Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Catholic Nook: Chaplets

Hi y'all! Time for another Catholic Nook installment, and I have been feeling inspired lately by this small book pictured left, My Treasury of Chaplets, by Patricia Quintiliani. It's out of print, but available still via the Amazon Marketplace, and I bought a copy a few years ago. (reality check: Amazon is telling me that I bought this book in December 2010, that's more than "a few years ago." Folks, this is what happens when you approach 40. You start to lose brain cells and your ability to judge spans of time. You've been warned). ;-)

The reason I originally bought this book is as a reference guide for praying different chaplets. I'm a librarian, I love reference material. *halo* Chaplets are traditionally designed to invoke the intercession of a particular saint or as devotion to a certain title for Mary or Jesus. So, for instance, the chaplet of St. Therese. It has 24 beads, memorializing the 24 years of her life, and on each you pray a Glory Be. Or the chaplet to Our Lady Star of the Sea, with 12 beads representing the 12 stars on Mary's crown, on which you pray a Hail Mary with a special acclamation at the end of each prayer. There are tons of such devotions like this out there, each with (if you wish) customized prayer beads to assist you in praying that particular chaplet. St. Michael, St. Philomena, Padre Pio, St. Kateri Tekakwitha, the 7 Sorrows of Mary, the Precious Blood of Jesus, all have a unique chaplet for that specific devotion. I find it all fascinating, so I purchased this book. The author helpfully divides the book into sections for chaplets of the saints, Marian chaplets, and those focused on Jesus.

So, this book sits on my bookshelf, and I pull it out when I need it to look up a particular chaplet and how to pray it. With the novena to the Sacred Heart going on right now, I had thought about learning more on this devotion, and wondered whether there was a special chaplet. There is. For each chaplet, there is a description of how to pray it, and a photo of the chaplet, which makes this book unique as far as what I've ever seen. If I don't have beads configured exactly in the way the chaplet is described, it helps to get a sense of how many times to pray which prayers and in what order by looking at a physical item. It also makes it easier to look for such a chaplet to purchase online if you'd like to. Or to make one yourself. *exciting music crescendos* :0

I looked over the Sacred Heart chaplet. 33 red beads, representing each year of Jesus' life, plus 6 larger beads. From the photo, I could see that the arrangement was 6 sets of 5 red beads apiece, with larger beads in between, and then a "drop" with larger beads on either side of a trio of the red beads. With a sacred heart centerpiece and a crucifix on the bottom, it's a slam dunk. :0 I could make this!

I didn't, although I tripped over myself on the way to grab the tablet and load up red and yellow beads into my Fusion Beads shopping cart, simply because I wouldn't be able to obtain the supplies and get it made in time for the novena, which at that point was only about a week away. You don't need the beads in order to pray the novena, I just thought it would be nice. But certainly for the future, I will make this at some point.

As I flipped through, I came across a chaplet to St. Dominic Savio. St. Dominic Savio is a patron of young boys, and his story is a favorite of Henry's. His chaplet consists of 3 white beads on the drop, and 14 blue beads, the colors representing St. Dominic's purity and his devotion to Our Lady. There are specific prayers for each bead. Eureka! I have cobalt blue beads and white pearls in my bead stash. Yes, I now have a bead stash in addition to a yarn stash, no judging. ;-) All I would need was a centerpiece and crucifix, since Henry owns a St. Dominic Savio medal that I could hook on. I found a chalice First Communion-type centerpiece and a coordinating crucifix, ordered those, and away we go. Chaplet will be created soon! I'd like to pray it with him sometimes before he goes to sleep. Fascinating stuff, no?

Do you all have a favorite chaplet that you pray either regularly or around a specific feast day? Leave me a comment!

Just a housekeeping fyi: I'm headed to Pittsburgh this weekend with Mike and the kids, so no post tomorrow. I'll be back with you with full details on Monday. Talk to you then!

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