But if it is your intention to use the rosary and be mindful of prayer, then it could be permissible. It is not uncommon in some cultures, like in Honduras and El Salvador, to see the rosary respectfully worn around the neck as a sign of devotion.
Rosary rings or bracelets might be a better option if you want to keep your rosary close at hand as a reminder to pray, as they are kept more out of sight and would not be as easily misconstrued to be a piece of jewelry.
The rosary is an extremist symbol.
False. A widely-shared Atlantic article this summer went viral for accusing the rosary of being an “extremist symbol.”
“Just as the AR-15 rifle has become a sacred object for Christian nationalists in general, the rosary has acquired a militaristic meaning for radical-traditional (or “rad trad”) Catholics,” the article read.
The author also cited the Church’s stance on traditional marriage and the sanctity of life as evidence of “extremism” and claimed that Catholics’ tendency to call the rosary a “weapon in the fight against evil” as dangerous.
As CNA reported this year, popes have urged Catholics to pray the rosary since 1571 — often referring to the rosary as a prayer “weapon” and most powerful spiritual tool.
The rosary is not biblical.
Untrue! Most of its words come directly from Scripture.
First, the Our Father is prayed. The words of the Our Father are those Christ taught his disciples to pray in Matthew 6:9–13.
The Hail Mary also comes straight from the Bible. The first part, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee,” comes from Luke 1:28, and the second, “Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb,” is found in Luke 1:42.
Finally, each of the decades prayed on the rosary symbolizes an event in the lives of Jesus and Mary. The decades are divided into four sets of mysteries: Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful, and Glorious, the majority of which are found in Scripture.
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A rosary bead, or pea, can kill you.
Somewhat true. A rosary pea, or abrus seed, is a vine plant native to India and parts of Asia. The seeds of the vine, which are red with black spots, are often used to make beaded jewelry — including rosaries. Rosary pea seeds contain a toxic substance called abrin, which is a naturally-occurring poison that can be fatal if ingested. However, it’s unlikely for someone to get abrin poisoning just from holding a rosary made from abrus seeds, as one would have to swallow them.
Today, most rosaries are made from other non-toxic materials, such as olive wood, plastic, or glass — eliminating this concern.
Carrying a rosary can protect you.
True. The rosary has proven to be a miraculous force for protecting those of faith and bestowing upon them extra graces, such as the victory of the Christian forces at the Battle of Lepanto after St. Pius V implored Western Christians to pray the rosary.
Many great saints across history, including Pope John Paul II, Padre Pio, and Lucia of Fatima, have also recognized the rosary as the most powerful weapon in fighting the real spiritual battles we face in the world.