It’s October: Do you know where your Rosary beads are?

About 20 hours from the time of this writing, The Year of Faith will be officially launched from Rome!

Here at Patheos, we have something special planned — and a Facebook page to keep you up-to-date on everything new, but more about that later.

For now, a quick question: Do you know where your Rosary Beads are?

Deacon Greg wants to know;

I still have my first set. Do you?

It was given to me as a first communion gift: simple black beads with a plain plastic cross. They’re small, child-sized, but I carried them in May processions when I was in grade school. They served to teach me the rudiments of one of our faith’s most popular—but often misunderstood—forms of prayer.

The rosary.

Greg reminds us that the Holy Father has recommended re-embracing the Rosary during the Year of Faith, gives a quick recounting of the history of the beads and ends on a personal note.

I don’t have my First Communion beads — sadly they were lost in my many moves — but I do have my pin, and like my mother, I’ll be buried with it. Over the years I have acquired many beads, some as gifts, some (like the set above) simply because their beauty spoke to me. My favorite and most-prayed-with set, are simple wooden beads I bought about twenty years ago, at a retreat house. Beauty is all well and good, but simplicity aids in contemplation.

What are your favorite Rosary beads? What do they look like and how did you acquire them? What are your favorite mysteries? As I noted a few days ago, I love the Joyful mysteries, and in particular the Annunciation, that first and greatest mystery from which all the others are born. One can never ponder it enough, and I love being drawn back, over and over again, to that profound moment when heaven and earth became espoused. You can pray them with me, here.

Which is why, perhaps, I increasingly find the Angelus to be a particularly settling gift, throughout these unsettling days. I made a podcast of it here.

I know the Rosary is something many people struggle with, especially as our attention-spans shorten, thanks to a world full of distractions and the ever-enticing iphones, ipads, internets. But even before all of that came along, the Rosary could challenge us. St. Terese of Lisieux had a dickens of a time staying awake through it. For me, although I’ve prayed the beads all my life, I only came to really love them after asking Mary to help me love them. She did it.

If you’ve been away from the Rosary for a while, find your beads; pick them up. It’s a beautiful weight in the hand, isn’t it? If you don’t know what to pray, don’t worry about it — as you’re praying the intentions of the heart and of those you know will make themselves plain to you. Your Guardian angel can prompt you too, if you ask.

And you can always pray this Rosary Meditation for Job Seekers.

Scroll down my sidebar to find rosary podcasts and other prayers.

Fatima and the Rosary

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About Elizabeth Scalia