Rosary question for French Canadians


#1

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!


#2

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.


#3

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!


#4

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