Priest's rosary 3: as seen from the back.

     Ordinarily such a large crucifix would provide a lot of space on the back for an engraved message, but that is not the case here because of the slump in the center of the cross. The slump is formed as the molten metal hardens and contracts as it cools in the mold.

     The back of the centerpiece shows a descending dove and a sunburst of seven rays, showing the descent of the Holy Spirit and his seven-fold gifts (Isaiah 11:2-3). The Latin words around the top of the medallion are "Veni Creator Spiritus" (Come Creator Spirit). Together with the image on the front of the Father reconciling His prodigal son to Himself, this image of the Holy Spirit recalls Christ's words to the apostles, "When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained." (John 20:22-23).


Priest's rosary 2: with Paters and links aligned

All the beads are strung on lengths of heavy (18 gauge) craft wire, and the loops which link each bead to the next are closed with wire wraps. On either side of each howlite bead is a wrapped wire bow which links it to the rest of the rosary and helps define it as an Our-Father bead. The way the howlite Our-Fathers contrast with the black onyx Hail-Marys reminds me of how the white Roman collar contrasting with the black clerical suit identifies priests. On either side of each howlite bead, is a wrapped wire bow which links it, but also provides distance and definition. All the wire is 18 gauge, all links use wrapped wire loops, and wrapped wire bows connect the crucifix and centerpiece and separate the Our-Fathers from the decades of Hail-Marys, providing for a very sturdy and durable rosary.

a rosary for the Year of the Priest

This rosary started with a large crucifix SCX330 from Catholic Prayer Cards showing Christ our High Priest offering Himself on the Cross to His Father for our sakes (Hebrews 3:1). The cross is 2.75 inches tall. The centerpiece, from Our Lady's Rosary Makers (OLRM #595) is seven eighths of an inch (0.875") long and half an inch wide. The centerpiece is based on a detail from "The Return of the Prodigal Son" by Rembrandt showing the Father welcoming back His wayward son (Luke 15:11-42). The crucifix and centerpiece are made of white base metal, probably nickel-silver, and heavy (18 gauge) nickel-silver craft wire is used throughout. The Hail-Mary beads are 8mm rounds of black onyx and the Our Father beads are 10mm howlite rounds. I got the craft wire, onyx and howlite at JSM Bead Coop.

This is a large rosary. The circlet is 42 inches around; the drop is about 9.5 inches from the top of the centerpiece to the bottom of the crucifix. From the middle of the third decade to the bottom of the crucifix, the rosary is 30.5 inches long. It has a heavy and substantial feel.