Rosaries in the News

3 Jan

Rosaries are often cherished because they are reminders of  special events.  The pearl rosary carried down the aisle by a bride, the white rosary given to a child on her first communion day, or the rosary purchased during a visit to a shrine such as Lourdes or Fatima become family heirlooms.   

At times, rosaries owned by notable figures appear in the news.  In Fall 2013,  a black onyx rosary owned by President John F. Kennedy was offered at auction.  It was expected to be bid up to one million dollars but it did not sell.   That rosary may eventually go to a museum.  If so, it would join other famous rosaries housed in museums.  The rosary owned by King Henry VIII, for example, is on display at Chatsworth in North Derbyshire, England. 

In her discussion of antique rosaries, New York Times columnist Eve Kahn highlighted the new book, The Rosary Collector’s Guide, by Gloria Brady Hoffner and Helen Hoffner. This book serves as a good reference for those who need to identify an unusual rosary or learn the estimated value of a rosary. Eve Kahn’s article, Many, Many Hail Marys appeared in print on January 3, 2014, on page C23 of the New York edition of The New York Times. 

Whether owned by a well-known figure such as John F. Kennedy or by a respected family member, old rosaries hold special memories.

Gloria Brady Hoffner and Helen Hoffner, authors of The Rosary Collector’s Guide, are often able to bring their extensive collection to show to church groups, school groups, and community organizations. To arrange a presentation or to ask a question about rosaries, contact them at


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