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.