Nun’s Habit Rosaries : A Glimpse in Time

14 Nov

Throughout history, members of religious orders have designed their own rosaries. The Franciscans have been known to carry a seven decade brown bead rosary while the Dominicans are often seen with a fifteen decade rosary with brown beads. The crucifix and center medal often have distinctive features.

Rosaries carried by Sisters of the Holy Child of Jesus begin with a medal.

The opening medal has the distinctive letters s h c, representing Sisters of the Holy Child. The name Jesus is written below the letters.
The reverse of the medal shows a cross with the Child Jesus. The symbol represents Christ from Childhood to the Cross.

Nuns often wore their rosaries clipped to a belt. The doll shown above is dressed in an early habit of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth, C. S. F. N.    She wears a rosary at her side.
In the 1960s, films such as The Singing Nun and The Trouble with Angels made nun dolls and statues popular items. Most statues and dolls pictured nuns with a rosary as part of their habit.
In 1963, Sister Luc-Gabrielle of Belgium recorded a song, Dominique, which became a worldwide hit. The fame of the singing nun led MGM to produce the Singing Nun movie starring Debbie Reynolds. The music box shown above was a collectible from the 1965 movie and plays the hit song, Dominique.


A nun’s rosary can hold symbols of her order. It is a distinctive reminder of her devotion.
RosaryCollectorsGuide To learn more about unique rosaries, crosses, crucifixes, and center medals, read The Rosary Collector’s Guide by Gloria Brady Hoffner and Helen Hoffner. This 152 page reference book has 240 color photographs and provides historical background. The Rosary Collector’s Guide is available on, Barnes and, the Catholic Faith Store Online, and other online sellers and religious article storesl
Gloria Brady Hoffner and Helen Hoffner are often able to bring their rosary collection to show to church groups, school groups, and community organizations. To arrange a presentation or ask a question about rosaries, contact them at



One Response to “Nun’s Habit Rosaries : A Glimpse in Time”

  1. Giovanna Lottes November 14, 2014 at 3:48 PM #

    I got it now. Drew and Alexis went to Holy Child in Drexel Hill, but by that time, they wore street clothes and just a cross around their necks – no rosaries.

    I really enjoy all these little interesting tidbits.



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