By Alyssa Bormes



“See what love the Father has given us,
that we should be called children of God. “ ~ 1 John 3:1a


I have no idea how many rosaries I have, but I can tell you about four of my favorites.

My grandmother’s rosary has red crystal beads. It was broken at some point, then put back together, but in a way that you get a big bead confused with the decade. I dig this— it reminds me of both my grandma and grandpa; he would have been the one who fixed it when it broke. Also, the cross has an itty-bitty window. When you look into it, you can see a little picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Basilica in Mexico City. I remember looking into it as a little girl, when I was a bit older and even a bit older than that, and today as well. Each time, it is a delight; each time, I can hear my grandma telling me about Our Lady. It is an honor to have her rosary in my hands when I pray with it now.

I have a few of my mother’s rosaries. The one with the rectangle pearl-colored beads is my favorite of hers today. Another day, it will be another rosary. I can picture her taking this rosary out of the little pouch where it resided in her purse. Sometimes, when I was a little girl, I would look through her purse and copy her, taking it out and then putting it back. It made a lovely noise. Now, when I pick it up from the table, it makes a different sort of noise. I don’t know what happened to the little pouch, but all the same, it is an honor to have her rosary in my hands when I pray with it now.

My most recent rosary was given to me a few weeks ago. When I opened the package and realized what it was, it was breathtaking. It’s a beautiful black rosary that is very smooth from use. The medal is very worn, as is the extra medal that was added to it. The cross has a patina from time and wear. The rosary has the look of being well-loved and constantly used. But the breathtaking part wasn’t just the rosary itself; it was to whom the rosary had belonged—Sister Rosaria, my high school art teacher, now of happy memory. What an honor to have her rosary in my hands when I pray with it now.

Perhaps my most extraordinary rosary I received on October 31, 2004, which happened to be the same day that I met Pope John Paul II. He touched the rosary; it’s a relic. As you know, he is now Saint John Paul II. I met him on the eve of All Saints’ Day nineteen years ago. I told him, “Thank you for bringing me home.” What an evening that was. I love to let other people touch the rosary as well. As you can imagine, it is an honor to have the rosary that JPII touched in my hands when I pray with it now. 

Today is All Saints’ Day, and tomorrow is All Souls’ Day. There are so many souls that I remember when I pray, and the many Saints as well. What a gift to have a Church that extends over time and space. And what a gift the rosary is, especially those that have passed through their hands. I hope that I honor them all when the beads that they have touched pass through my hands as I pray now.


Hail Mary, full of grace….


Call to Action

Find a favorite old rosary that has passed through another’s hands and pray with it now.


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