This pristine vintage Servite rosary of the Seven Sorrows of Mary is just over three feet long (folded) with a large inlaid crucifix and wonderful, velvety wood beads. It is likely from the turn of the century or early 1900s when aluminum religious medals and rosary components made devotionals available to the masses. Now considered a less noble metal, aluminum was once more expensive than gold because of how difficult it was to extract. Commercial production, including the minting of religious medals, began in 1854. Full scale industrial production began in 1888 and continues to this day.
The beautifully shaped beads are a rich mahogany color... not quite black, not quite brown either. They are mounted on sturdy steel pins with sections of steel tri-lobe chains separating the groups of seven beads. All links are in excellent condition with none twisted, turned or apparently missing... a rare find indeed for a rosary this size.
Instead of the individual medals found on more personal sized rosaries, this habit rosary features gorgeous carved beads denoting each of Mary's sorrows. Larger in size than the smooth round beads, there's no mistaking where you are during prayer. Please note that one bead has a slightly different design. The color and finish of the wood match perfectly; the eye pin is consistent with the others, and it doesn't appear to have been opened. I believe it is original to the rosary and adds a wonderfully unique touch to a unique rosary.
At the center is a hand-wrought steel connector linking the drop to the circle of beads. Just below it is an unusual aluminum medal of the Mater Dolorosa. It is marked "France" on the face with "Mother of Grief, Pray for Us" around the coin edge. Above Mary is a flattened halo, which is often found on older medals. On the verso is the Crucified Christ on Calvary Hill with Mary kneeling at the foot of the cross. Around the edge it says, "He is dead for us."
Last but not least is the large aluminum crucifix inlaid with black wood on the front and back. Along the side it is marked, "Made in France." Generously sized at nearly four inches tall, it is remarkably lightweight and beautifully cast. The heavy molded corpus has lovely details with a radiant nimbus behind Christ's head. At the top is an INRI scroll and at the bottom is a skull and crossbones with nice, distinct features. On the verso, a crown of thorns and flaming Sacred Heart is pegged into the wood at the center.
One of the most popular Marian devotionals, the Rosary of the Seven Sorrows is also known as the Servite rosary, which originated with the Order of Friar Servants of Mary in the thirteenth century. Its configuration includes 7 groups of 7 Hail Mary beads that are recited in remembrance of the Seven Sorrows: (1) The prophecy of Simeon; (2) the flight into Egypt; (3) the loss of the Child Jesus in the temple; (4) Mary meets Jesus carrying His cross; (5) the Crucifixion, (6) Mary receives the body of Jesus from the cross and (7) the body of Jesus is placed in the tomb. The three beads in the drop commemorate the tears Mary shed for the suffering of Jesus and are said to obtain true sorrow for our sins.
This oversize, unique and beautiful religious treasure is ideal for following the exhortation of Our Lady of Kibeho in a big way. In 1982, Mary instructed seven teenagers in southeast Rwanda to pray the Rosary of the Seven Sorrows for the contrition of sins. This devotional comes with complete prayer instructions and is boxed and ready for gift-giving.
Weight – 106 grams
Length – 38 inches total; 11-1/2 inch drop
Beads – 12 mm; Carved station beads – 15 mm
Crucifix – 3-3/4 x 2 inches
Suitable for wearing
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