Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Show Us Your Rosaries!

This is a follow-up to our piece last Sunday to honor the Feast of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary. I got the idea two years ago from a correspondent in the Philippines, 100% Katolikong Pinoy, who invited Catholics around the world to show off their own personal rosaries. Meanwhile, at Chez Alexandre, featured here are a few rosaries thrown together from my personal collection, each with a story to tell. (Mind you, these images taken together are not quite to scale.)

The first is the one most dear to me. It belonged to my Grandma Rosselot. It is more than two feet long stretched end to end, and is made with beads of what appear to be stained walnut. When she passed away twenty years ago, everybody was fighting over the good china and the cedar chest, and I told them, “All I want is Grandma’s big-@$$ rosary. You know, the BIG one!” So my dear sweet mama got a big stick out of the garage to take with her, and was able to fight off my other aunties to get it for me. What a gal!

This next one is a little bigger, nearly three feet laid end to end. This one is made of various polished stones, with large ornate devotional medals attached. It is usually kept in a display pouch with the rest of my stash. and is more of a collector's or novelty item, if there is such a thing for rosaries. One could hardly take this one to church on a Friday night, never mind Sunday morning, but it's there to contemplate nonetheless.

Speaking of one to contemplate, you might be thinking, “Yo, Black-Hatted One, there’s too many beads. Duuude! What’s up with that?” Well, duuude, you may remember how we described the origin of the rosary as inspired by the Book of 150 Psalms. Well, this one is the genuine article, a fifteen-decade rosary. The one in yours truly's collection is made of black plastic beads, but cannot be found at the moment, so I borrowed this one. (Saint Anthony is up to his old tricks again, that rascal!) Also known as "habit rosaries," they are typically at least three feet from one end to the other. They are typically worn by being clipped to the girdle (which is to say, the belt) of a friar or nun, usually a Dominican.

The next time you see a Dominican in full habit, if you can find one, count the decades for yourself. But remember, it's impolite to stare.

Our next item is not really a rosary in the strict sense, but is inspired by the little "decade rosaries" that the Irish secretly carried with them during the British persecution. This one has the opening phrase of the Angelic Salutation, in English on the obverse, and in Latin on the reverse. Also known as "ring rosaries," this type is usually worn around the finger when used. I actually found this one in the 39 cent bin of my favorite thrift store. It is about an inch and a half at its longest.

Amazing what you can find when you're not looking (which is probably how I'll eventually find my own fifteen-decade number).

Finally, there is the "everyday" rosary. Everyone has at least one of these, the one we carry with us in our pocket or purse during the week, for those stolen moments in the park during the lunch hour, or at our desk when we think no one's looking. This is the one I carry in the pocket of my suit coat during the workweek. It is about a foot long, made of olive wood imported from Bethlehem (or so they say), always a favorite at the typical Catholic bookstore. They cost less than ten dollars, and with plain wooden beads strung on a sturdy cord, they don't break easily.

Well, that's all we could throw together for now. Not to be outdone, Sofia Guerra of has been thrown the gauntlet, and is certain to come up with a few devotional delights of her own. We challenge the rest of the Catholic blogosphere to do the same. Like the title says ...


No comments: