A couple holding hands
Hello Rosary lovers! In this post we will answer the query: can I kiss my rosary?

A Beautiful Thing

You absolutely CAN kiss your Rosary beads! I do this very often, mostly just kissing the crucifix attached to the beads. There is FAR from anything wrong with this, and in fact it is a very meritorious act.

When you kiss your Rosary beads, you are kissing God. You are showing love and affection for God, who the Rosary points to.

You are also kissing Mary, our dear Mother. Mary is always kissing us, in the Rosary. So it only seems right to kiss her back by kissing her beads.

St Padre Pio said that when we hold the Rosary beads in our hand, it is holding the hand of Mary. Since this is true, kissing the beads means you are kissing the hand of Mary!

May God BLESS you for doing this! It is a beautiful thing.

I don’t know about you, but some nights I have found myself on the internet, looking at artistic representations of the Virgin Mary. Or statues of her. She is so utterly beautiful that I cannot help kissing some of these images on my phone screen.

I commend this devotion to you because it’s so easy. You just gaze at picture of the Virgin on the internet and let her thrill your heart.

A Physical Religion

Kissing religious objects is a common practice in the Catholic world, but it may be an even bigger thing in the Orthodox Christian world. Eastern Orthodox Christians are always kissing religious icons, which represent Christ, his Mother and the saints.

Orthodox laity also kiss the hand of the priest, which is a practice I never felt comfortable about.

I learned to kiss religious objects from the Eastern Orthodox tradition when I was heavily involved in it a few years ago. I love the Orthodox tradition, and find it is very sensory. Many people – men in particular, it seems – find this very appealing.

Orthodox Christianity impacts ALL the senses. This is why they always use incense, and do a lot of prostrations and kissing of icons. Count how many times the Orthodox do the sign of the cross in their worship. You’ll lose count.

The Incarnation and Created Things

This kind of physical relationship to religion is based on the incarnation of Christ. God became flesh, God took physical nature into union with his own being.

Creation (the flesh of Christ) is actually UNITED to God’s own being forevermore. Because of this, Christianity is an exceptionally PHYSICAL religion.

As a result, created objects are used constantly for the glory of God and to represent God. So this approach to religion belongs as much to the Catholic Church as it does to Orthodox Christianity.

Perhaps many Catholics have forgotten this. An aged British Catholic once told me that he felt the Protestant Reformation in the UK had deeply influenced Catholics negatively. When I asked why, he said because Catholics in the UK don’t relate as much to images as they used to.

He then told me about Catholics from the Philippines, who tend to be much more physical with images. Many of them touch images as a way of connecting with God.

I once saw a Catholic man in Scotland reach out and touch a statue of the Pieta (Mary holding the dead body of her Son after he is taken down from the cross). This man touched it for longer than a quick second, as if he was trying to touch Mary herself and experience something of God.

Anyway, if you don’t find kissing religious objects ‘your thing’ then that’s fine, you can still be a good Catholic. I don’t believe the Church requires Catholics to kiss religious objects in order to obey the Church.

But many of us do find that relating to God with our bodies to be a powerful way to show our affection for God and to feel his presence more. We do this by touching or kissing religious objects or images, tombs or relics of saints, bowing to relics, kissing rosaries, or in a whole host of ways.

When you really love someone …

Think of it this way. When we love someone – deeply love them – it is only human to express that love physically. We kiss our parents or siblings, or spouses. We often even kiss our pets.

So to kiss a rosary is the same sort of thing. It isn’t because we literally want to marry a set of rosary beads. We don’t have a romantic involvement with the beads, that’s just silly.

We kiss the Rosary because of what they represent. They represent God’s presence. A priest has blessed the rosary beads, and so they channel God’s grace to us. And most of all they represent Mary, because she is the Queen of the most holy Rosary.

==> If you are interested in Rosary beads, check out this post to see these beauties <==

I hope this has proved helpful! Feel free to get in touch if you have any more questions.

God bless you 🙂

10 Replies to “Can I Kiss my Rosary?”

  1. What a lovely and intriguing article.  You really opened me up to understanding something about myself.

    I come from a Catholic family but am not Catholic, or even Christian.  I am, however, highly spiritual.  And physical in the way you talk about here. I see that I got it from my Polish Catholic grandmother, who went around crossing herself in Polish all the time.  It makes perfect sense to me to kiss one’s rosary…or any other iconic object.  I’ve even kissed the rocks I used as gravestones for my deceased dogs.  I love them and still love them after they’ve died.  So the rock becomes a sort of stand-in for them, it holds a place for them now that they are non-corporeal.  Humans are naturally ritualistic and this is expressed in so many ways, across every tradition.  

    I totally agree with the aged British Catholic who said Protestant Reformation negatively influenced Catholics. Imagery is important.  As is physicality.  And incense.  We are Spirits embodied in Matter.  We need both parts of ourselves and cannot ignore physicality.  

    When I was 12, my new stepmother made us go to her boring Protestant church.  It was so bland and sanitized and empty.  No crucifix, just a plain cross.  No incense.  No drama.  Just abstract conceptualization, no physical reality.  I can’t relate. 

    It seems to me that the act of kissing a rosary, or touching a statue for a long time, is a physical act of gratitude, appreciation and love.  Connection.  The Divine Mind certainly is happy when we feel that way.  For the corporeal to connect intimately with the incorporeal, it has to be in a symbolic way. We’re not in the same realm.  But it is still true togetherness.

    Thank you so much for this and have a beautiful day.

    1. Thank you so much for such an awesome response to this post. I really appreciated reading all of that. You make a lot of insightful points here, but one I note well is that the Protestant church you were taken to was just abstract and conceptual. I find this is true of a lot of Protestant Christianity, unfortunately. It was one of the things that REALLY attracted me to Orthodox and Catholic Christianity. Since becoming Catholic, the faith has taken root into my being in a much, much more powerful way. It’s not abstract anymore, it’s real.

  2. Hey Matthew!

    I stumbled upon your article about kissing the Rosary, and I must say it really resonated with me. While I’m not Catholic myself, I come from a spiritual background and can understand the power of physicality in expressing love and connection.

    I loved how you highlighted the significance of kissing religious objects as a way to show affection for God and to feel His presence. It’s fascinating to see the unity between the Catholic and Orthodox traditions in using physical objects to represent the divine.

    Your mention of the Protestant Reformation’s influence on Catholics in the UK and the loss of connection to images really struck a chord with me. I believe that imagery and physical rituals play a crucial role in expressing our spirituality.

    Kissing the Rosary or touching statues may seem symbolic to some, but it holds deep meaning and gratitude. It’s a beautiful way to bridge the gap between the physical and the incorporeal, allowing us to feel a sense of togetherness.

    1. I’m rather pleasantly surprised with the responses I’m getting from this post and I really value your input. Thank you my friend and I’m very glad you got something out of the article 

  3. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on kissing rosary beads. I agree that it is a beautiful and meaningful way to express our love for God and Mary. I also appreciate your insights on the physical nature of Christianity and how it is rooted in the incarnation of Christ.

    I think it is important to remember that there is no one right way to be Catholic. Some people may find that kissing religious objects is a helpful way to connect with God, while others may not. Ultimately, it is up to each individual to decide what feels right for them.

    Thank you again for sharing your thoughts. I found your article to be both informative and thought-provoking.

  4. What a beautiful post about the significance of kissing the Rosary beads! I’ve always been curious about this practice. It’s heartwarming to learn that when we kiss the Rosary, we are expressing love for God and our dear Mother Mary. I’ve seen similar practices in the Orthodox Christian world, where religious icons are kissed as a way of showing devotion.

    Could you recommend any resources or articles that delve deeper into the significance of these practices?

    I’m still new to the Rosary devotion, and this post has deepened my understanding and appreciation for it. 

    Thank you for sharing these insights and your personal experiences.

    1. Hello there! Thank you for getting in touch! 🙂

      Yes there’s a lot more connection between the Catholic and Orthodox worlds than many realise. They are so, so close to full reunion, in many ways. Sadly, in other ways, there is also much that needs working through. But Catholics and Orthodox are incredibly close in many ways. We shared 1000 years of Christian history in full communion around the one Eucharist!

      Well, I have much about the Rosary on this website, so feel free to check out the posts on the Rosary, particularly this one:


      God bless you!!

  5. Hello! Matthew I found your post about kissing the rosary really fascinating. In my family, we have a mix of different religions, including Catholicism. I’ve noticed that the physical acts of love and respect, like kissing the rosary, are common in many of them. It’s interesting to see how these actions can bring us closer to our faith and make it feel more real and personal.

    I was particularly intrigued by the part where you mentioned that when we kiss the rosary, we are kissing God and showing our love for Him. It’s a beautiful thought that such a simple act can have such a deep meaning.

    However, I’m a bit curious about one thing. You mentioned that kissing the rosary is like kissing the hand of Mary. Could you explain a bit more about how this connection is made? Is it because the rosary is associated with Mary, or is there a deeper theological reason behind it?

    Thanks for sharing your insights on this topic. I’m looking forward to hearing more from you!

    1. Hi there! Yes I find that the connection between faith and the physical definitely makes it all feel far more real.

      Yes, well, God calls us to simplicity really. He doesn’t require us to do ‘great’ things, because the greatest thing is just to love him like a child loves their father or mother. This was the secret of St Therese of the Child Jesus. We recall that our Lord told us unless we convert and become like little children we cannot enter heaven. Heaven is full of little children, who simply trusted their Heavenly Daddy.

      So, sure, just kissing a rosary is a lovely way to show this. Other ways are doing the Sign of the Cross slowly with holy water, or praying the Our Father with attention. It’s not hard to love God, he doesn’t want much from us, just our hearts.

      Regarding kissing the Rosary being like kissing Mary’s hand. This is because the Rosary is a powerful and special link between a person and Mary. The Rosary is one of Mary’s great gifts to us, and therefore to hold it is to hold her hand. To kiss it is to kiss her.

      There’s nothing deeply theological about it really because the Rosary is a devotional practice, it isn’t dogma, Catholics don’t have to believe in the Rosary as such, or practice it.

      St Padre Pio told us that to hold the Rosary is to hold Mary’s hand. A blessed Rosary is a sanctified item that has a special connection with God. Since the Rosary is Mary’s Psalter, it has an extra special connection to Mary. To touch one is like touching her.

      God bless you my friend!

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