Help with making decision on new crucifix?


Peace be with you all!

I’m about to order a new rosary from Rugged Rosaries, and I’m in a dilemma. I absolutely love the idea of having a reproduction of a WWI/WWII service rosary (HUGE history buff) but I can’t decide which crucifix to get.

I’ve narrowed it down to:


I love the filigree crucifix, as it reminds me of French baroque, but I am a bit worried that the top that connects to the ring might be a bit weak? (As opposed to a more solid setup) Also has anyone encountered a similar example with any historical roots?

I also really like the pardon crucifix, and I know that it is period correct with a WWI rosary, but I can find very little information about it other than the explanation of indulgences and such set forth by Pope Pius X. Does anyone know anything about the symbolism of the scroll-work or half circles? I know the star on the back represents The Blessed Virgin, and of course The Sacred Heart is on there too.

I would GREATLY appreciate any input or explanations.

This is my first post and I look forward to being an active member of this wonderful forum.

Thank you in advance! :slight_smile:


Go for the pardon crucifix. It has an interesting history attached to it. I had never heard of it before— but a quick search on the intertubes ranks it up there next to a Miraculous Medal or a St. Benedict’s Medal.

So-- if you’re a history buff enough to want a WWI/WWII service rosary reproduction, it makes perfect sense to get it with a Historically Correct And Artistically Attractive crucifix promulgated by Pope St. Pius X, rather than a Historically Correct And Artistically Pretty But Otherwise Interchangeable crucifix.


I agree with the poster above me. The pardon Crucifix is part of the history of this rosary. I have one and I love it


The Pardon Crucifix came originally from a French confraternity called the Pious Association of the Pardon Crucifix. I don’t think the scrollwork on it means anything other than a nice design, except that there is a halo behind Jesus’ head. I’ve seen other “filigree” crucifixes from the early 20th century. On the back, as you noted, it has the Sacred Heart, a star for Mary, and at the bottom a symbol of an M and an A and a loop that is the “Auspice Maria” symbol for being under Mary’s protection. (It is not “Ave Maria” but “Auspice Maria”).

Pope Pius X approved an indulgence in 1905 whereby you had to send your name into the Association and then you could get a plenary using the Crucifix on certain days. The Crucifix got really popular (the association with the confraternity got lost along the way) and lots of them were sold or given away through ads in newspapers and Catholic magazines.

I don’t think the original Battle Beads rosaries given out to US troops during WWI and WWII had Pardon Crucifixes. They had a plainer crucifix. So whichever one you pick it’s not going to be “authentic”. The Pardon Crucifix has been “rediscovered” in recent years by Rugged Rosaries and other companies, but the indulgence attached to it is long gone - it was done away with when the old Raccolta was revised into the more modern Enchiridion of Indulgences (aka Manual of Indulgences).

As for the second cross being weak at the top, Rugged Rosaries usually doesn’t sell anything that breaks easily because their customers are military, police, others who put a big stress on a rosary. If it broke then they’d probably replace it for you.


Greetings fellow history buff! I admit that I’m extrapolating, but I’d think that any rosary meant for service personnel would be rugged, assuming that they’re making one to the original specifications. I assume that you’ve already read reviews.

I’ve never had one of these, but I have had rosaries break a couple of times. I recently ordered a small rosary pouch from Amazon that has protected my current one. That may be a good idea to try.


Those appear to be strung rosaries. Strung on wire, but, still strung.

The strongest rosaries are wire wrapped rosaries.


I really like the first one. The second one seems a little too “flowery” for me.


Battle Beads rosaries aren’t strung. They’re “pull chain”, similar to the chains people used to yank on in the olden days to turn on lights. The chains were built to withstand repeated yanking. The rosaries were made for men to carry into battle and were lightweight as well as very strong. A wire-wrapped rosary would have been too heavy and bulky for troops.

I personally think the strongest rosaries are the military grade paracord and resin bead ones Rugged Rosaries sells.


I’ve learned many things from reading these replies. Very interesting. My only comment would be the top looks more masculine and the bottom more feminine. Both are beautiful.


Choose the one that speaks to you.


Sure, if the OP is looking for something to use in re-enactments or such then find what is authentic for a soldier in that time.

For those of us day to day looking for a durable rosary, I agree that knotted cord is super durable, the weakest part of them will be the crucifix!

Seeking unbreakable in metal, wire wrapped is the way to go.

Or be like me, own so many rosaries that it is kinda scary!


Hello… I work at Rugged Rosaries… Both these crucifixes are very strong. You should have no issue with either of them breaking. And of course if they ever do, you should email our support for a free replacement.


BlockquoteI don’t think the original Battle Beads rosaries given out to US troops during WWI and WWII had Pardon Crucifixes. They had a plainer crucifix.

You are correct. Rugged Rosaries has just intro’d a new version of the replica WWI service combat rosaries that resemble the original vintage ones much more closely because they have slightly larger Our Father beads and a more traditional crucifix.


Thank you all for your suggestions and opinions! I appreciate everyone who commented! :smiley:

After a lot of discerning prayer I feel I was led by the Holy Spirit toward the filigreed Crucifix. I was sitting by a beautiful lake that is attached to our town’s main park, and prayed to be led to the one that would inspire prayer the most. Later that day I settled on my decision, and ordered it. Just a few hours after placing my order @HolySpirit commented:

“Choose the one that speaks to you.”

That really made me feel solid in my choice. Such a blessing that I prayed that the Holy Spirit would lead me, and then a member with that same exact name posted such an encouragement!

I’ve since received it, here are a couple pictures:

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum!


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