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The stoup is a recipient used to contain holy water. The water, blessed by the prayer of a priest, is in turn used to bless the faithful.

This portable stoup is made of metal and is accompanied by an aspergillum, a tool that allows the faithful to be sprinkled with the holy water. The other type of holy water font, on a pedestal, is placed near the entrance doors of churches and chapels. Made of stone, metal, or ceramic, it allows the faithful to dip the tip of a finger in it and then cross themselves as a token of respect. This water is also used to bless the deceased or other objects.

Many bring holy water back to their homes as a symbol of protection against calamity, bad weather, and disease. The smaller, wall-hung holy water font also accompanies the blessing ritual before going to sleep. During violent storms, when lightning and thunder strike, some people sprinkle holy water on the windows of their homes to protect the building.


Date: 1869–1950

Origin: North America

Owner: Fabrique de la paroisse Saint-Donat. Saint-Donat.


Hardouin-Fugier, É., & Berthod, B. (2006). Dictionnaire des objets de dévotion dans l’Europe Catholique [Dictionary of devotional items in Catholic Europe]. Édition de l’Amateur.

Lessard, M. (2014). La nouvelle encyclopédie des antiquités du Québec [The new encyclopedia of Quebec’s antiquities]. Éditions de l’Homme.

Illustration: Stoup