Day 10: The Catholic Gentleman Rosary by Rugged Rosaries

Beside books, rosaries are the second most reviewed items on our blog. Our blog as you may know is not only to providing reviews on books, but also as a resource to help others find their way to a more prayerful life. I hope we have and will continue to be a resource for readers on that end.

In season 2 of the 12 Days fo Christmas series (two years ago), my sister and I featured a sampler of rosaries from Rugged Rosaries thanks to a number of samples sent for review on our blog. This year, I wanted to feature a rosary, once again from Rugged Rosaries, but this one was not a sample. I bought this one off their shop, specifically The Catholic Gentleman Rosary, thanks to a review from Gabriel Castillo of the now popular Catholic YouTube Channel, Gabi After Hours.

At first, I was a bit hesitant on buying a new rosary because my family has so many already. A number of samples we have received for review on this blog have been given away to those who really wanted a rosary, or in whom I sensed needed a rosary. However, besides that, I still have a couple that have sentimental value. Yet, there is something about sentimental rosaries that merit them being used less… the fear of damaging them is something I have feared. Besides those ones, I also have some olive wood ones from Bethlehem and Jerusalem. After some time, the knots that separate the decades unravel, and while still usable, I fear beads dropping to the ground half-way through the rosary. I wanted a rosary that had not very much sentimental attachment, was of full-length, but able to withstand the wear and tear of daily use… the pulling in and out of backpacks and pockets, but would still look new. I wanted a manly pilgrim-rosary that I would bring with me on retreats and pilgrimages.

I think I have found that rosary with The Catholic Gentleman Rosary. It is a traditional 5-decade rosary with the traditional drop and crucifix. The centrepiece is the classic Rugged Rosaries intricate celtic knotting. I can end the review there… making it seem like any regular rosary, but I think it is above and beyond those plastic ones, or honestly, even some premium $100+rosaries we have featured on here. Here is the thing: the best rosary is the one that you will pray with. I personally find it hard to have and pray with a solid gold/silver rosary if I am scared that I am going to lose it and where it would stay is in a case, stored on a shelf somewhere.

The Catholic Gentleman Rosary is what the website calls a “heavy duty” rosary. Unlike most rosaries sold on Rugged Rosaries, this rosary has solid alloy-metal beads. Unlike the other rosaries I have used from Rugged Rosaries, this one has a nice weight to it, and I really like the weight of it. There is a sense of “masculinity” to this weight in my opinion, hence the name The Catholic Gentleman Rosary.

One of the features of this rosary is the unique crucifix used… if you get the chance to see the selection of crucifixes on Rugged Rosaries, you will see they have a large variety of quality crucifixes to choose from. Note, you can ask to switch out beads and/or crucifixes if you so desire. I chose to stick to the ‘original’ Catholic Gentleman Rosary with only one add-on I will get to in a minute… but back to the crucifix. The crucifix depicts our crucified Lord, but at the bottom is a little compartment with mud. The mud is from the Catacombs in Rome – it was in these Catacombs that martyrs and saints were buried, along with those who wished to be close to them. Every time I kiss the crucifix before and after the rosary, I am not only reminded of the Passion and Resurrection of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, but also the passion of the martyrs. Furthermore, it is like having a fragment of Rome with you. If you have read my personal blog, especially in The Catholic Man in Europe I wrote about my trip to Europe in 2019, Rome really stood out for me and left a mark on me, especially having the realization of being in a city where the Catholic Church and its history is made so alive in a tangible way. And so, each time I kiss the crucifix, I am reminded of Rome, the City of the Saints, the City of the Pope, the City of Roman Catholicism.

For the rosary, I asked for an add on of two split rings, with two more unattached for $0.01 USD each. The two attached to the rosary, I asked for them to be put on each side of the centrepiece knot. While Rugged Rosaries has a good selection of devotional medals that you can purchase as add-ons for $4.00 USD/medal, I had a few of my own that I wanted on this rosary. I already had a nice regular sized Latin-text Miraculous Medal (with fine details) that I obtained from a selection of used devotional items some years ago. I also had a number of St. Joseph medals with the Holy Family at the back. With that, I also had a Bl. Carlo Acutis medal I purchased from Editrice Shalom some months prior to getting The Catholic Gentleman Rosary. In other words, it was a fine combination of medals… I just needed some split rings, and just grateful that Rugged Rosaries had such option.

The rosary I use almost daily on my walks. The beads are large enough that even during the colder winter months, I can use my gloves and pray. I have also brought along with me for Adoration, retreat days, and even on my family’s pilgrimage to Ottawa-Montréal this past summer. One of the beautiful moments was when I was able to pull out the rosary and place it on the tombs of the two saints I encountered: St. André Bessette at St. Joseph’s Oratory, and St. Marguerite Bourgeoys at a small chapel in Old-Montreal, therefore, making this rosary a third-class relic. That is how I envision this pilgrim rosary: a spiritual aid and companion throughout my daily spiritual life, serving as a reminder that every day, I am on a much larger pilgrimage of life in this Church Militant.

I have really enjoyed praying with this rosary, and honestly, my favourite one thus far. I am glad to have made this purchase and have it as my companion, particularly of Our Lord, the Blessed Mother, St. Joseph, and the new Bl. Carlo Acutis whom I have a devotion to and who prayed the rosary everyday. I close my rosary with the following litany:

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.
St. Joseph, pray for us.
Bl. Carlo Acutis, pray for us.

That is the story of my favourite rosary. How about you? Do you have a favourite rosary?

Remember, the best rosary is the one that you will use to pray with not once in a while, but frequently, daily.

Click here to check out The Catholic Gentleman Rosary by Rugged Rosaries.

Disclaimer: Vincent Pham purchased The Catholic Gentleman Rosary from Rugged Rosaries, and was in no way sponsored to write the above post. The Catholic Man Reviews thanks Rugged Rosaries for their kindness and also their generosity. I also thank Gabi After Hours for inspiring me to pray the rosary more often. All thoughts and opinions expressed in here are our own and reflect our sincere thoughts about the product.


Day 4: Vatican Gift miraculous medal & rosaries

Welcome to my second review of 12 Days of Christmas season 3! Today, we have a series classic: rosaries. Not only that, they are rosaries from Vatican Gift, a company you may be familiar with if you followed the series last year. Vatican Gift has been kind enough to let us take a look at what a bigger budget can get you from their lineup. If you are not familiar with Vatican Gift, last year’s review may be a good place to start.

Let’s start today’s review with the not a rosary, but a miraculous medal, which is a product not mentioned in last year’s review. It comes in the typical blue Vatican Gift box. There is a little hook in which the medal is hooked onto. It is perfectly shaped so that together with the plush board the hook is attached to, the medal is held firmly in place but can still be removed without damage to the medal itself. The overall presentation is impressive.

The level of detail on the medal is also quite high. The etchings that form the letters, Mary’s facial features and the folds of her clothing look very clean and intentional. It is clear that care was taken when choosing what details to include and where they should be placed.

If you checked out the website, you would have noticed that the price (starting at $22) is quite a bit higher than what you may typically find at a Catholic shop or a shrine gift shop. This higher price is not only a result of the nice packaging and attention to detail, but also because this medal is made of sterling silver, made evident by the “925” marking on the back.

The perks of ordering such an item from Vatican gift is that, as detailed, it is much nicer than the miraculous medals you can buy for 50 cents to a dollar at a shrine souvenir shop for example, both in the etchings and the material quality. It also comes with packaging – nice packaging, might I add. The final perk is that there are a variety of sizes to choose from (please note that each size is priced differently). I think the price tag is justified when all these benefits are listed, but if you choose to gift this medal, the person receiving it may not be familiar with Vatican Gift and/or have read this post. Therefore, the person receiving the gift may not understand that this miraculous medal is indeed of higher quality (and price tag) and value it the way you hope they would. I think this is best gifted in addition to a rosary or given to someone who is familiar with medals and is fond of collecting those of higher quality.

Moving on to the rosaries, the first one I want to discuss is the Hematite rosary. The beads are made of hematite as the name implies and they all seem well made and very reflective, a quality that is noted on the web page. They also have quite a bit of weight to them which contributes to a luxurious feel. Upon close inspection, I noticed that not all of the beads have a perfectly smooth surface, which I think is a quality of the mineral. The crucifix and center piece of this rosary is also sterling silver and like the miraculous medal, do not have a high shine finish which is an interesting contrast to the rest of the rosary. I expected them to be heavier considering the weight of the beads, but these components are actually quite lightweight. The links between the beads feel sturdy, are all well shaped and appear to be the same size. The consistency between the links is an indicator of good quality.

The second rosary is from the Gratia Plena series. Rosaries in this series are “[d]esigned by Italian stylists, with the best raw materials, they are precious and elegant Rosaries.” This rosary is called the Emerald Swarovski Crystals And Murano Glass Rosary Necklace. It’s a rather long name but all the rosaries in this series are named like this. I suspect it is so that all the specifications of the rosaries are listed in the name and there is no need for a long description, and shoppers know exactly what they’re getting just by reading the name. It also makes my life easier; now I don’t have to list the materials for you. All the beads look really well cut/shaped; there aren’t any jagged edges or oddly sized beads. The beads flanking the larger Our Father beads have little crystals embedded which all seem well secured. According to the description, the crucifix is 24K gold plated sterling silver. Like the other rosary, this crucifix is also quite lightweight. The details in this crucifix aren’t very well defined; I think it may be a result of the plating process. Also, a very specific note, but I found Jesus’ feet to be painfully pointy. I think it could scratch someone given enough force. I know that not every one cares about that level of detail and it is also possible that that is a quality specific to the rosary I received, but it was something that stuck out to me. One final detail I want to note is the lobster claw clasp. I have never seen this feature in a rosary, but I think this is more geared toward the necklace aspect as the name details. I find that it works well and none of the links surrounding it feel loose. I think the jump between the Hail Mary beads may bother some people considering it is in the middle of a decade, so it is something to consider while shopping.

You may wonder how these rosaries, which are from the line of Precious Rosaries, differ from other rosaries, particularly the Vatican Gift rosaries we have previously reviewed. I think there are two main differences. The first is packaging. If you go back to the first Vatican Gift review we wrote, you will see that the first few rosaries we reviewed came in a little velvety pouch. These rosaries come in a very sturdy box. The exterior is a faux snake skin and the inside has a fuzzy spongey material. The hinges aren’t loose and feel very high quality. I also, however, would not be surprised if the faux snake skin layer eventually cracks or tears along the hinge given time. I will say I think it will take quite a bit of time and use before that might occur. The rosaries are then wrapped in two more layers of packaging before they are tucked into the box. The second major difference is the materials used to make the rosaries. These rosaries are made of very high quality precious stones, minerals, metals and glasses, not seen in the other lines. A common point I think worth mentioning is, as detailed in our previous review, you can have these rosaries blessed by the Pope. We provide more details in that review; please check it out if you are curious about this.

As I noted with the medal, these rosaries, too, are expensive, and it may be difficult for someone who is not familiar with the materials used to comprehend just how expensive they are and appreciate the craftmanship. I would only recommend these rosaries if you intend on purchasing one for someone who has been looking for more of a luxury rosary and likes the materials used to make the rosary you intend on purchasing. Otherwise, if you were attracted idea of purchasing a rosary that is then blessed by the Pope, I would recommend a rosary from one of Vatican Gift’s more affordable lines, which also have beautiful pieces.

And this concludes day 4! I hope you will look forward to the rest of the series for some (not quite as expensive) gift ideas!

Disclaimer: The Catholic Man Reviews was provided these rosaries and the miraculous medals for an honest review of it on this blog. The Catholic Man Reviews thanks Vatican Gift for the opportunity for us to review these items on our blog and look forward to future collaborations. All thoughts and opinions expressed in here are our own and reflect our sincere thoughts about the product.

Day 1: The Rosary Card, by Everyday Prayer Co.

Preface: The Catholic Man Reviews is back at it with the Season 4 installment of the “12 Days of Christmas.” The series features 12 days of Catholic gift ideas. This year, we are starting a little later than usual most years, mainly due to the fact that both The Catholic Man and his sister are both University students and November – December have proven to be very busy months academically. Nevertheless, even as students, we wanted to provide the best quality reviews. Upon contemplation, it was prudent and best to start later this year. We know that Christmas shopping would be done, but we also thought, “Why not support Catholic business all year long, not just Christmas?” We hope that this series will not limit you to Christmas shopping alone, but convince you to make everyday Christmas for those in your household. We thank the businesses who have helped make the series possible.

One of the problems, or excuses rather as to why people don’t pray often is, “I forgot my rosary… I forgot my prayer book… I forgot my breviary.” While an impromptu prayer can sometimes be the solution, it is not always easy. I personally love to pray with the Liturgy of the Hours. I know many who have a pious devotion to the rosary. Some choose the Divine Mercy Chaplet. While I have got into the habit of bringing a rosary with me wherever I go, there are moments (especially when you’re late catching the bus) where your rosary is still left on your night table. For some people, a rosary is the last thing they need to add bulk to their pockets. When asked, “How can I pray more?” my response would be – make prayer tools accessible to you.

In recent years, a Catholic shop has understood this need for a prayer tool that would not only be portable, accessible but most importantly, practical. Everyday Prayer Co. is the name of the shop and they are a company to look out for if you are looking in gifting a spiritual aid either for your family, friends or maybe for yourself.

Everyday Prayer Co. has produced a prayer tool, simply called, “The Rosary Card” – a durable credit-card sized rosary that fits in your wallet, pocket, or even your breviary. Notice, they are credit-card sized, but not credit-card quality – meaning their pocket rosaries are not made of plastic. They are made of metal and come in a variety of finishes.

For this review, I received two that are of a smooth, glossy finish: one in white and one in black. I also received another of a more unique finish – copper in all in natural splendour. They also have pastel pink and brushed finish steel finishes, as well – all of which can be viewed on their website catalogue. I think the amount of finishes they have provided will suit a variety of tastes, for both men and women. Perhaps more may come in the future? A navy blue would be an interesting one to see.

Despite the differences in finishes, the layout of the rosaries are the same. Featured all around are 10 holes for the “Hail Mary” beads. They are of a good size, each hole is about 1cm in diameter. Closing off is a cross at the bottom, as you would expect in any rosary. In the centre is the Marian Monogram, the one often seen on the back of a Miraculous Medal. Overall, it is very simple design, but very practical. If you want to speak about a truly portable rosary, there are those “Scout Rosaries” which are a ring with 10 beads on the circumference with a cross at the top. While they are of unique, fancy design, the practicality of these rosaries are not the best as the beads are too small. I think the credit-card sized rosary by Everyday Prayer Co. takes this idea of these smaller “Scout Rosaries” to create a prayer tool that is portable but practical. The practicality of rosaries is important because something that is portable but doesn’t serve its purpose well is not ideal.

Note also too, the rounded corners on The Rosary Card. There is practicality here too: the rounded corners not only prevent puncturing of your wallet or pant pocket overtime, but it also allows for a better grip and fit of the rosary in your hand. Even with a standard beaded rosary, do you ever grasp the beads in the palm of your hand, clinging tight to them before or after the rosary in a spirit of personal prayer? I certainly do, and you can do the same, if not, in a more practical way with The Rosary Card.

As mentioned, these rosaries are credit card sized, meaning that for one thing, they will fit into your wallet very well. I have a black leather wallet that has a separate front compartment. I dedicate that compartment to some holy cards, a Sacred Heart of Jesus badge, and now, also an Everyday Prayer Co. rosary. You can have this rosary slipped in alongside other day-to-day ID cards in your wallet, and in fact, have it serve as an ID for you along the way of Christian life, witnessing to the fact that You are disciple of Jesus Christ, a warrior of prayer. For those who pray the breviary, these rosaries are good for slipping into the inside of your breviary cover. I never tried this, but if you have carabiner, I would be able to hook one on to one of the “beads,” and attach it to your backpack. Unlike a plastic tag, I would not be concerned with the rosary “ripping off” as it is made of metal. Another way is the simplest: slip it into your pocket: your pant pocket, shirt pocket, vest pocket… In short, this rosary is going to be the thinnest and most durable rosary that you can carry anywhere. If you prefer to use the “classic” bead rosaries, you might still want to carry one of these on you. You might be on a pilgrimage and want to pray with a prayer companion who may not have a rosary. In that case, pull this pocket rosary out, and let your friend borrow it with much ease.

The Card Rosary has such a practical design and reverent feel to it… I don’t know if I would change anything. It is slim and cool. You might pull it out of your wallet to pray, and might be asked questions by a curious person… maybe such a conversation could start on a secular University campus. These prayer tools, then, become a tool for evangelization that would be inititated in very casual conversations.

A suggestion I would give to Everyday Prayer Co., would be to consider having a variety of designs in the centre. Perhaps, in place of the Marian Monogram, there could be a design that features a silhouette of a crucifix, something similar to this? Maybe another consideration is to have a designs that feature a silouette of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and/or the Immaculate Heart of Mary. I think a wider variety of designs would give customers more choice to choose from, and more room for customization. However, I realize there are limits on the size on what can or cannot be done on a credit-card sized piece of metal. Too intricate designs might weaken the metal, compromising the rosary’s durability.

Keep a reminder to pray close to you – The Rosary Card can serve as such reminder every time you use your wallet, or feel it in your pant pocket.

Thank you Brennan Costello for the opportunity to feature The Rosary Card in this review. May God bless you and the staff at Everyday Prayer Co.

Check out The Rosary Card here at Everyday Prayer Co.

Disclaimer: Vincent Pham was provided a sample The Rosary Card for an honest review of it on this blog. The Catholic Man Reviews thanks Everyday Prayer Co. for the opportunity for us to review The Rosary Card on our blog and look forward to future collaborations. All thoughts and opinions expressed in here are our own and reflect our sincere thoughts about the product.

The Liturgy Series: Universalis Liturgical app, part II – The Mass Readings and Other Features

In The Liturgy Series no. 12a, I reviewed Universalis’ iOS app, specifically the Liturgy of the Hours portion. I have found that reviews of liturgical apps have been one of the favourite on our blog. This shows for me how important it is for people to have Catholic apps on their phone or tablets. Honestly, at first I was quite skeptical of praying on mobile apps, but with apps like Universalis and Laudate on my phone now, I have found myself going to these apps. Particularly with Universalis, I have used it more frequently on the go and on days when there is just a lot of flipping around in the Breviary.

Universalis even though it is a very good tool for praying the Liturgy of the Hours, is also a great tool for praying the Mass. Along with a wifi-free breviary, there is a missal, complete with the propers and lectionary readings as well. This is particularly useful when you are in the liturgical committee meeting and you need to search up the lectionary readings of Mass and so appropriate choose the hymns. The worst part I have found is doing this without the readings downloaded beforehand. Universalis, eliminates all of that – all the readings of the liturgical year are on your phone. You will have the Mass readings in your backpack or pocket on your devices. Unlike the Canadian Living with Christ app, all the readings are provided including secondary options so you will not need to get a print edition or another app to access readings – everything is within the app.

The “Readings at Mass” section not only contain the lectionary readings, but in this section, also the propers of the Mass as well, including the Collect, Prayer over the Offerings, and Prayer after Communion, along with the Entrance and Communion antiphons. Along with the readings and propers, what is even more helpful are commentaries for the first, second and Gospel readings, which are italicized. These commentaries were included with the permission of Dom Henry Wansbrough, “an English biblical scholar, Roman Catholic priest, and monk of Ampleforth Abbey.” They are very insightful as this helps give more context to the lectionary readings being proclaimed. These commentaries serve as a helpful guide in praying and reflecting on the readings before Mass.

If you wanted an even better, engaging experience of Mass that included an “all the way through” approach with the Mass with all the responses with the propers and appropriate lectionary readings, then there is a “Mass Today” section that has all of the readings and propers at Mass as found in the “Readings at Mass” section, but within the context of the Order of Mass. Thus, there is no need to switch between the Order of Mass or any other section in your missalette to get the responses – everything is there! You even have the option to hide the priest’s private prayers in the settings if desired. For a priest in worst case scenario celebrating Mass without a missal, then this feature would be very helpful in the celebration of Mass (but not to be abused).

So we have went through the various features of Universalis for liturgical prayer and planning, namely the Liturgy of the Hours and the Mass. However, beyond that, there are also other features that may help one in their daily prayer life:

  • Lectio Divina: or Divine Reading, is a prayer method of praying with the Scriptures using the four-steps of: Reading, Meditation, Prayer and Contemplation. Universalis provides a step-by-step guide for that in their app for each day, changing the reading with that of the Gospel. However, the questions and methodology provided can also be of great assistance when one would like to do Lectio Divina with other biblical texts as well.
  • Spiritual Reading: Do you take the bus or subway or maybe want to do some spiritual reading in a church during your lunch break? This section gathers spiritual reading from the Office of Readings as well as other sources for your meditation. There are even a small selection of books, many of them free, including St. Francis of Assisi (G.K. Chesterton) or A Retreat for Lay People (Ronald Knox) for your use as well. There are currently seven books in this collection, but I hope this library will be expanded to include classics such as The Imitation of Christ (Thomas Kempis). The beauty of this is that they are divided into “installments,” in which an excerpt of it will be made available everyday in this Spiritual Reading section.
  • The Angelus and The Rosary – these are two prayers commonly said throughout the day among Catholics. The Angelus is recited at 06:00, 12:00 and 18:00, while the Rosary is encouraged to be prayed every day. These are acts of piety that have dated centuries but continue to be treasured prayers in the Catholic tradition. Specifically with the Rosary, you have the option to have the Mysteries change according to the traditional order, or the newer order with the Luminous mysteries, or you can pray any mystery you wish by scrolling through the choices available.

One last feature I would like to speak of are “Remembrance Cards“. We certainly have people in our family or among our friends that we would like to keep them in our prayers on our death anniversary. Unfortunately, sometimes when these days come, we forget and feel some sense of guilt. It is important I think, to keep the memorial dates of loved ones somewhere on your phone that can alert you. Universalis has this feature that even syncs on your iCalendar. Not only will you be able to receive alerts on iCalendar, but on the day of the person’s memorial, you will see them appear on the pages of your Universalis, to remind you of their memorial and keep them in your prayers for the day. Remembering and observing memorial dates have never been easier!

The Catholic Man’s Remarks

I love the Universalis app – it makes praying the Liturgy of the Hours and the Mass much easier than scrambling to find and purchase missals or breviaries. While I much prefer the paper and ink version, that is not possible at all times and that is when Universalis comes to aid. The flexibility and customizability on many aspects allows you to in a sense, have a prayer book suited to YOU, the user since everyone has different tastes when it comes to font size, fonts, prayers, etc.

On the note of the Mass readings, there is a concern I have not only with Universalis, but with practically every Catholic Missal app. Universalis comes with the Jerusalem Bible translation of the Lectionary which is used in England, Scotland and Wales and Australia and a couple other dioceses. It also comes with the New American Bible translate which is the translation used in the diocese of the United States of America. Unfortunately, Canada seems to be one of the outliers and uses the New Revised Standard Version, Catholic Edition (NRSV-CE) for its Lectionary translation. The only app that has Canadian Lectionary readings is the Living with Christ app. It is useful to know there is such app, but honestly, it is underwhelming. As the app was developed by Novalis, which also publishes the Living with Christ missalette, they fail to provide all the readings. The app and website have the shorter readings and asks the user that if they wish to use a longer reading to find it in their monthly Living with Christ missalette – this is frustrating, and so I turn to other apps like Universalis instead.

I do not understand why the English-speaking countries all agree on one single translation of the Lectionary to use, maybe the Revised Standard Version, Catholic Edition? I hear that some episcopal conferences have/will use the English Standard Version, Catholic Edition and that once again adds another translation in the group, and due to copyright, these translations are not always made available in an online Bible or prayer aid-apps like Universalis or iBreviary. This may be a selfish request, but I wonder if Universalis can look into the addition of other translation such as the Canadian NRSV-CE so other Canadian Catholics can benefit greater from the app?

Universalis I think is a Catholic app worth the investment. It may seem pricier than many apps in the Apple App Store, but it is worth every penny when you can carry a breviary and lectionary in your pocket that will help you pray with the Church.

Disclaimer: Universalis provided us with a review “copy” of their iOS Universalis app in exchange for an honest review on this blog as part of The Liturgy Series. All thoughts expressed in this review are our own. We thank Universalis for the opportunity to review their app, along with their add-ons, including Audio Liturgy of the Hours, RSV-CE Liturgy of the Hours, and Sung Latin Compline.

Day 2: Vatican Gift Rosaries

And day 2 of 12 Days of Christmas gifts is upon us and today I bring you a 12 Days of Christmas Gifts classic: rosaries.  

These rosaries are from Vatican Gift.  Now, in my opinion rosaries are among the most saturated parts of the market for Christian items, so today The Catholic Man and I are going to highlight a couple things about these rosaries from Vatican Gift that may make you more interested in them than those of other sellers.  

Before I get to the main attraction which are the rosaries, I would like to talk about a Crucifix that we received.  It’s a little over two inches in height and comes strung on a brown cord.  The cord is nothing special, but the Crucifix itself is quite nice.  It is made of metal so it has a bit of weight to it, and the parts that are filled to be red are very evenly done; there isn’t any texture or bubbling to it.  The figure of Jesus is also very detailed.  I am impressed by the amount of musculature and the facial features that are unincorporated on such a small figure – He even has all his fingers and toes! Some statues these days don’t even have defined digits.  The packaging is also quite sturdy.  I must say though, that the centerpiece at the back wasn’t glued down perfectly, so you can see a bit of the glue that seeped out from under it and it kind of looks like a bit of dirt accumulated.  It isn’t very noticeable, but I wanted to mention it anyway.  

On to the rosaries – 

Most of the rosaries are packaged in a little pouch that can be cinched shut, but I feel like the material it’s made out of easily creases and it doesn’t really stay shut anyway so I just leave it open.  The first one I want to talk about is my least favourite.  It is from their wooden line of rosaries.  There’s nothing wrong with it; it just isn’t for me.  The beads are a dark wood, but I think the dark colour, in combination with how well polished they are that made me think they are plastic.  I’m not saying it looks cheap; it just had me a little confused at first.  I prefer being able to see the wood grain which other rosaries in the line fulfill.  I think you just need to keep in mind what the person you are purchasing it for prefers (and that person can totally be you!).  The chain links feel high quality and the San Damiano Crucifix, and Pope Francis centrepiece… once again, is nicely detailed.  You can get this Franciscan-themed rosary here or as part of this gift set here.

The second rosary we received, I much prefer.  It is from the semi precious line, and this one specifically is the Pale Rose Quartz rosary.  As the name implies, the beads are made of rose quartz. I really like the cooling feeling it has when you hold it.  The wooden rosary was very light-weight, and that may appeal to some, but I prefer them to have a bit more weight to them There are a nice variety of stones to choose from if you don’t like rose quartz.  Like the first rosary, the links and Crucifix seem to be of high quality and none of the beads are cracked.  The semi precious rosaries are more expensive than your average rosary, but I think it is a nice middle-of-the-road between the usual rosary and the Vatican Gift precious rosaries, which go into the hundreds of dollars.  

The Catholic Man will introduce you to the final rosary we received, but before I hand it over to him one comment I feel obligated to make: it is HEAVILY scented.  If you are like me and have the nose of a hounddog, you may want to stay away.  I can’t open the box for longer than a couple seconds before I can’t stand it.  Ok, that’s enough from me for now.  

From The Catholic Man

Now, I finally make my appearance in this series! Thanks Ivy for doing a great job so far with the reviews so far.

If you have been to Rome before, you will know that rosaries are very common souvenirs to bring back for family and friends… but not just any rosary – those red, heavily scented rose rosaries. This one as the website states is made of crushed rose petals. Yet, with this pandemic and its travel restrictions in place, going to Rome is not possible for many so this Christmas, bring Rome to your loved ones with this rosary here! I know these rose petal rosaries are easily counterfeited and while in Rome, I avoided purchasing these types of rosaries from street vendors. They may have lower prices, but the quality is simply isn’t the same. What you get here from Vatican Gift is the real deal, with real rose petals. Note though, as this rosary is made from rose petals, it is not suitable for everyday wear. After use, it should be kept in the plastic container.

Now here’s the best part about Vatican Gifts – you can get your gifts blessed by the Pope! Make sure you mention it at checkout. Their website says,

We personally bring your gifts to receive the Holy father’s Blessing.

In some occasions, like the General Audience and the Angelus Domini, in Vatican the Holy Father impresses His Apostolic Blessing over all the presents.

This blessing is explicitly extended to the devotional items each one brings with them.

Vatican Gift Frequently Asked Questions

Vatican Gift also includes a small replica Papal parchment, and within a little card, indicates on what day your articles have been blessed… a nice little touch and fine reminder to pray for the Pope.

Overall, both Ivy and I are very pleased with the quality of the products of Vatican Gift, particularly, their very wide range of rosaries. We suggest you visit there website here to take a look at the wide selection of products that they have in store, coming directly from the heart of Roman Catholicism.

Disclaimer: The items for review on this site have been provided by Vatican Gift, in exchange for an honest review and feature on the 12-Days of Christmas Gifts series. I am thrilled that Vatican Gift accepted my invitation to join in this series and I express my gratitude and best wishes to the Vatican Gift.