Prayer candles with Saints on them

Hi everyone,

Can someone please explain to me the/their usual uses of the prayer candles that have the Saints on them?–the ones that are about eight inches in height, in the glass containers, that one can buy even in the grocery stores. I have a couple and I light them while I pray. But when I’m done praying I blow them out because my room mate is afraid I will burn the house down. (I’m sure I won’t.) But now one of them is empty. Should I refill it? Or how is one to dispose of such a thing with a Saint on it?

Thanks for your help.

In our home the devotion is that the candle symbolizes our presence and our request to the Saint to put our petition before the Lord and plead on our behalf. Because it is difficult for us to spend long hours at home or in a particular room in prayer, we light a candle to indicate: "If I could, I’d stay right here and worship longer, so let this little flame stay in my stead”.
We might say to the person represented on the candle: "Think of me, though I leave here, and I will think of you and my Lord Jesus Christ.” Because the candle for me represents my prayers, I like to think the candle brings a little blessing to our home. I almost always have a lit candle in the kitchen on a plate in a safe area. I’m in and out of the kitchen often so my little candle with the Saint reminds me often to say a prayer.

I have never seen these.

If an object has been blessed, there are two ways to properly dispose of it: burning or burying it. You could refill it and reuse it if you can find another candle to fit in the glass container.

the candles you buy at the dollar store or grocery store in the glass jars with saint decals can be very dangerous, the wax may have air bubbles, the wick may contain lead and be uneven, causing hot spots. Most churches and chapels ban them because there is a danger they can break due to excessive heat, and the lead wicks can emit dangerous fumes. Buy the candles sold in your parish or religious gift stores that are approved for church use. Our fire chief, who happens to be head of parish council, has banned them in churches and chapels in this town and issued warnings about using them in homes. Our adoration chapel almost burned to the ground due to two of these candles bursting and hot burning wax dripping on the furnishings.

Dear Everyone,

Thanks so much for your help! Here is an example of what the candles look like. At least around here (D.C. area) they can be found in most regular grocery stores, Latino markets, etc. And they are usually $1.50 or less. They burn for a very, very long time. They come in a huge variety of Saints, Jesus, Mary, Holy Spirit.

Thank you Lewis (puzzleannie)
I did not know the candles were that dangerous. From now on I’m buying all of our candles from the church.
We should consider safety especially in our homes when using these candles or any other types of candles.

Great advice. i didn’t know about the lead, but did read that scented candles and incense used too often does cause indoor air pollution and can have harmful effects on the homebound and babies that are indoors most of the time, especially in winter when the windows are sealed.–nicolo

I didn’t know about the dangers either. Thank you very much for letting us know.

Those are votive candles- like the ones you light in church. Home votive candles are part of Mexican culture, so you find them in areas where there are a lot of Mexicans, or where Mexican culture is a theme. I wouldn’t use them- because they could break. My dad lit one once when I was little, and the wax melted and flames shot out the top of it.