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Holy Cards Exhibit (2016)



Featured Exhibit: 
Holy Cards

This exhibit features a selection of holy cards from various digital collections at CRRA member institutions. Holy cards in the Catholic tradition are small, religious pictures roughly the size of a playing card. The reverse sometimes contains a prayer or other devotional text. These cards, which typically depict a Catholic saint or religious scene, are often blessed by priests for the use by the faithful. The creation, circulation, and use of these cards is an important part of the material culture of Roman Catholics.

Barry University Archives and Special Collections

Featured in this exhibit are several holy cards from Barry University's Archives and Special Collections. Included are several cards in memoriam of individuals associated with the university and the surrounding area, as well as cards depicting the pope, Notre Dame du Perpétuel Secours, and La Virgen de la Curidad. 

 DePaul University Holy Cards Collection

This collection of devotional cards featuring St. Vincent de Paul is part of the Vincentian Studies Collection at DePaul University Library Special Collections. These cards span several centuries and many languages and show the religious iconography surrounding St. Vincent de Paul, St. Louise de Marillac, and the various religious and lay orders founded by them.

University of Dayton Holy Cards Collection

The University of Dayton's Marian Library holy card collection contains over 10,000 holy cards dating from circa 1675 through the present day. Materials in this collection depict the Blessed Virgin Mary, Madonna and Child, events in the life of Jesus and Mary, Marian titles, and Marian shrines. The hold cards featured in this collection were typically used by Catholics in private devotion, purchased as souvenirs from Marian shrines or during pilgrimage to Catholic holy sites, or distributed to commemorate a Catholic sacrament or occasion.

University of St. Thomas Holy Cards Collection

For many decades staff at the Ireland Library retained hundreds of holy cards that have been found in returned books. Some are beautiful (handmade paper lace cards, art nouveau, art deco, Italian and German chromolithographs), some have local associations (ordinations, funerals, anniversaries), some are rather odd, many are touching. All have a wonderful immediacy, embodying popular piety in the very best sense of the word. A selection of these objets trouvés are displayed in this collection.

Copyright Notice:
Copyright to these images is held by Barry University, DePaul University, the University of Dayton, and the University of St. Thomas and they are used here with permission.