An Paidrin Beag - the Irish Penal Rosary


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"An Paidrin Beag" (the Little Rosary) is more commonly known today as the Irish Penal rosary. It is prayed by placing the ring on the thumb, praying the first decade of the rosary, then moving the ring to the second finger to pray the second decade, and so on, until the complete rosary has been prayed.

This style of rosary originated in Ireland during a period known as the Penal Times, when practising the Catholic faith was a crime, sometimes punishable by death. This small rosary could be used to pray the full rosary, but was easy to conceal up a sleeve to avoid detection. The cross on this rosary is known as the Irish Penal Crucifix, and has many symbols of the crucifixion on the front and back.

I've used 8mm round natural unakite gemstone beads for the Hail Marys, and a single 10mm round for the Our Father prayer beads. All the beads are hand-linked with silver rosary wire so the rosary is nice and flexible. Unakite is a naturally occurring stone with colors ranging from pink and red through green and brown. It reminds me of the blood split on the land of Ireland during those difficult times.

At one end is the Irish Penal crucifix and at the other is a bamboo-style silver pewter ring (nickle and lead free).

Length: 28cm / 11 inches
Crucifix: 5cm tall / 2 inches
Ring: 2cm across / 0.8 inch

A nice wee rosary for personal use, which would make a thoughtful gift. It comes attractively packaged along with a card about the rosary and the meaning of the symbols on the crucifix.

Click here to see my
Celtic Collection


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