Rosary question for French Canadians


This is easily the most obscure question I could possibly post, but I figure if any group of people can answer this, its CAF. So…

My great-uncle Robert (Bob to my American, terribly anglophile family) was French Canadian, and until I joined the church, the family’s only Catholic. He passed away a decade ago, and my great-aunt recently had to enter an assisted-care facility and bequeathed all of his sacramentals to me. (ALL of them, and I finally see what eighty-five years of Catholic swag looks like assembled in one place - if I live that long, God willing, I’ll have a mini-Lourdes on my dresser.)

Much of what I have from my uncle is beautiful and decidedly francophone - his first communion prayer book in French, a relic of Therese de Liseaux - but amongst these possessions were a number of rosaries. The oldest all have this in common - each of them has one or more tiny medals strung in between decades. Each of them has a tiny (4 mm) miraculous medal, with the prayer (in French) indicated in acronym, and his traveling rosary has a tiny St. Christophers medal as well.

Is this, or was this, a local Quebecois tradition, or a personal touch from my uncle? I’ve asked around and never seen this done anywhere else, but I don’t know any French Canadian Catholics and I never got to ask my Uncle about it - he passed away before I had any interest in Catholicism, and was a pretty quiet guy anyway. I carry one of his rosaries everyday, and would love to know if the little add-ons are a cultural legacy or simply a personal touch from Uncle Bob.

Thanks and God Bless!


Yah, before the faith was rejected en masse by the french populace this was common practice. People here used to be intensely faithful. I was not around during those time, but I have seen older french ladies at mass with little medals attached to their rosaries.

The old rosaries i’ve aquired have often come with a medal or two or five affixed to them.


Thanks! Its good to know there’s a reason for why my rosary looks like a charm bracelet - I live in the South and have gotten some curious looks before mass.

Thanks again, and God Bless!


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