Tuesday, December 9, 2014

1916 Military Rosary Inspires New Combat Rosary

Men’s faith formation has been a pet project of mine for the last half of my 26 years as a priest. Among many things, I ‘ve wanted us men to rediscover the treasury of Catholic devotions. If men are going to be the spiritual leaders of their own domestic church, we simply must explore these time-tested and Church approved jewels of our Catholic life.

As I poured myself into this endeavor, I was struck by how effeminate many of the sacramentals tended to be. It’s no wonder men are inclined to see these devotions as “what women do.” In particular, most of the rosaries looked like women’s jewelry. I began to scour the internet to find something truly masculine in a rosary. Sure, there were the classic black or brown bead rosaries, but they still seemed weak to me.

One day I happened upon a very intriguing rosary among some of the collectors’ websites. It was tough. It was strong. It had a kind of gravitas to it. This was truly a man’s rosary. As I read the description, it turned out I was looking at an original World War I military rosary. As described, it was commissioned and procured by, believe it or not, the U.S. government and issued by the military, upon request, to soldiers serving in World War I. Some of these rosaries were also seen in WWII. All of these rosaries were made around 1916. Awesome!!
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