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What kind of rosaries do you have?

Discussion in 'One Bread, One Body - Catholic' started by Wolseley, Mar 10, 2002.

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  1. Wolseley

    Wolseley Beaucoup-Diên-Cai-Dāu

    United States
    I just got a religious-goods catalog in the mail Saturday, and I was looking at the neat rosaries they had for sale; and it got me to wondering what kind of rosaries you all have, and how many, and the stories behind them.

    I have several; I have a kind of a dark purple glass beaded one, which turns a sort of a cranberry color when you hold it up to the light. The silver links have turned gold, and I've never even been to Medjugorje. :D (I think it's from the acid on my fingers, actually.) I bought this one myself.

    I also have a clear crystal Lourdes water rosary, although all the Lourdes water has evaporated from it years ago. The crucifix is a copy of the one on the Holy Father's crosier, and the Our Father beads are round flat replicas of Our Lady in Bernadette's grotto. I bought this one, too.

    Then I have one that's aluminum and blue plastic; it was given to me by a friend who worked as a physical therapist in a hospital; it had been left in the hospital by someone, and after 25 years, they were going to throw it out. She nailed it and gave it to me. It has roses at each arm of the crucifix, and I would estimate it was probably manufactured in the 1930's or 40's.

    Then I have a green glass one, with shamrocks on the beads and a big Celtic cross as a crucifix; this one was made in Ireland and has St. Patrick on the Hail Holy Queen medal. The silver links on this one have also turned to gold.

    I also have yet another one that I bought, a really pretty blue one with glass beads and a gorgeous gold and silver crucifix (not real gold and silver, but you know what I mean). I bought it because I thought it was pretty, and because blue is my favorite color.

    I have a small aluminum one with another "Pope's crosier" crucifix, and the Our Father beads are pictures of four major basilicas in Rome, with the 2000 Jubilee symbol as the Hail Holy Queen medal; a co-worker of my wife's brought this one back from Rome.

    I have a plain wooden one with a cheap aluminum and wood crucifix; this was more or less a souvenir that a friend bought me at the Vatican gift shop. I still have the orginal sales receipt, in Italian lira.

    I have a tiny violet-colored one that belonged to my mother; it's very fragile, and I never take it out of the box. It was blessed by Pope Benedict XV.

    I have a super-cheapie aluminum and black plastic one that hangs from the rearview mirror of my SUV; it has a pewter St. Christopher medal attatched. The whole works probably cost around $3.00.

    And finally, I have one of those bronze ring-rosaries that you twirl around one finger; my friend McAuley gave it to me just yesterday. :)

    So what about you? What kind of rosaries do you have, and why are they special or meaningful to you? Any interesting stories?
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  2. nyj

    nyj Goodbye, my puppy

    The rosary I carry around with me is the one that was given to me at my Knights of Columbus first degree ceremony. I have it in a small, black, leather case that zips up. The rosary itself is black, and has the crucifix that can be found on Pope John Paul II's staff.

    I then have the rosary I was given at my first communion (over twenty years ago... sheesh, has it been that long?!?!). It also is black and has the standard cross that you see on most rosaries. This rosary is tucked into the shelf of my prayer kneeler so if I misplace my KofC rosary I know I have one stored somewhere when I take time to pray.

    I then have several plastic rosaries of various colors, mostly brown and white, but one is black and white. They hang from the lamp over my bed but they're not used much because put the other two through the works.

    I also have a small one decade rosary that is made of rose wood. I carried that one in my pocket before I became a Knight of Columbus, and now it sits on my nightstand.

    I believe that's it. Now, if you were to have asked us to list the icons we have in our house, I could go on for quite awhile (bought a new one this weekend at the Catholic Men's Conference... The Holy Family, it's beautiful! Windows into heaven indeed!).
  3. Avila

    Avila Boohoo moomoo, cebu

    DH has a KofC rosary that he got at his 1st Degree. It is in the rearview mirror of the Passat - and Jesus always faces the driver. He also has a beautiful black rosary that he carries in his leather rosary case. He made this one himself (including twisting the links together from wire) and it has the crown of thorns on one side of it (I think as the HHQ medal).

    Mine are a black plastic rosary that I picked up somewhere, I think when I was in RCIA. Then, DH also gave me a blue and white mission rosary that he made. Standard, traditional crucifices, etc on both. Then, when we were at Steubenville a few years back, I bought one for myself. It is navy blue beads, with a silver crucifix. The crucifix is so pretty. It has wheat and grapes on it, and is fairly ornate. I really liked it.

    DH wants to make me a nicer looking rosary, but I have yet to pick out the beads, crucifix, HHQ medal, etc. I am thinking a Celtic cross, but an ornate Renaissance-type cross would be cool too. The HHQ - dunno yet, maybe just a pretty bead. I think I might like just clear crystal beads, or maybe ones that are lightly tinted (blue or pink).

    We also have a rosary draped across the arms of our huge Italian crucifix (the one that DH rescued from the trash). It is wood and it matches the wood of the crucifix. It is lovely - DH made that rosary. His grandma's old rosary used to be there, but we lost the crucifix and some beads in one of our many moves. :(
  4. Wolseley

    Wolseley Beaucoup-Diên-Cai-Dāu

    United States
    Somebody THREW OUT a crucifix??? :eek:

    Mein Gott in Himmel, don't they know that's a sacrelige? Granted, it's only a sacramental, but even sacramentals are disposed of by burning them and burying the ashes, not by throwing them in the trash.

    I don't know what's the matter with some people these days.....

    You guys are to be commended for rescuing the image of Our Lord from a trash can. I still can't believe somebody would throw it out like that. :mad:
  5. Blynn

    Blynn Well-Known Member

    United States
    Hi Wolseley,

    I have my grandmother's rosary. It is very old. It is glass and beautiful. I treasure it.

    I know that my grandmother prayed her rosary everyday and said many prayers for me with it.

    God bless,
  6. Avila

    Avila Boohoo moomoo, cebu

    Herr Wolseley, this was indeed a tragic occurrence. You don't even want to know what the liberal priests of our area did to some of the beautiful old churches - painted over murals, threw away gorgeous carved altars (including the crucifix DH rescued), etc. all in the name of Vatican II!!! And, the sad thing is that this didn't happen until the 80s, maybe even 90s. I don't remember exactly when he said he rescued it. The most suprising thing about the crucifix is that it was carved in a monastery in Italy by a fairly famous wood-carver. My historic preservationist hear about has a fit every time it hears stories like that one! :(
  7. ZooMom

    ZooMom Thanks for the memories...

    United States
    I have a crystal and silver Rosary. It's Austrian crystal so it makes rainbows when the light hits it. It's very feminine and delicate looking, and that's the one I use every day.

    I also have a wooden one that my friend brought me from Mexico. There are painted pictures of different saints on the OF beads, and the crucifix has a little peekaboo hole in the top that shows a 3D image of the Immaculate Heart.

    I have several plastic ones that the children use. We even have some that glow in the dark. :D

    My husband has a metal one that looks really neat, and a black glass/pewter one.

    The one I keep in the car is clear glass.

    An old co-worker of mine used to have one in her car that was made entirely of nautical knots. It was pretty cool. :)

    My son has a single decade wooden Rosary. It's better for him to use because he feels like he's actually getting somewhere with it instead of the long ones. :)

    My aunt makes glass bead jewelry, and is making a single decade Rosary for my oldest daughter. I have seen the beads she will be using and it is beautiful. The OF beads are blue and shaped like fish, and the HM beads are clear gold and shaped like tear drops (kinda looks like wheat heads too). The wire and crucifix will be silver.

    The kids also have a picture Rosary that I made for them that has laminated pictures on a key ring, instead of beads. The pictures are for the Sorrowful Mysteries and the appropriate prayer is on the back of each card. It was easier and helped them focus more when thay were smaller, and it helps them now that they are reading too. I've procrastinated on making ones for the Glorious and Joyful mysteries, but I want to get them done too.

    I think that's it. :)
  8. amie

    amie Survivor

    I have a beautiful turquoise rosary an 8 year old child gave me in Italy...and the other rosary I have is a small one that my friend gave me right before we jumped from a plane skydiving...he's a priest and he wanted me to carry it on the jump...
    Amie :wave:
  9. HisLamb

    HisLamb Active Member

    The one I have on my nightstand is "amethyst"...not real, but glass of that color. I love the color.

    I also have my childhood rosary that is light blue for Mary.

    My father's black rosary.

    My mother's clear crystal rosary...I think I have two of these...one is an older one I used before the amethyst one.

    I also have one made from that "glow in the dark" material. My mother used to have that hanging on the bedpost so she could see it easily in the dark if she woke in the middle of the night.
  10. StogusMaximus

    StogusMaximus Well-Known Member

    ***Non-Catholic Alert****

    Is there any meaning to the color or material in the rosary?
    What is the rosary for?

  11. nyj

    nyj Goodbye, my puppy

    Originally posted by StogusMaximus

    Is there any meaning to the color or material in the rosary?

    As far as I know, no. Though black is typically the color most men's rosaries are found in, while white seems to be the predominant color for women. Otherwise, it matters not what color the rosary beads are.

    What is the rosary for?

    The rosary is a meditative prayer. The link that follows does a good job IMO of explaining the rosary and how to pray it.


    Hope that helps.
  12. StogusMaximus

    StogusMaximus Well-Known Member

    ***Non-Catholic Alert****

    Thanks for the link, there is some good info. I think Protestants could benefit from this meditative prayer as well. I know some pieces might cause some contoversy, but I think the overall aspect is extremly valuable.

    More Questions:
    So when you say the rosary, what do the beads represent?
    Do you count the beads? Is there a number of beads, say one for each Hail Mary?
    How often is the rosary said?

    Thanks for the help. :wave:
  13. Wolseley

    Wolseley Beaucoup-Diên-Cai-Dāu

    United States
    You can pray the Rosary as often as you like. There's no "set limit". :) Here is an archived post of mine that I keep on hand for this occasion---it will hopefully answer your questions. If it doesn't, let me know and I will try to clarify.


    The Rosary got its start in the late 1st and 2nd centuries, when Christian monks in the Syrian and Egyptian deserts used to carry around a leather bag with 150 pebbles inside, one for each of the 150 Psalms. During the course of the day, they would remove a pebble, recite a prayer, and slip the pebble into their pocket. When the bag was empty and the pocket was full, they knew they'd said a prayer for each Psalm.

    As time went on, this system evolved into knots tied in a cord, and eventually to beads strung on a string or a chain. A crucifix was added some time later, and the prayers began to get standardized. The Rosary in its present form dates from the 12th century, when a Spanish friar named Dominic Guzman (the founder of the Dominican Order) began to popularize it as a daily devotion.

    The beads themselves consist of a circle, joined together by a medal; attatched to the medal is a smaller string, or "tail", with a crucifix on the end of it. A rosary can be made of just about anything; various types of wood are popular, as is glass in various colors. Plastic is used in two types---standard and "glow-in-the-dark". Metal can be used, anything from aluminum to sterling silver and 24-karat gold. I have seen rosaries with beads made from pressure-compressed rose petals and from seeds of plants from Palestine. Mother Teresa used to carry a plain wooden rosary with different colored wood beads, the same type that we usually buy for little children; these are cheap and quickly made, and she was constantly handing them out to people who didn't have one.

    Usually a rosary will have a large bead right after the crucifix, followed by three small beads in a series, and then another large one. You then have the medal, which you skip, and you have ten small beads in a series, then another large one, and so on, until you come back to the medal again; you have five sets of ten small beads each, all of them interspersed by one large bead. It sounds more complicated than it actually is, but if you look at a Catholic rosary, you can see that it's a relatively simple device.

    The large beads are "our Father" beads, on which is recited the Lord's Prayer. The smaller beads are "Hail Mary" beads, on which are recited a prayer called the Hail Mary, which goes like this:

    "Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee;
    Blessed art thou among women,
    And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
    Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
    Now and at the hour of our death, amen."

    (Keep in mind that Catholics believe that Mary and the saints can receive our requests and can intercede for us with God.)
    In the space between the last Hail Mary bead in each sequence of beads, the "Glory Be" is recited, which goes like this:

    "Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end, amen."

    This is sometimes followed up by the "Fatima Prayer", which goes like this:

    "O my Jesus, forgive us our sins; save us from the fires of hell, and lead all souls to Heaven, espcially those most in need of Your mercy, amen."

    Okay; those are the basic prayers. To pray the Rosary, you start out by reciting the Apostle's Creed on the crucifix. Then, you recite one Our Father followed by three Hail Marys and one Glory Be (the short "tail" of beads). You then recite another Our Father on the next large bead, skip over the medal, and recite ten Hail Marys, one for each small bead in the next ten-bead sequence, then, another Glory Be. You continue in this fashion for all five of the ten-bead series, until you come back around to the medal. On the medal, you recite the Hail Holy Queen, which is another prayer addressed to the Virgin Mary. This particular prayer usually gives Protestants some problems---to them, it sounds utterly and completely blasphemous, so hold on:

    "Hail Holy Queen, Mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, O most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us, and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb: Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary; pray for us, O most holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ, amen."

    I had a dear Protestant friend who was scandalized by this prayer. He said, "It is Jesus Who is 'our life, our sweetness and our hope', not Mary!" And I agreed with him. I said, "Look at it this way: Jesus is our life, sweetness, and hope, correct? And Mary is the mother of Jesus, correct? Well, that's exactly what this prayer calls her: the mother of our life, our sweetness, and our hope." To be honest, if one took this prayer on its own, completely isolated from the rest of all Catholic Marian theology and what the Church teaches about her, it would sound perhaps a bit shady---but it has to be taken in context with everything else the Church says about Mary....and the Church says we are saved by Jesus, not Mary.

    You finish the Rosary off by reciting the Prayer after the Rosary, which goes like this:

    "O most merciful God, Whose only-begotten Son, by His life, death, and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life; grant, we beseech Thee, that by meditating upon these sacred mysteries of the most holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, that we may imitate what they contain, and obtain what they promise, through the same Christ, our Lord, amen."

    Then you're done. This is only the mechanics of the thing, however; the Rosary is supposed to be a meditative prayer---there are fifteen sets of "mysteries" that you're supposed to be thinking about as you recite the prayers on the beads; they are as follows:

    The Joyful Mysteries:
    1. The Annunciation---Gabriel greets Mary
    2. The Visitation---Mary visits Elizabeth
    3. The Nativity---Jesus is born in Bethlehem
    4. The Circumcision---Jesus is dedicated to God
    5. The Finding of Jesus in the Temple

    The Sorrowful Mysteries:
    1. Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane
    2. Jesus is scourged at the pillar
    3. Jesus is crowned with thorns
    4. Jesus carries the cross
    5. Jesus is crucified

    The Glorious Mysteries:
    1. The Resurrection
    2. the Ascension
    3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit
    4. The Assumption of Mary
    5. The Coronation of Mary

    (The last two are from Sacred Tradition; we believe that Mary was assumed into Heaven, body and soul, as Enoch, Elijah,and Jesus were. She was "raptured", if you like. We also believe that Mary was crowned as Queen of Heaven, based on Revelation 12:1-2.)

    Vatican II stated that there are many more sets of mysteries that can be prayed, in addition to these fifteen, which are the old standard ones. I personally have several sets which I have devised, and I pray them as a change of pace. For example, Healing Mysteries:

    1. Jesus heals the man born blind
    2. Jesus raises Jairus' daughter
    3. Jesus heals the Gadarene demoniac
    4. Jesus heals the woman with the issue of blood
    5. Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead

    I also have Resurrection Mysteries:

    1. Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene
    2. Jesus appears on the road to Emmaus
    3. Jesus heals Thomas' doubt
    4. Jesus re-instates Peter on the beach
    5. Jesus appears to Paul on the road to Damascus

    And so on.

    The Rosary doesn't pay more homage to Mary than to Jesus simply because of the disproportionate number of Hail Marys as opposed to other prayers; remember that there are many types of prayer, and the Rosary is a meditative prayer. This means it comes more from the head than from the heart, as opposed to something like petitional prayer, which comes more from the heart than from the head. You're not even supposed to be paying attention to the Hail Marys you recite---you're supposed to be paying attention to the mystery you're meditating upon. All that the recitation of the prayer does is to keep your mind focused and to establish a rhythm---sort of like repeating a mantra over and over in some Eastern religions.

    The way I keep focused is to concentrate on one aspect of the mystery in question for each bead, keeping that in my mind as I recite the Hail Mary. For example, let's say that we're doing the Fourth Sorrowful Mystery, Jesus Carries the Cross; ten beads, ten Hail Marys, ten pictures to focus on:

    1. Jesus was shoved into a carpenter's shop and a heavy, rough-hewn pine beam was thrown across His shoulders and lashed to His arms with ropes. The smell of the fresh wood shavings gave him a pang, thinking of the happy days He had spent as a child in Joseph's carpenter shop.

    2. The soldiers shoved Jesus into the street, where He fell and skinned one knee on the rough paving stones. He struggled to His feet and staggered forward.

    3. The streets were lined with people screaming for His death, spitting on Him, mocking Him. Also in the crowd were those who loved Him, who wept with horror and sorrow as He passed by.

    4. Weak from carrying the crossbeam, Jesus fell to both knees. A woman came out of the crowd with a cloth and mercifully wiped the sweat and blood from Jesus' face.

    5. As the procession turned a corner, Jesus came face-to-face with His mother. Mary's heart twisted within her when she saw what they had done to Him, and she began to weep unconsolably.

    6. A group of women stood nearby, weeping as Jesus passed. Gasping under the weight of the crossbeam, Jesus said, "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me; weep rather for yourselves, and for your children."

    7. Jesus fell again, this time full-length upon His chest. He tried to rise and could not, even though the soldiers kicked Him and cursed Him.

    8. One of the soldiers yanked Jesus to His feet by His hair, while another yanked a man out of the crowd and forced him to help Jesus carry the crossbeam; this man's name was Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus.

    9. At length, the place of execution was reached; this was a garbage dump outside the city wall of Jerusalem. This place was called in the Hebrew tongue "Golgotha", and in the Latin tongue "Calvarium", which means "The Place of the Skull".

    10. Jesus was tripped by the soldiers and thrown flat on His back; the wind was knocked out of Him and He gasped for air. As He struggled to breathe, two of the soldiers approached Him on either side, bearing heavy iron hammers and long, sharp, rusty iron spikes.

    And so on. It takes a while to go through five decades this way, but it really helps to keep you focused.

    The only thing left to say is that the Rosary is a devotion, which means it's entirely optional. You can be a faithful Catholic and never say a Rosary in your entire life. If it's for you and it helps you, you should use it. If it doesn't, then find another devotion that does.
  14. StogusMaximus

    StogusMaximus Well-Known Member

    I think that is a great way to focus our mind and devote ourselves in prayer. Thanks for the info.

    I think that it would be something that Protestants could benifit from as well. It is obvious that there are things that we Protestants disagree with, but overall I think it is a great devotional.

    I would like to take the information you supplied and atttempt to make a "Rosary" devotional that Protestants would be comfortable with. Please let me know if you think doing this is disrespectful to the Catholic Rosary, because that is not my intention, and I will not proceed if you think so.
  15. VOW

    VOW Moderator

    To Stogus:

    I speak only for myself, but anything which promotes a person's faith can't possibly be disrespectful!

    I think it's a lovely idea.

    Peace be with you,
  16. nyj

    nyj Goodbye, my puppy

    Originally posted by StogusMaximus

    So when you say the rosary, what do the beads represent?

    The beads themselves don't represent anything, other than to remind you to say the next prayer. In the group of 'ten' beads on the rosary, you will say ten Hail Mary's.

    Do you count the beads?

    Yes, the beads are there to lead you along in your praying. If for instance, you're reflecting on each mystery you might take a few minutes between each Hail Mary and so it is easy to lose count of where you are. The beads are there to remind you how far into that meditation you are.

    Is there a number of beads, say one for each Hail Mary?

    Exactly. In the groups of ten, each one means you'll say one Hail Mary for each bead. The beads in between each grouping of ten means you'll say an Our Father at the beginning of the mystery and the doxology (Glory Be) at the end of the mystery.

    How often is the rosary said?

    You can pray whenever you want. Though the rosary is a tradition (lower case 't') of the Church, no Catholic is under any obligation to pray the Rosary... ever. So you can say it as often as you want, or you can say it never... depends on the person.
  17. Avila

    Avila Boohoo moomoo, cebu

    Stogus - I know many Protestants who have taken up this devotion. If you keep in mind that it is a reflection on Christ, you are on the right track. Of course, you are doing some honor to Mary, Jesus's mom, but honoring her is the same as telling some lady that she is doing (or did) a good job in raising her child. It does honor to the Son by honoring the Mother. :)
  18. Wolseley

    Wolseley Beaucoup-Diên-Cai-Dāu

    United States
    Good heavens; anything you can do to get people to pray more has MY blessing. You certainly don't need my permission, but I think it's a great idea. By all means, proceed.

    I had a Lutheran friend in college that was just fascinated with the rosary beads I carried in my pocket every day; finally he made me take him to the Catholic bookstore so he could buy one for himself, and had me teach him how to use it. I used to needle him, saying that he'd better not let Marty catch him with such Papist paraphernalia, or he'd be thrown out of the Lutheran church on his ear. :D he was a good sport about it, though. Whether he eventually altered the prayers to fit his own devotional life or not, I don't know. He moved to Massachusetts and I don't hear from him much any more.
  19. Ioustinos

    Ioustinos Veteran

    Eastern Orthodox
    I don't know much about rosaries or their uses. What do they represent? Why and how are they used?

    Any information would be appreciated :)
  20. Wolseley

    Wolseley Beaucoup-Diên-Cai-Dāu

    United States
    Uh, read the thread, maybe???
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