LIBERA ME, Domine, Iesu Christe, ab omnibus iniquitatis meis et universis malis,
fac me tuis semper inhærere mandatis et a te numquam separari permittas. Amen.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

All about a Rosary

The remarkable American blogger The Crescat has just posted a really lovely post about the Most Holy Rosary : in her case with a photo of her own rosary, because – as she says – you ask someone about their rosary, and you usually get a story.

So, following her suggestion, here’s a photo of one of my rosaries : not, I hasten to add, the one I use all the time, simply because of how precious it is to me . . .

In fact it’s the Rosary I bought my late wife on the day after our wedding, in Walsingham : and the first Walsingham medal on it, the one with the blue enamel centrepiece, she bought that day to remind her of where it came from. The little round Walsingham medal at the same point I bought on the day after her funeral, when I took the flowers from her coffin to the Holy House . . . remember that I was an Anglican at that point; which is why there is also a large round one at the end of the first decade which was put there to commemorate having been to the 60th Anniversary of the Translation of the image from the Parish Church to the Shrine (in 1991), and the actual ‘statue’ of OLW is one I bought and put there to celebrate having been to the 75th Anniversary in 2006.

The various French medals commemorate various visits; but the two little crosses attached to the Crucifix she wore on our Wedding Day : ‘something old, and something new’ – the old one having been my Great-Grandmother’s as a little girl.

Anything else ? Well, the beads are obviously roses : but the Crucifix . . . yes, that’s incredibly special, because that was what she had to her lips as she died . . . which is why I don’t use the Rosary all the time; but treasure it beyond anything I can ever say; except that I suspect that you can probably imagine why.

Now . . . over to you to see, and hear the stories, of your Rosaries.


  1. A beautiful story to go with a beautiful rosary...

  2. what a beautiful rosary and a very touching story. Thank you for sharing.

  3. DM you have made me cry, that is a truly beautiful story and nothing I could ever say could match it. Beautiful.

    I will share a story about my rosary though. It is also very special to me, and I treasure it. My rosary is a scruffy looking thing, made of brown beads and string. I bought it in the Benedictine abbey in Turvey just before I made the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. I attached it to a carabiner and headed off on my walk. It was not blessed, and I much care because I never really knew how to pray the Rosary anyway, I just liked the look of them. On pilgrimage, reaching San Juan de Ortega there was a priest, 88 years old, who stood outside his hilltop church everyday waiting for pilgrims. he confessed them, and then, when the last pilgrim had arrived, celebrated mass. Afterwards he served them garlic soup, made by his sister, on wooden trestle tables under fig trees, a tea towel hanging from this belt. Then sent everyone off to sleep on bunk beds in his parish hall. Well, I was not keen on confession, but this chap was fairly persuasive. He asked me about my rosary, and asked me if I prayed it. I told him. he blessed it and said, 'But chica, praying the Rosary is like holding the hand of Mary herself.' I have never let go since, and can rarely be found without it. It has been through the washing machine in my jeans pocket a few times, and is missing a bead on the fourth decade. I have tied it back together more than once. Once, in Lourdes, a close friend of mine took it from me and asked to pray it for me. It was once of the most powerful gestures someone has ever made. By the time he kissed it and returned it to me, I was crying. Rosaries, like you say, always have a story.

  4. On Sunday a great friend made a gift to me of a St Benedict Rosary. Following your blog today she sent me this Rosary story:-
    More than a century ago a proud University student boarded a train in France and sat next to an older man who appeared to be a peasant of comfortable means. The brash student noticed that the older gentleman was slipping beads through his fingers; he was praying the Rosary.
    'Sir, do you still believe in such outdated things?' the student inquired.
    'Yes, I do, don't you?' responded the man.
    The student laughed and admitted, 'I do not believe in such silly things. Take my advice, throw the Rosary out of the window and learn what science has to say about it'.
    'Science? I do not understand this science. Perhaps you can explain it to me?' The man said humbly, tears welling in his eyes.
    The University student noticed that the man was deeply moved and to avoid further hurting the older person's feelings he said: 'Please give me your address and I will send some literature that will explain it to you'.
    The man fumbled in his inside pocket and pulled out his business card. On reading the card the student lowered his head in shame and was speechless. The card read: "Louis Pasteur, Director of the Institute of Scientific Research".
    The deluded student had encountered his country's leading chemist and bacteriologist.

  5. I inherited my Rosary when my mother died, quite unexpectedly, last year.

    She herself was not a Catholic, or indeed a Christian (although she exhibited very many Christian virtues) - but she had kept this Rosary which had belonged to her Catholic great aunt. Despite her own (professed) lack of faith I vividly remember that when my youngest brother was having a series of terrible nightmares, Mother hung the Rosary on his bedpost (it worked, of course!).
    I believe it also accompanied my great uncle during WWI. The Rosary came home but he did not; he was killed leading his men in an attack in August 1918.
    I found the Rosary when sorting through Mother's effects after her death. I got to work with metal polish and furniture polish, had it re-blessed by my parish priest, and I have used it almost daily ever since.
    It is obviously very old; the mid-brown wooden beads are not perfectly identical, and the thin metal crucifix is very worn. But it is strongly made, the connecting links bound in wire, and it will probably outlast me too.

    It is a privilege to own it, and a joy to use it.

    Of your charity, please pray for the souls of Leonard Taylor and Shirley Marshall.