I recently acquired an incomplete Catholic rosary whose components inspired me immediately upon handling them. Marked “Made in Mexico” on the back of the crucifix, it tested positive for silver content alloyed with a much harder metal. It was hand-cast and hand-cut, as evidenced by one slightly “off” cut and an off-center hole punched in the center medal. When I noticed Our Lady of Guadalupe depicted on the medal, I knew this was meant to be a chaplet devoted to Mary’s apparitions to Blessed Juan Diego in 1531.
At first, it was hard to find colored beads that harmonized with the rustic and artisanal components. Glass seemed too refined and even natural turquoise wasn’t quite right. I don’t recall how I came to have turquoise-colored Job’s tears seeds but their color, organic energy and imprecise shapes were perfect. Sometimes called “Mary’s Tears,” these hard, shiny pear-shaped beads are from a leafy annual grass that grows to nearly 10 feet tall. Although they have been dyed, they retain the wonderful sheen that grows richer the more they are prayed on.
The stamped crucifix has trefoil tips and a raised cuff around the edge. Details are more suggestive than precise, and the surface has an unrefined finish. Ditto for the center medal, which features a full-figure rendering of Jesus revealing His Sacred Heart. The classic image of Mary as Empress of the Americas includes the cherub holding the crescent moon beneath her feet as well as the rays of light behind her.
Chaplets are increasingly popular as devotionals and collectibles. They are sometimes incorrectly described as small rosaries or rosary bracelets instead of Catholic prayer beads that honor Jesus, Mary, particular saints and special devotions. Each chaplet has its own configuration and recitations, although some chaplets may be prayed differently depending on your intention. Instructions for praying this chaplet are included.
This one-of-a-kind devotional is ready for prayer and appreciation. Add it to your collection or present it as a unique gift for someone with a special devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe. Comes boxed and with instructions for prayer.
Weight – 18 grams
Length – 15 inches total; 8-1/2 inch drop
Beads – Average 7 x 10 mm
Crucifix – 1-7/8 x 1-1/4 inche
Medal – 3/4 x 5/8 inche
Not suitable for wearing
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