Monday, November 24, 2008


I HAVE QUITE a collection of rosaries. No, I'm not a collector: I wore these out.

But please don't misunderstand me — I am not a prayer warrior — I don't pray 15 decades every day, and I may not even do 5 decades on some bad, distracted days.  These rosaries wore out because they were poorly made.  Cheap cheap cheap, even if they were expensive.

One particular rosary has beads that pop right off the chain.  Once I was visiting the Shrine of Christ the King in Chicago — back when it was just an empty shell of a building — and a bead popped off, bouncing noisily across the floor, the echo of it reverberating throughout the church. Other beads were lost down dark streets in central California, while others are perhaps somewhere on my bedroom floor.

Chain breakage is a problem with another rosary.  Of course, I would repair it with wire, which left sharp points.  Ever hear of anyone shedding blood by praying the rosary?

The crucifix fell off of another rosary.  Bead breakage on another.

Most rosaries for sale are rather girly, with jewel-like beads and bright colors.  So few are available in basic black, and the really nice wood ones, like the ones Religious often use, are too big.

Now I got a very nice old rosary, in perfect condition, from my parents, and this one was of excellent quality and very durable.  Alas, I lost it on election night.  A very bad night, indeed.

I must admit that I didn't pray the rosary when first I became Catholic.  Must be my Protestant upbringing.  Maybe I was too proud for this humble devotion.

However, once a priest gave me as penance 1,590 Hail Marys and 180 Our Fathers.  "What did you do?" a correspondent asked, "Blow up a bus full of nuns?" No!  But Father was distressed that I did not pray the rosary daily, and asked me to pray it every day for a month.  Yes, it worked, I became devoted to Our Lady.


  1. Two words that will revolutionize your prayer life: cord rosary. These are rosaries that are made from one continuous piece of string, rope, or as I use, mason's string. There is a bit of an art to it, but it's not hard. You can find the directions online. Some places want you to buy a little tool to make them with, but I assure you, it's not strickly necessary. I have made these for the missions. They are also good for little ones because the beads can't break off - they are good, too, for invalids because there are not sharp edges.

    Check them out. You'll be hooked and you'll spend more time praying the beads than chasing them!!!


  2. That's a great idea. And if you don't have the skill/time/desire to make one yourself, many monasteries make and sell them. So you get a rosary that holds up for a long time and support a Catholic order at the same time!!

  3. go to and you can print out an order form & mail it in and receive a free cord rosary. I have the same problems with my rosaries... they break easily or are too girly.

    Or here's an option, a prayer rope to pray the Jesus prayer. I was converted on the rosary... prayed it for 2 years before every going to mass.

  4. My favorite:

    Novena Rosaries (wire-wrapped):

    They don't share the Franciscan simplicity of the cord rosaries. Rather, they indeed are exquisite works of art. And no, I don't expect mine to wear out.