The Irish Penal Rosary: The Hidden Rosary

17 Mar

penal4  In the early 18th century, laws in Ireland kept  Catholics from practicing their religion openly.   Penal Laws of the day led Catholics to hide religious articles so that they would not be punished.   The Penal Rosary, a one decade rosary that could be hidden in a pocket or up a sleeve, was created for those wanted to pray the rosary secretly.

The Penal Rosary begins with a loop that slips around the thumb.   A capped Pater (Our Father) bead and  ten Ave (Hail Mary) beads  follow.    After the first decade of the rosary is said, the loop is moved to the first finger.  As each decade is completed, the loop is moved to the next finger.  The rosary is complete when five decades have been said.

penal3The Penal Crucifix contains symbols of the passion of Christ.   The jug shown near Christ’s right hand represents the chalice used at the Last Supper.  Instruments near Christ’s left hand symbolize cords used for binding.   The spear shown below  Christ’s right  side  represents the spear used at Calvary.  A ladder to Christ’s left refers to the act of crucifixion.

penal2The reverse of the Penal Crucifix contains additional symbols of the crucifixion.  The V shape in the middle represents three nails used for crucifixion.  The bird and container below it refer to the story that Judas betrayed Christ at the time of the crucifixion.

penal4The Penal Rosary is an appropriate form to use during the month of March.  It helps Catholics reflect upon the Crucifixion of Christ and recalls Irish heritage.

RosaryCollectorsGuideTo learn more about the history of the rosary, read The Rosary Collector’s Guide by Gloria Brady Hoffner and Helen Hoffner.  Published by Schiffer Publishing,  The Rosary Collector’s Guide is a 152 page hardcover reference book with more than 200 color photographs of rosaries, crucifixes, crosses, and center medals.  It helps collectors identify unique religious articles and explains their history.  The Rosary Collector’s Guide is available on Amazon.com, the Catholic Faith Store Online, Catholic Gifts, Barnes and Noble, and other bookstores, religious article stores, and online sellers.

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Rosary for a Snowy Day

14 Mar

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A winter snowstorm has hit many parts of the United States.  Have you ever experienced a summer snowstorm?

According to legend, a summer snowstorm occurred in Italy in 352 A.D.    On the night of August 4,  a wealthy couple prayed to Mary, Our Lady, because they wanted a child to make them a family.   That night, Mary appeared to them in a dream and instructed them to build a church in her honor on the Esquiline Hill.  Mary said that the site for the new church would soon be outlined in snow.   On the same night, Mary also appeared to Pope Liberius and announced the coming of a miraculous summer snowfall.  When residents awoke on August 5, they found the Esquiline Hill covered in snow.  The outline of a church could be seen in the snow.  Less than two years later, the Basilica of Saint Mary Major was built on that site.   In honor of that summer snowfall,  Mary is sometimes referred to as Our Lady of the Snows.

 

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The rosary shown here has clear blue beads and a center medal honoring Our Lady of the Snows.    In place of Pater Beads, it has medals honoring additional titles for Mary including Our Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, Our Lady of Lourdes. and Our Lady of Perpetual Help.   Rosary makers have created many rosaries to commemorate the miraculous summer snowfall.  Some have bubble beads with images of Mary while others have unique pater beads.

 

To learn more about antique and unusual rosaries, read The Rosary Collector’s Guide.  This 152 page hardcover book has over 240 color photographs of unique rosaries, crosses, crucifixes, and center medals.  The Rosary Collector’s Guide is available in Barnes and Noble, Amazon.com, the Catholic Faith Store online, and other bookstores.  For more information contact Schiffer Publishing by phone at (610) 593-1777 or online at http://www.schifferbooks.com

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St. Katharine Drexel Rosaries

3 Mar

medals1 The feast day of St. Katharine Drexel, Foundress of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, is celebrated each year on March 3.  Born into great wealth, Katharine Drexel used her fortune to build schools and serve minority populations.

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Antique collectors use the dates of Katharine Drexel’s canonization to determine the age of some medals and rosaries.  Religious articles made before 1988 refer to Mother Katharine Drexel.  When Katharine Drexel was beatified on November 20, 1988, items were made with the inscription Blessed Katharine Drexel.   On October 1, 2000, Katharine Drexel was canonized and medals and rosaries were made with the inscription Saint Katharine Drexel.   These articles serve as reminders of Katharine Drexel’s willingness to serve those in need.  

To learn more about antique and unusual rosaries, read The Rosary Collector’s Guide, by Gloria Brady Hoffner and Helen Hoffner.  This 152 page hardcover reference book published by Schiffer Publishing has over 200 color photographs of rosaries ranging from those owned by King Henry VIII to those honoring Pope Francis.  The Rosary Collector’s Guide is available in religious article stores, book stores, and online sellers.

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Travels with The Rosary Collector’s Guide

1 Jan

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Gloria Brady Hoffner and Helen Hoffner, authors of The Rosary Collector’s Guide, enjoy visiting book stores, schools, churches, and colleges to exhibit their collection of over 900 antique and unusual rosaries.   Guests at these events often bring rosaries and ask the authors to help them determine the age and origin of their treasures.

displaySome of the rosaries that raise the most questions are the unique Mexican lasso rosaries and the pullchain rosaries given to members of the military during World Wars I and II.

911rosary1 The 911 Remembrance Rosary made by Ghirelli evokes the most stirring responses.

booksigningmomnicoleIt is always interesting to hear stories of family rosaries and the journeys those rosaries have made. booksigningmom3booksigningcataniafamily

booksigningmomTo learn more about antique and unusual rosaries, read The Rosary Collector’s Guide, by Gloria Brady Hoffner and Helen Hoffner.  The 152 page hardback book shows and describes rosaries ranging from the carved Boxwood rosary of England’s King Henry VIII to rosaries honoring Pope Francis.  With over 240 color photorgraphs, The Rosary Collector’s Guide helps everyone identify rosaries and learn more about their history.

The Rosary Collector’s Guide is published by Schiffer Publishing and  is available at Barnes and Noble, Amazon.com, the Catholic Faith Store,  Adoremus, and other book stores, religious article stores, and online vendors.

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Book Signing at Barnes & Noble of Valley Forge

4 Dec

  Helen and Gloria Hoffner will be signing copies of their book, The Rosary Collector’s Guide, at  Barnes & Noble of Valley Forge on December 22 from 12:00 to 2:00.   The store is located at 150 West Swedesford Road in Devon, Pennsylvania. Books will be available for sale.

Finish your Christmas shopping and talk with the authors about your rosaries.

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Is This Old Rosary Valuable?

9 Oct

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Visitors to flea markets, estate sales, and thrift shops often see rosaries and wonder about their resale value. How old is this rosary?   Is it a worthless tarnished article or a piece of history?

The best way to determine the age and value of a rosary is to examine the medal at the center.   Usually, the crucifix and center medal of a rosary are made of the same material.  If they are not, it is possible that someone tampered with the rosary and replaced some parts.  Rosaries made before 1880 did not have a center medal.  Sometimes rosaries without a center medal are the most valuable.

 

Rosaries can have a variety of center medals but the most popular is the Miraculous Medal.  Shoppers sometimes think that a rosary with a Miraculous Medal center engraved with the year 1830 was actually made in 1830.   Every Miraculous Medal, however, regardless of when it was made, is inscribed with the year 1830, the date on which it is believed that Mary, Mother of God, appeared to St. Catherine Laboure’.

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To find additional information on the value of antique and unusual rosaries, consult The Rosary Collector’s Guide by Gloria Brady Hoffner and Helen Hoffner.  This 152 page reference book published by Schiffer Publishing contains price guides and over 200 color photographs of rosaries, crosses, crucifixes, and center medals.  The Rosary Collector’s Guide is available at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Walmart.com, the Catholic Faith Store, and other retailers.

 

Exhibits to Honor the Month of the Holy Rosary

5 Oct

helenpiochurchst  For Helen Hoffner and Gloria Brady Hoffner, authors of The Rosary Collector’s Guide, the month of the Holy Rosary began with a visit to the National Centre for Padre Pio in Barto, Pennsylvania.  On October 1, they were proud to bring their collection of 900 rosaries to share with those who had come on bus trips.  The authors explained variations such as the Mexican Wedding Lasso Rosary, the Stations of the Cross Rosary, and the job’s tears rosaries carried by Mother Teresa.  Visitors were especially interested in seeing the soldier’s pullchain rosaries that were carried during World War I.

This rosary kit was given to American soldiers during World War II.

 

The Soldier's Pullchain Rosary

Visitors enjoyed seeing the rosaries which honored many popes.

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The variety of the exhibit enabled everyone to find a rosary which held personal interest.

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To learn more about antique and unusual rosaries, read The Rosary Collector’s Guide.

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With over 240 color photographs of rosaries, crosses, crucifixes, and center medals, The Rosary Collector’s Guide explains the history and legends associated with these religious articles.  It has a price guide to help collectors learn the monetary value of each item.

Published by Schiffer Publishing,  The Rosary Collector’s Guide is available at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, the Catholic Faith Store, Gifts Catholic, Rosary Parts, Adoremus and other book stores, religious article stores, and online sellers.

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