Catholics do not worship idols, but have a long tradition of using statues in our churches, because thousands of years ago, people were not able to read and write. The average person could not read and understand the stories in the bible for themselves, until the early 1900’s. Priests and scribes were the only people in the church who were educated enough to read and understand the bible. Therefore, the church used statues, paintings and stained glass windows to visually portray the stories in the bible and show what people from that time period may have looked like. The stained glass windows in a church often depicted the stories from Jesus’ life visually, so that everyone, including little children, could understand who Jesus was.
It isn’t much different today. We have photographs of our grandparents to remember them by, and share stories about who they were, with our children.
Our statues of Jesus, Mary and the saints are ways that Catholics honor and preserve their memory, through visual means in our every day life. Remember the expression, “out of sight, out of mind?” As Catholics, we never want Jesus, and Mary, and the example of the saints to be out of sight or out of mind, but be forever enduring in our hearts, and in our every day lives.