Why do we do that? Catholic Life Explained

December 23, 2020

Question: I’ve seen people hang rosaries over the rear-view mirrors in their cars and a few of them wear them around their necks. Is it OK to do that?

Answer: The practice of hanging a rosary or a religious medal off of the rearview mirror of one’s car is a fairly popular custom across many cultures. While there is no particular rule approving or condemning this practice, we should also be mindful of the respect and reverence due to religious objects and devotional items (i.e. sacramentals).

An important point to consider would be the reason why one chooses to place a rosary or religious medal in our cars. Is it a reminder of the protection and intercession of Mary and the saints? Does it encourage us to be mindful of God’s presence, even in such a mundane task as driving? Is it an outward expression of our more private devotions?

One advantage of having a rosary or religious medal in our cars is that it can also serve as a reminder to pray when we travel, asking for protection for ourselves and for other motorists or commuters. Certainly, invoking the protection and prayers of the saints is a wonderful practice for families, helping to reinforce our belief in the communion of saints and the care and concern we owe to one another.