Irish Penal Rosary with Pewter Ring & Penal Crucifix
The Irish Penal rosary or chaplet is often known as 'An Paidrin Beag' or 'The Little Rosary", and came into being during a time in Ireland's history known now as the Penal Times (1691-1779). The practice of Catholicism was outlawed, with harsh penalties, including death, if caught praying the rosary or being at Mass.
The devout developed this small rosary with 10 Hail Mary Beads, a single Our Father bead and a ring at one end to secure it over a finger or thumb - and so they continued to pray the rosary. The smaller, straight line of this design could be more easily hidden up a sleeve or under a scarf, and secured by the ring to avoid it accidentally dropping into view in public.
This rosary is a replica of the style used by the wealthier people of the time, who could afford pretty beads and pewter fittings. I've used 8mm opaque emerald faceted crystal beads for the 10 Hail Marys, and a lovely handmade lampwork glass bead for the Our Father bead.
In the traditional style, there is a ring for finger or thumb at one end, and a symbolic Irish Penal crucifix at the other. Between the ring and the beads is a Celtic knot charm - the origin of the never-ending Celtic knot design is lost in time, but one meaning is that it shows the intertwined nature of our spiritual and physical lives.
The crucifix is nickle & lead free pewter and has many symbols of the crucifixion both front and back. A card about the symbols is included.
Length: 29cm / 11.5 inches;
Ring: 2.5cm / 1 inch;
Crucifix: 5cm / 2 inches.
This is a lovely wee rosary for personal use, which would make a thoughtful gift. It comes attractively packaged with information cards about the symbols and meaning of an paidrin beag.
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