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Coins and small bills

It's always handy having loose change, but not necessarily for the parking meter. You may meet someone in the course of your day, and giving them a coin or small bills might make a big difference to their life.

Tissues

Obviously tissues are essential for coughs and sneezes -- and the odd spillage -- but they're also essential for wiping away tears. If a friend or colleague is in need of consoling, they'll no doubt be grateful of a compassionate ear. So have your tissues at the ready.

Lip salve

Okay, so this one has strictly no spiritual meaning that we could think of, but it's vital for avoiding those pesky chapped lips and it can highlight a smile. For a touch of quick and easy glamor, go for a tinted variety, and choose one of the cleaner brands out there to avoid harmful toxins.

Mini sewing kit

If you're out and someone's zipper breaks or a button pops, it's great to be to able to take care of it immediately. The small kits fit into a purse easily and there are multiple uses for those safety pins.

Prayer card

Easily slipped in your purse, a favorite prayer card is a helpful way to guide you in prayer during the day. A prayer card from a loved one's funeral is a lovely way to have a sweet reminder of them as you come across it in your purse.

Breath mints

You might not think a simple mint can have a religious connotation but think again. As we're called to love our neighbors, by ensuring a fresh breath -- particularly after garlic! -- you're keeping everyone happy!

Small notebook

Who needs a smartphone for everything? Although useful for to-do lists and grocery shopping, a small notebook is good for writing down thoughts, ideas, or other tidbits of info. You can even keep some favorite quotes there to refer to when you're a little low and in need of inspiration.

The Magnificat!

No Catholic woman's purse is complete without a copy of the beautiful Magnificat. This pocket-sized monthly prayer book has the Mass readings for the day, morning and evening prayer, and meaningful spiritual reflections.

Rosary

A rosary is a source of comfort if faced with a stressful situation in your day -- dental surgery, exam results, a bumpy plane ride! And it's perfect to pray on a long commute.

Holy water

The next time you're at church, bring a small flask and fill it with some holy water in the font. You can sprinkle some in your car, or at your workplace, to bless the spaces in which you spend so much time.

A "call-a-priest" card

It's always good to prepare for worst case scenarios, so be sure to pop a "In case of emergency, please call a Catholic priest" card in your purse. Not only is this reassuring, it's also useful for those helping you to make sure your spiritual needs are dealt with as well as your physical ones.

Miniature Bible

You know how you never leave home without your cellphone? Well, the pope recommends all Catholics carry a mini Bible with them at all times, too. While there are online versions, there's something special about a Bible to leaf through when we're waiting somewhere, perhaps earmarking favorite verses. And it never loses its signal or runs out of battery!
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