Can I wear a rosary like a necklace or is it a sin?

May 30, 1973

Isn’t that from the Bayside apparition? If so that apparition was disapproved by the Church:

Here’s some posts on EWTN about wearing a Rosary:

Have you considered wearing a Scapular instead?

[quote=Dave_N]I used to have a nice black rosary, that I was given out during a mass at my old school. I haven’t seen it in a while, but it should turn up sometime. Are black rosaries good to pray with?

Is there any other color?

[quote=roxane gallaher]I have this beautiful tiny rosary that I wear like a piece of jewelry. When I say the rosary I just use the one on my neck. It is always there. But then I heard on Catholic radio that I was not suppose to do that. Why?

Rosary lover, RG

While I am sure there may be wholesome reasons for wearing a rosary like jewelry, as a person who moves in professional circles, I would find it highly unsettling if my brain surgeon or a department chairman showed up wearing one. As an employer, I would not be positively impressed if a job candidate walked in wearing one. So as an evangelical tool, I think it is questionable. You could ask yourself how the most notable Catholic lay people you know present themselves to the public and whether that relates to your circumstances and the impression you will make. Do Johnette Bencovic or Kimberly Hahn wear a rosary?

My own personal response to the whole proposition: Rosaries should be heard and not seen.

As for praying the rosary, when I don’t have one to hand (e.g., when driving – or any other time) I just use my fingers. Isn’t that why we have 10 of them?

[quote=roxane gallaher]I have this beautiful tiny rosary that I wear like a piece of jewelry. When I say the rosary I just use the one on my neck. It is always there. But then I heard on Catholic radio that I was not suppose to do that. Why?

Rosary lover, RG

I don’t know why they said that.

Someone already pointed reasons why unfaithful persons should not wear one, but that should not apply to the faithful. we do intend to be respectful, live a holy life, and pray it.

I myself wear mine all the time (though under my shirt), so that I always have it with me.

The Dominicans wear one on their belt.


I don’t wear my rosary as I would feel shy to be seen doing so but like you I used to lose them. I sewed a small pink satin bag onto a cord and placed the rosary in there. Then hang the cord around my neck and shoulder like a bag. Under my clothes in winter or in summer in sight. I don’t know the rights and wrongs but this helps me when so often i don’t have a pocket!

General rule of thumb that i have heard
Fashion Statement===NO
As a Witness===Yes

The tradition of recent centuries has been that it is not acceptable to wear rosaries around your neck. I’m 60 now and all the time I was growing up and into adulthood it was considered a no-no to wear rosaries around the neck. The nuns would have disapproved. No saints are depicted wearing them. Just check out your local congregations and count the number of women who wear rosaries around their necks… none?

When old texts talk of wearing rosaries, it’s nearly always wearing them over or on the belt… just like some Religious still do. Check out the art of the centuries past.

That all being said, there is no official ruling to say it is a sin, it’s just not a custom of the Church.

If you truly love the Holy Mother and want to be devoted to her, go for it.

I’ve seen many misuses of the rosary. In my hometown, they wear different color rosaries around the neck as a gang symbol. And of course, there is the whole “Madonna: Like A Virgin” fashion statement.


Hey Roxanne, not only is that not a sin, but I believe that it is a wonderful gesture to show your love for God. I used to wear my Rosary, and then take it off and pray with it, but it kept breaking. I think that it’s a wonderful thing that you wear your Rosary, and I think that more Catholics should do so. now if you were just wearing it as a piece of jewelry that had no faith based meaning to you, I could see where that may be a problem, but since you still pray with it, I think thats a wonderful thing.

St. Benedict Joseph Labre wore a rosary around his neck in artwork. In imitation of him I began to wear the rosary on pilgramige walking down the road and it constatly led me toward thinking critically less of others, praying more for others, and asking the Blessed Mother for help. It also led others to approach me more and begin lively discussions about the rosary or just faith life in general. It even led one man to ask me for a rosary.

I think this is a great question, Roxane. I’ve wondered this myself, though I cannot say I’ve ever asked it. I do not think of myself as any type of authority on the subject whatsoever, but I will say this.

I have only worn a Rosary as a visual reminder. It might sound kind of funny to you, or to somebody else, but I find I behave much better–when I am trying to change my behavior–when I am reminded of what is I wish to accomplish or change, through the use of something visual.

Each time I would put it on, I put it on with the intention to better myself, to follow Christ. Even though I do think Rosaries are very beautiful–I’m not sure exactly what it is about them, but wow. : )–I’ve never put mine on with thoughts or intentions of vanity.

If I am wrong about this, let someone wiser correct me, but I think one’s intentions have a lot to do with whether or not it is acceptable to wear the Rosary around one’s neck.

I almost forgot to mention. . I think wearing it around one’s neck would make it convenient if one were to. . how can I say this? Recite or pray the Rosary? outside of Mass or the home.

Has anyone thought to as a Priest at their local parish?

Hi Brother Knight,

I have not asked my Priest. It’s been so long, that I forgot about this question. Plus, my Priest is having a “permanent change of station,” and will no longer be at my Parish–which is on a Military base. I have yet to meet the new Priest. :expressionless: Maybe that is something I will ask him.

Is it fine though to wear a rosary when many people of the “urban culture” wear them? I mean, I live in Philadelphia, and the only people who wear Rosary around their necks seem to be the ones who hang out on corners all day. I am not to worry about it though since I was given a brown scapular from the priest at my church.

But is it fine to wear one around your belt? So the whole rosary does not take up to much pocket space.

I see another issue at hand.

Wearing a rosary has been adopted in secular circles now- I recently saw them on the accessories rack in ALDO ! This is truly blasphemous.

So what I wonder is. Am I condoning/ being an accomplice by following this trend or am I fighting back?

My very atheist/hedonist BIL wears one and I’m appalled. My hedonist ILs don’t understand why we don’t praise him for it…

When I lived in South America a lot of teenagers(boys and girls) wore a rosary around their neck on the outside. I’m pretty sure they did that for religious reasons to demonstrate their faith.
I always thought that was a positive thing and am now surprised that it is supposed to be something bad:confused: Now I’m thinking maybe it was actually more of an urban street thing why they wore it. These Saint bracelets are in fashion now and many teenagers seem to wear it:
I also don’t know if it’s just a fashion thing without any religious meaning.

I found this article on the subject quite interesting:

In reading many of your post, I may be commiting an awful sin, however I wasn’t thinking the way most of you are. For instance, I have given scapulars and rosaries to some dope dealers and sinners and gangsters and ask them to hang them in their cars or carry them in their pockets and have told them that even though they are sinners and don’t go to church or pray and live ungodly lives, that maybe just in having the rosary in their pockets or cars Our Lady might have mercy on them and change their lives. ( without their permission) I have even told them she will watch over you and miraculous things could happen in your lives in doing so and that she loves sinners. We are all poor sinners. Was I commiting a graven sin for doing and saying this. Do I need to repent for this. I felt like she might have mercy on them, and be working with them without their even knowing it. This would have been my answer to your question but now I don’t know. I guess will become educated in the anwers that others will give you. So maybe you should ignore my opinion.:confused:

Sir Knight is probably referring to the utterly fake messages at Bayside. Our Lady there allegedly commanded Rosaries to be put around children’s necks in a locution of Oct 2, 1987 (the same time she prophesied that Sister Lucia was about to die when really she lived for 18 more years).

*2) Worries about Misplaced Piety

It is certainly possible that someone (Catholic, non-Catholic) may wear the Rosary more from superstitious motives that from piety. This amounts to a belief in the Rosary as a talisman, which would be strictly forbidden. In other words, some people may have an idea that the Rosary, in itself, has power.

I don’t wear my rosary as jewelry in the day, but I sometimes wear my rosary around my neck at night for protection b/c it is a blessed object. I use holy water for the same reason (I’ve had some bad experiences with seeing things upon wakening). Is this using it as a “talisman”?

It is just an opinion and I am sure many will say it is disrespectful or even superstitious but maybe just maybe these gangsters non religious kids and such are being called to Mary by these rosaries worn with apparent disrespect. they may go on as bling and yet still effect a connection which in the long term may bring them to the faith.:shrug:

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