Courage and Faith and a Catholic Pocket Shrine: How to Make Your Own Catholic Pocket Shrine 2 Ways

Courage and Faith and a Catholic Pocket Shrine: How to Make Your Own Catholic Pocket Shrine 2 Ways

What is a Catholic Pocket Shrine?

You may have heard of Catholic Pocket Shrines before. Maybe you saw a picture of one while scrolling through Pinterest, or someone you know of mentioned one. Maybe you haven’t ever heard of a Pocket Shrine before. Either way, I am going to give you a quick gloss-over what they are and why you should consider making one.

There will be instructions on how to make a Catholic pocket shrine 2 different ways near the end of this post. Both ways are inexpensive and easy to do. Even children can make these without too much trouble.

Pocket Shrines in Times of Hardship

Catholic pocket shrines are simply a collection of Holy images, prayers cards, sacramentals such as Scapulars, Miraculous or Saints medals, Crucifixes, miniature statues, Rosaries, etc. put into something small enough to fit into your pockets.

There are many different styles of Pocket shrines. You can find ones that are made out of small tin containers or even ones that are sewn out of fabric. It all depends on what you want yours to be like.

The idea behind the Catholic pocket shrine is to create a reminder of your faith. It is also designed to hold Sacramentals and prayers that you can carry with you all the time, wherever you go. And depending on how you make yours, they can be very discrete or they can be very obviously Catholic.

How to Make a Catholic Pocket Shrine Pin

You may not be surprised to learn that pocket shrines go way back to several centuries ago. Back in a time when people weren’t able attend Masses dues plagues or wars, they kept Pocket Shrines to help them feel closer to God and to strengthen their faith in Him.

The practice of carrying a Catholic Pocket Shrine became popular once again during some of the greatest wars of the 19th and 20th centuries; namely the Civil War, the First World War and the Second World War. Soldiers would hollow out bullet shells and keep miniature statues, medals, Rosaries and other such small sacramentals in them. You can see some examples of pocket shrines that soldiers carried below from @cityofangels_jewelry.

Pocket Shrines today

As I explained above, Catholic Pocket Shrines have come in and out of fashion over the years. They were always more popular during times of great hardship when the need for strong faith in God was imperative. I think it is time for Catholic pocket shrines to come back into fashion again. They are not difficult nor expensive to make. They also make for a really great gift idea for Christmas, birthdays, Easter, and Sacraments. They are even simple enough for children to make.

How to Make a Pocket Shrine Using a Matchbox

How to Make a Pocket Shrine Out of a Matchbox

First I will show you how to make a Catholic pocket shrine out of a matchbox. The matchbox I had was an old Redbird matchbox. It is about 1.5″ wide and 2.5″ long, so it is a relatively tiny box, but this wasn’t a problem. I also left the matchbox very plain, but feel free to decorate yours with fancy paper, ribbon, glitter, markers, etc. Make it yours, or if you are making it for someone else, make it something that they will treasure.

For this first type of Pocket Shrine, the materials you need are:

  • An empty matchbox
  • Holy cards
  • Small Sacramentals
  • Glue, scissors, & decorations (optional)

Find an empty matchbox & choose a Holy Card

Empty Matchbox

The first thing you will want to do is find an empty matchbox. Then you can choose a Holy card that will fit inside. If you don’t have any Holy Cards, then you can simply print an image off the internet or draw one yourself.

Holy Image and Matchbox

Cut the Holy Image to Fit and Place in the Matchbox

If you need to, cut the image you have chosen to fit inside the matchbox. Then when it is cut to size, place inside.

Matchbox on Holy Card
Trace Around Image
Holy Image in Matchbox

Place Sacramentals Inside

Now for the fun part. You get to choose a number of Sacramentals to place inside your matchbox pocket shrine. You could put a Crucifix, Miraculous or Saint medal, Rosary, Scapular or any other item small enough to fit. Have fun with this part.

Inside Matchbox Pocket Shrine with Crucifix and Medal
Inside Matchbox Pocket Shrine with Rosary

Decorate if Desired

At this point, you can decorate the outside of the box using whatever creative materials you have. As I mentioned before, I decided to keep my plain, but feel free to decorate yours however you please.

Matchbox Catholic Pocket Shrine with Medals
Matchbox Catholic Pocket Shrine with Rosary

How to Make a Pocket Shrine Using a Metal Tin

How to Make a Pocket Shrine out of a Metal Tin

This second kind of pocket shrine is made using a metal tin. This particular one is larger than the matchbox. It is about 2 by 3 inches by just under an inch high.

For this first type of Pocket Shrine, the materials you need are:

  • A metal tin
  • Holy cards
  • Small Sacramentals
  • Glue, scissors, & decorations (optional)

Find a small metal tin & choose a Holy Cards

Metal tin
Metal tin open

The first thing you will want to do is find a metal tin. You can use a plain silver one or a fancier one. It’s up to you. Then you can choose a Holy card or even two that will fit inside. If you don’t have any Holy Cards, then you can simply print an image off the internet or draw one yourself.

If you need to, cut the image you have chosen to fit inside the matchbox. Then when it is cut to size, place inside.

Metal Tin with Holy Cards

Place Sacramentals Inside

Now for the fun part. You get to choose a number of Sacramentals to place inside your pocket shrine. You could put a Crucifix, Miraculous or Saint medal, Rosary, Scapular or any other item small enough to fit. Have fun with this part.

How to Make a Pocket Shrine out of a Metal Tin
Finished Metal Tin Catholic Pocket Shrine

Decorate if Desired

At this point, you can decorate the outside of the box using whatever creative materials you have. As I mentioned before, I decided to keep my plain, since the outside of the box was already covered in a floral pattern.

Finished Metal Tin Catholic Pocket Shrine

Another note about Pocket Shrines

I just wanted to mention that you can make pocket shrines as reminders of specific Saints. I have seen some for Saint Therese for example in which there is a picture of Saint Therese, small decorative roses, prayers to her etc. So, you can also make pocket shrines as reminders of yours or someone else’s patron Saints.

How to Make a Catholic Pocket Shrine Pin

If you have made a Catholic pocket shrine of your own, I would love to see it. If you enjoyed reading this post and found it helpful, then please consider sharing it and subscribing to see similar content.

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God Bless,

Maria from Immaculata Kids

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