Do the colors of the Rosary beads mean anything? Why do they come in different colors?
not usually, just because of the material of which they are made. There are some that designers have come up with that have special meaning, such as the rose beads for a “St. Therese” Rosary, or the Advent Peace Rosary (3 purple decades, one rose, one white) but these are ideas from various designers, not something the church dictates. there are also rosaries in “birthstone” colors which are usually glass or plastic, not the real gems. a brother in Mexico makes knot rosaries in string that is red, white and green for OL Guadalupe and gives them specially to pro-life workers, but that is his own little apostolate.
they probably come in different colors and materials because people tend to buy what catches their eye. some saints have warned against becoming to attached to sacramentals because of their costliness or beauty, but most of us have a rosary, icon or statue that has special meaning for us, and ther is nothing wrong with that, as long as it does not get in the way of the devotion itself.
my favorite is one made of Job’s tears, actually a plant seed of some kind, with a pewter cross, because it supposedly is the type carried by Mother Teresa, but even more because it is very sturdy, the beads and cross are big and easy for me to use when my hands are numb from arthritis, and in its case, it is hard to lose in my purse.
there is also a rosary with pink beads that are supposed to look like some gem, with gold (colored) chain links and cross, one of the ones the Missionary Oblates send as a gift in thanks for a donation to their work, which when I first got it came with a St. Peregrine prayer. I prayed with it all through the time one of our small faith group members struggled with cancer, and gave it to her during her last illness. She declined to be buried with it, but her husband used it (pink yes) for a while, started coming back to Mass. He gave it to their son, a rather wild kid who had rejected the church entirely, who did not use it, but I was back in that parish last summer, this is now about 15 years later, and her son and his family were in church. It would be impossible to say that rosary had anything to do with it, but I am sure the prayers attached to it did, especially his mothers prayers from heaven.
whenever I see that rosary pictured in their OMI solicitations, I get one, and use it for evangelization. but that is just a personal attachment, no real meaning. If it helps me pray for that person and reach out to them, great.
have you thought about making a Rosary for yourself that has special meaning? there are many sites, if you do a google search, on different methods of making a Rosary, either by ‘stringing’ or by chain.
I like to use semi precious and precious stones for mine. For the Blessed Mother I use moonstone for the aves and sodalite for the paters. I only string my beads, so I use either sapphire spacers, or lapis or iolite for spacers between the aves, and either ruby or garnet spacers between the paters and the Crucifix (5 beads there for the 5 Wounds).
For a different type of Rosary, I use the same spacers but onyx for the aves and obsidian for the paters.
Good luck to you!
Hi. Here is another rosary with different colored decades of beads. In 1951 Archbishop Fulton Sheen introduced the “World Mission Rosary”. The rosary was to inspire prayers for the mission fields of the five continents. On February 11, 1951, the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, during the catholic broadcast Bishop Sheen made the following comments: “Peace will come only when the hearts of the world have changed. To do this we must pray, and not for ourselves, but for the world. The world means everyone but we cannot change without prayer, and the power of the Rosary as a prayer is beyond description. For the love of Our Lord and His Blessed Mother, won’t you please make a tour of the world on you World Mission Rosary? I know you will.”…Each decade of the rosary represents a continent: Green for the forests and grasslands of Africa; Blue for the oceans surrounding the islands of the pacific; White symbolizing Europe, the seat of the Holy Father, shepherd of the world; Red calling to mind the fire of faith that brought missionaries to the Americas; And Yellow, the morning light of the East, for Asia. An elderly lady at my church made me one of these and gave me the history. God bless her.
On my favorite Rosary, the “beads” are tiny silver miraculous medals . . .