After the breakup of the USSR, Rosaries were sent from a parish in this country to people who had long been deprived of Sacraments and sacramentals.
Two things struck me about those Rosaries that were being sent: they had been handmade, and they were being pre-prayed!
I had the blessing of being at Mass, followed by the Rosary and Adoration one evening, when the women who had made the Rosaries distributed them to the congregation.
Their invitation-instructions: “Please pray with these Rosaries tonight. Please pray for those who will receive the Rosaries. We want to let our brothers and sisters know that these Rosaries have already been prayed on, especially for them, in the presence of the Lord, and have been sent with great love.”
Imagine! What a wonderful idea! It was a great privilege to pray on those blessed beads, particularly in front of the Blessed Sacrament, with those special intentions.
Since then, there have been occasions when I have given friends and relatives—even strangers, sometimes--Rosaries that I have prayed on, simply because they were the only Rosaries I had with me.
Thinking back to the Rosary project I had participated in, instead of feeling as if I were giving someone “used” Rosaries, I felt as if I were giving pre-prayed Rosaries, Rosaries that already had been seasoned with so many prayers—sometimes, even with so many tears.
During the many years that I was blessed to do business-related travel throughout the USA, I brought from home, as well as purchased during the trips, many Rosary beads. (Un)fortunately, it seems as if I have a proclivity for losing Rosaries, or--at least--for leaving them behind. I’ve been teased that while some sow seeds of Faith, I sow beads of Rosaries. (Not intentionally!)
I hope that all the Rosaries have found good praying hands—good homes!
Among the "lost" Rosaries, ones that had particular meaning and connection with my Faith journey, I really tried tracking down. One in particular stands out.
The Rosary had a special Divine Mercy medal that a friend had brought back from St. Faustina’s convent town. I suspected (hoped!) that the Rosary had slipped out of my pocket in the taxi that I had taken from the conference center back to the hotel. Based on my phone call to the taxi company, the driver found out about my concerns, and, yes!, he found the Rosary, which he very generously returned to the hotel check-in desk—on his own time, by motorcycle. Praise God for such goodness, which was very humbling.
When I called to thank him, he explained that he had been familiar with Rosaries and was happy to accept one for his grandson. (I sent two).
Dozens and dozens of other Rosaries—are gone forever.
I share this remembrance today because during this Jubilee of Mercy perhaps there are groups within our own communities who would be comforted by the gift of pre-prayed Rosaries (handmade or not). People in hospitals, nursing homes, homeless shelters, and pregnancy centers might be grateful recipients. Likewise, youth groups, children receiving first sacraments, newly married couples, widows or widowers….what beautiful gifts pre-prayed Rosaries could be for them from their parish community. (More than once I put pre-prayed Rosaries in the hands of grieving friends and relatives during funerals.)
Perhaps those parishes that have Adoration chapels can leave boxes of blessed Rosaries on which adorers can pray for someone who will receive the Rosary. Perhaps little “tags” can be affixed with a message such as: “This blessed Rosary has been prayed in the Lord’s Presence for you and your intentions.”
In this Jubilee of Mercy, perhaps the Divine Mercy Chaplet can be pre-prayed, too, especially on Rosaries that would go to hospitals—or even to youth who might be partaking in the Mercy Jubilee World Youth Day in Poland. (You might even ask someone who is going to World Youth Day to pre-pray a Rosary for you there--a Rosary you would give them). to bring along for that purpose.)
Pre-prayed….so many possibilities for connecting “anticipatory” prayers as a spiritual work of mercy. Undoubtedly, you might have experiences or inspirations about connecting pre-prayed Rosaries with spiritual and corporal works of mercy, too!
Please share in the Comment section any thoughts or experiences you have about sharing the blessing of giving or receiving pre-prayed Rosaries. Thank you! God bless you!