, that that not be used for evil purposes, and, in the case of your guns, bows, trebuchets, etc., that each projectile fired with them may find their intended mark.