Sunday, 3 April 2016

decade or joyful mysteries

I spied an unusual piece at the Flohmarkt today, which I was eager to learn more about. It is indeed a single decade (referring to the ten round beads around the circumference that represents one iteration of Hail Mary) rosary ring, but like traditional rosary are not to be worn around the neck, this counter is meant to be rotated with the thumb and forefinger.
Inspired by Basque and Irish designs for more discreet articles of the faith when practising Catholicism was persecuted, these were also distributed to soldiers going off to battle so as not to get tangled up, especially during WWI. One could keep count of the traditional five decades by moving the ring to the next finger.  I am not sure if this is one of those, since it has the microscopic inscription ITALY on the obverse but perhaps as it is intricately worked and I am happy to have learnt something more about praying the rosary.