Why You Should Have An Heirloom Rosary

My mom’s rosary is a beautiful sterling silver antique. She's used it since before I was born; I’ve seen her pray countless rosaries on it in my lifetime. I’ll always remember the soft sound of the clinking silver beads while we said our family rosary every night.     

                          Making a Holy Lent

It’s her most prized possession—the one she’d save in a fire if she could only choose one thing to rescue.

But the most special thing about this rosary is the story behind it.

When he was a little boy, my grandfather (who is now eighty-six years old) found this rosary outside and brought it home to his mother since he knew she prayed the rosary daily. They tried to find the original owner, but no one in their tight-knit community had any idea where it came from.

While I cherish memories of having watched my mom use this rosary throughout my life, my mom remembers watching her grandmother praying with it throughout her own life.

Making a Holy Lent

My great-grandmother used that rosary every day until her death. At the time of her death, she gave it to my mom, who has continued the tradition of praying with it daily. One day, my mom will give it to me and my sisters.

This precious family heirloom is not just an object that has been handed down through generations—it’s a sacramental that has been used to offer countless rosaries for members of my family over the decades. I know that those prayers have shaped my family.

Making a Holy Lent

We’re not the only ones with a treasured family rosary. Recently, my co-worker, Joy, shared with me a story of a rosary in her family that’s been treasured for two generations:

The rosary was always an important part of my husband's grandmother's regular prayers. She was a quiet, humble, and loving soul that would spread the love of Jesus with her calm presence and smile. My husband recalls many memories of visiting her, while hearing the rosary on the TV in the background. Her soft, cold hands would hold a rosary while the Little Sisters of the Poor cared for her in her final days. My husband's grandmother, Grace, gifted me her precious rosary a few years before she passed away. It's lovingly displayed in our bedroom as a special memory of Grace who had a strong devotion to our Blessed Mother.

Making a Holy Lent

Any Catholic family can be blessed by the gift of an heirloom rosary, but not every family has one.

How can you start a tradition like this for your own family?


1. Look for quality.
My mom’s rosary has traveled all over Europe with her. It’s been dipped in holy water in every major basilica in Italy. It’s been touched to the tombs of many saints, including St. Catherine of Siena, St. Maria Goretti, and St. Clare of Assisi. It’s touched relics of St. Faustina, St. Teresa of Avila, and many more. It has lasted through years of daily use. A high-quality rosary holds up under such use.

2. Look for timeless beauty.
My mom’s rosary is simple, yet elegant. The sterling silver beads are engraved with the Sacred Heart. A beautiful rosary will make you want to pray with it. A high-quality rosary will get more beautiful with time.

3. Pray with it daily.
One of the most special things about my mom’s rosary is how much it has shaped my family member’s lives. I have no doubt that the prayers said on that rosary—for my grandparents, parents, siblings, and me—have brought us to where we are in life. The most important thing you can do to make an heirloom rosary special is to pray with it!

If you don’t have an heirloom rosary in your family yet, consider looking for one! Pick a rosary that you want to hand down to your children and grandchildren. Pray with it and take it with you wherever you go. Time will tell the impact it will have on future generations, with God’s grace.

Mary Clare Peoples comes from a big Catholic homeschooling family of seven. She left Atlanta to attend college in the lovely city of Charlotte, NC, and never wanted to leave. She loves reading, baking, and all things Catholic.


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