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rosaries-msg - 7/14/17


Period rosaries and their use. Making rose beads.


NOTE: See also the files: beads-msg, jewelry-msg, beadwork-msg, relics-msg, icons-msg, Icons-art, Relics-fr-all-art, saints-msg.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I  have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done  a limited amount  of  editing. Messages having to do  with separate topics  were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the  message IDs  were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make  no claims  as  to the accuracy  of  the information  given  by the individual authors.


Please respect the time  and  efforts of  those who have written  these messages. The copyright status  of these messages  is  unclear  at this time. If information  is  published  from  these  messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

   Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                         Stefan at florilegium.org



From: sclark at epas.utoronto.ca (Susan Carroll-Clark)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Rosary/Paternoster

Date: 1 Jul 1994 19:49:15 GMT

Organization: University of Toronto -- EPAS



      Uh oh.  There's a problem here.  Most sources I have seen

date the invention of the rosary (the thing, particularly, but

perhaps also the prayer) to the 13th century, possibly by St.

Dominic. It doesn't really take off in poplarity until the 14th

century. (This is what I remember from Joe Goering's Popular

Religion course at U of T.  He generally knows what he's talking about.)

      You might be in better shape with paternoster beads, though

I know very little about these at all.




Canton of Eoforwic

sclark at epas.utoronto.ca



From: shepherdss at aol.com (Shepherdss)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Rosary/Paternoster

Date: 8 Jul 1994 18:38:06 -0400


lmbabik at rocdec.roc.wayne.edu (Lisamarie Gemma Babik) writes:


>However, given that rosaries were initially just beads upon which to

>count prayers, why not make your own?


>Or, if glass beads are out of the question (period), knotted string,

>pebbles, wood beads, wound bits of cloth, etc. might do the trick...


One of the nicest rosaries I've ever seen was worn by John the Heretic.

The cross was two rough stick tied together with a leather thong which was

knoted at the appropriate intervals


Anne Elizabeth




Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Rosary

Date: 7 Jul 1994 18:23:36 -0400


         I haven't had time to read a lot of digests lately, so

         forgive me if I repeat previously given info. Rosaries

         weren't standardized until quite late, possibly OOP (I need

         to do more checking to make sure). My Webster's 10th dates

         the _word_ rosary at 1547, but of course you can read of

         "bedesmen" much earlier. In early paintings you'll note that

         the beads on the girdles of women and religious are not

         divided in any way, they're just strings of beads, possibly

         with the addition of a cross. The fact is that there was

         no standardization of kind of prayers, number of prayers,

         whether more than one kind of prayer was used and, if so,

         when, or what to think about when praying (if anything)

         until very late (once again, I have no date yet).


         Some saints' stories mention the rosary, but none I've seen

         give any indication of what interests us here. One period

         tale has a nun boasting of doing 50 rosaries every day until

         Our Lady appeared to her and told her very kindly to please

         cut it down to 5 and _think_ about it.


                         Sor Maria Catalina de la Encarnacion




Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Rosary/Paternoster

Date: 9 Jul 1994 22:47:00 -0400


         Knotted string or leather is very period indeed -- I think

         it's still being used as a counting device in some Third

         World countries! Wood beads were predominant. There's always

         pottery. If you want to show off a little wealth, a gemstone

         rosary is nice, or solid gold or silver (pray as you

         polish!). I like rose beads the best, though: beads actually

         made from rose petals. The ones I made lost their scent in a

         few months, but this just encourages me to make more (I

         understand you can refresh the scent by adding a little rose

         oil, but this seems like cheating to me).


         Incidentally -- has anyone ever actually timed a Latin Ave

         or Pater to see how long it takes to say them? I'd know a

         lot better how long to stir things in medieval recipes.


                                 Sor Maria Catalina de la Encarnacion



From: Phyllis_Gilmore at rand.org (Phyllis Gilmore)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Philippa is not a brat

Date: Mon, 11 Jul 94 12:15:55 GMT

Organization: RAND



>I thank you, Sor Maria Catalina, for your kind words!


I actually own several rosaries.  The one I was referring to is

sterling silver and crystal.  What's different is that a portrait

of Our Lady appears on the crucifix, at the crossing, behind

Our Lord.  The "medal" at the point where the circle part joins the

pendant part depicts Veronica's Veil.  


The Franciscan Crown is a seven-decade rosary.  My brain is dead on

exactly what they specific Mysteries are, but I think they're the

Joyful mysteries plus two.  Mine is cheap plastic, with a wooden

cross, which I keep in the car (no, NOT hanging from the rear-view

mirror!!!). I'm told that this particular version of the rosary is

extremely old (someone said, but this could be legend or wishful

thinking, that St. Francis created this version--but I can't find

anything in print).


I've also seen a 15-decade rosary, for the truely dedicated who say

the whole thing all at once.  Most of the shorter bead strings are

called chaplets (although the rosary is itself a chaplet) and are

usually invented by some pious association or another.


The book with insufficient references is:  M. Basil Penningtion,

Praying by Hand:  Rediscovering the Rosary as a Way of Prayer, Harper San

Francisco, 1991.  And I quote:


   "Legend tells us that it was the Blessed Virgin Mary herself

who gave Saint Dominic the rosary as we know it in the West,

when she appeared tohim during his labors to convert the

Albigensian heretics.  Although this legend was introduced

into the life of Dominic some two centuries after his death

(in a late-fifteenth-century life of Saint Dominic by Alan de

la Roche,  . . . It also attests to the fact that the rosary as

we know it is the product of a gradual evolution.

   It began as the layperson's psalter.  . . .  The psalms were

too complicated for many of the more simple, so a "psalter" of

150 Paters ("Our Fathers") was conceived, along with a string of

beads to count them.

   Besides the canonical office prescribed by the rule, most

monasteries also celebrated a "little office" of the Blessed

Virgin Mary each day.  So it is not surprising that a "psalter

of Mary" quickly found its place alongside that of the Paters.

The Paters were replaced by the angelic salutation taken from

the Gospel of St. Luke:  Ave, Maria, gratia plena.  Dominus tecum

. . . .  In the twelfth century "Blessed are you among women, and

blessed is the fruit of your womb" . . . began to be added. . . .

The second part of the Hail Mary  . . . came into common usage only

in the sixteenth century."


Taken from pages 8 and 9--and there's more both before and after

this bit.  Typos are mine.





SCA: Philippa de Ecosse, Lyondemere, Caid  

mka: Phyllis Gilmore, Santa Monica and Torrance, CA



From: david.razler at compudata.com (DAVID RAZLER)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Period Rosaries

Date: Mon, 17 Apr 95 01:28:00 -0400

Organization: Compu-Data BBS -=- Turnersville, NJ -=- 609-232-1245


M >? at FROM   :margritt at mindspring.com                                     N


M >Good Gentles:


M >I'm looking for more information on period rosaries/pater nosters/prayer

M >beads.  I've read some very general information on the subject, but I

M >would particularly like info on specific examples you have seen or read

M >about- on the number and order of beads, the materials used to make

M >beads,

M >how they were strung together (using wire/string/leather/or what?), what

M >prayers were said with them, and anything else that seems pertinent.


M >Thanks for your help.


M >-Margritte (margritt at mindspring.com)



   Try contacting the Met. Museum of Art, NYC - it has a collection of

central Rosary beads that'll leave you standing in front of them and staring

for an hour or more in awe over their construction - the entire Crucifixion

in a hinged, little (4"diam.) sphere, 30 or 40 separate layers of



   Don't matter what your personal religion, one cannot help but be knocked

over by these works of art. The best is in the Cloisters newly-renovated

Treasury, but I believe there are more, and a call may gain you access to

the research collection and experts.


                                       Aleksandr the Traveller

                                     [david.razler at compudata.com]



From: sniderm at mcmail2.cis.McMaster.CA (Mike Snider)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Rosaries

Date: 18 Apr 1995 23:16:59 -0400

Organization: McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.


Greetings Cousin,

  I have a photo I took of an English effigy (late 1300s) which depicts a

rosary terminating in a tassel, worn from the lady's belt. Only a portion

of it shows from beneath her sideless surcoat, so I believe this to be a

practice, rather than a show of loyalties. The date of the carving also

predated the dissolution of the Catholic Church in England.

Elizabeth Cadfan



From: IVANOR at delphi.com

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Period Rosaries

Date: 20 Apr 1995 22:57:56 GMT


Quoting teachmrt from a message in rec.org.sca

   > >>>In later portraits of the late 1500's we see ladies wearing their

   > >>>rosary beads attached to their belts.

   > If those ladies are nuns, then it is a sign of their order.


It was not customary for nuns to have their portraits painted.  The lady is

referring to secular costume, and in that period, it was common to wear

rosaries that way.


   > I believe it is the Baltic nuns who wear their roasaries in this way,

   >but I am not sure.


The custom of nuns (What are Baltic nuns?) wearing their rosaries this way

is a survival from the period when all women did, as the nuns' habits, until

recent years, were survivals of 13th-15th century costume (depending on when

the order was founded).


Carolyn Boselli    Host of Custom Forum 35    SCAdians on Delphi

Ive Annor M'Quhairr of Sighty Crag, AoA, Yale, Seneschale/Dragon Forge



From: nzsm at spis.co.nz (SPIS & NZ Science Monthly)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Rosary Beads from roses

Date: Mon, 29 Apr 96 04:17:05 GMT

Organization: South Pacific Information Services Ltd


nzsm at spis.co.nz writes:

>sneezy at darkwing.uoregon.edu writes:


>>1. Is there anyone out there who actually utilized this article and tried

>>to make said beads?  If so, would you please let me know your experience?


I don't know about the article (being scum and not seeing TI :-) but I have

made rosary beads from both dried and fresh petals, minimal amounts of

rosewater and oil. (Very low simmer for a number of hours with a bolt in the

pot to make it black -- they look better that way IMO). Very easy to do and

a good way of using up the rose petals that collect everywhere. Rolling them

afterwards is the messy part -- that's where the oil comes in. I've never

bothered sanding them to shine, but you can do a goodly range of sizes.


They're lovely (just don't store them with anything with too strong a scent

-- the odour of some neighbouring rubber leeches did nothing for one set...).


>>2. What, exactly, were rosary beads used for?


I've used them as decorations, for necklaces and to scent my drawers (the

wooden variety). I did make a fake rosary, but opted to put 9 beads in each

"decat" so that it differed from a real one (I may be a skeptic but I like

to hedge my bets :-).


It's a pleasant way to spend a summer afternoon, so go ahead and do it even

if you don't have the references to hand.



katherine kerr (who should really be using only white roses, but then

there's something poetic about turning red roses black, hah!)


New Zealand Science Monthly -- NZ's only general-interest science magazine

   nzsm at spis.co.nz * Fax: +64-3-384-5138 * Tel: +64-3-384-5137

             P.O. Box 19-760, Christchurch, New Zealand



From: sneezy at darkwing.uoregon.edu (Clare ni Mhaille)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Rosary beads from Roses:  Update

Date: Fri, 10 May 1996 02:32:58 -0800

Organization: Institute of Cognitive and Decision Sciences


Greetings to all!


I am the person who started this thread...oh, way back about a month

ago...and I have very much enjoyed and appreciated the feedback and



My experiment was entirely successful, I am happy to note.  I believe I

have found a nice niche for my merchant persona.  What could be lovelier

than living full time among the scent and sight of roses.


I would just like to give a little bit of feedback to the group.  I ended

up finding four (with Katherine's it makes 5) recipes for these

beads...every single one was different in some way.  I would highly

suggest collecting a few different recipes then working off of the

combined ideas. (I can add mine to this collection and that now makes 6

recipes, all different.)  I was more comfortable being able to choose the

parts off the recipes that made intuitive or practical sense to me.  I

experimented with mash consistency, cooking vessels and times, spices in

with the cooking/spices rolled in after cooking, etc.  For instance, while

Katherine's recipe (and another I have) suggest cooking down the mash

until rather dry, I found that, personally, working with a mash that was

quite wet (though not sticking to my fingers) required some patience in

the rolling, but allowed me to stick a pin into them right.  I found the

drier mash to be more difficult to work with because is tended to crumble

when rolling and break when sticking a pin into it.  Also, it's *just my

opinion* :)  but, as a ceramics artist I was able to figure out that (like

clay) the more moisture you have in, and the finer the grind of, your

mash, the more the shrink of the bead during drying, but the tighter the

bond of the material and thus, a stronger, harder, smoother bead.


I highly recommend writing down your procedures and observations

(no...this isn't just because I am a professional research

scientist...it's because I have a lot of Virgo :P).  I wrote everything

down from the start so that I could make adjustments next time around

which really helped!


In the end....it's all a matter of personal preference, eh? :)  I echo

Katherine's suggestion:  Just do it and enjoy!


Clare ni Mhaille (mka Lynn McDougal)


[As an aside:  I did try to repeat this using lavender flowers, but it

just didn't work.  The bio-mass of the lavender is simply a different kind

of composition (very woody = high cellulose content.)  The beads were too

light and just never formed a hard bead. :(  The scent was lovely, though,

and I might try to mix some of the lavender into the rose next time to see

what happens.)


WWW http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~sneezy

email: sneezy at darkwing.uoregon.edu



From: nzsm at spis.co.nz (SPIS & NZ Science Monthly)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Rosary Beads from roses

Date: Fri, 10 May 96 02:31:51 GMT

Organization: South Pacific Information Services Ltd


dickeney at access1.digex.net writes:

>I would be

>mighty interested in learning more about this article that apparently

>gives instructions...


I don't know about the article, but it's really easy:


Gather rose petals (dried will do OK, fresh is fine).


Chop up very finely (a food processor helps).


Put in a pot with just enough rose water (or ordinary water) to make

slightly soggy (shouldn't be too much free liquid, just enough to stop it

catching on the bottom). The best pots are small cast iron ones as they help

the roses go nicely black (adding a spare old bolt or two helps as well).

You can also add ground spices if you want.


Put on heat that will just simmer slightly and no more. Stir occasionally.


Leave for a while (it doesn't seem to have made much difference to my

batches how long -- a hour or two is fine. So long as most of the fluid has

been reduced leaving you with a close-to-solid pulpy mass).


Test by rolling some of the pulp between your fingers. If you can squeeze

moisture out, it's still too wet so simmer some more.  


Rub rose oil (plain will do, but rose oil helps the scent) on your

hands/fingers and start rolling small balls. I've varied mine from the size

of dressmakers' pin heads (the ones with plastic knobs on) up to marble

size. Much larger and they tend to split during drying.


Leave for a couple of hours to start drying (overnight can be OK) and then

run a needle through to hole them. If the holes are small, it can be really

hard to find again, so I tend to string them at this point in whatever

fashion I want.


You can sand them after they're fully dry -- some people even varnish thjem

which kinda removes the point I think (you lose the scent). I prefer the

rough finish.


I've made rosary tokens this way too, just by flattening out the pulp into

coin-sized disks.


So have fun and be sweetly scented!


katherine kerr of the far-off southern reaches of Caid where the roses are



New Zealand Science Monthly -- NZ's only general-interest science magazine

   nzsm at spis.co.nz * Fax: +64-3-384-5138 * Tel: +64-3-384-5137

             P.O. Box 19-760, Christchurch, New Zealand



From: Chris Hartley <Chartley at bendnet.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Rosary Beads from roses

Date: Fri, 10 May 1996 09:03:05 -0800

Organization: Electronic Communities


*most of a wonderful reciept for rose beads snipped to save space*

Katherine Kerr suggested:


>>Leave for a couple of hours to start drying (overnight can be OK)

>>and then run a needle through to hole them.


To which Khada'an adds:

Baroness Sancia of Glym Mere once explained making similar beads to

me. She suggested rolling the beads around several blades of grass,

allowing the grass to form the hole.  Her Excellency explained that

when by the time the beads had dried, the grass will have shrank

enough to easily remove it. This would also work as a marker for where

the holes are, so you could easily find the holes to string the beads

after they'd completely dried. (I've never tried it, but it floated to

the top as I read your directions... :)   )


Lady Khada'an Nachin



From: "Deb H." <debh at microware.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Rosary Beads from roses

Date: Fri, 10 May 1996 12:22:05 -0500

Organization: Microware Systems Corporation, Des Moines, Iowa


The magazine Herbal Companion (May/June) issue has a complete article on

the making of rose rosary beads. There are also photos of how they will

look when completed.


You can pick up this issue at your B. Daltons, Waltons, Borders and

Barnes & Noble bookstores.



debh at microware.com



From: alysk at ix.netcom.com(Elise Fleming )

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: medieval rosary

Date: 6 Jul 1996 17:11:52 GMT


In <4rlnp3$onl at newsbf02.news.aol.com> enyanest at aol.com (EnyaNest)


> I have been trying to research the rosary of medieval times and have

>had no luck.


I found quite a bit of information in a Roman Catholic encyclopedia

that happened to be in the library of my parents' Protestant retirement

community. I don't have the name or the information any more but it

was a good source, telling when the rosary came into being, how many

beads were used, what prayers (or psalms!) were commonly said, etc.

See if a local public library, or church, might have a set.


Alys Katharine  



From: sclark at chass.utoronto.ca (Susan Carroll-Clark)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: medieval rosary

Date: 7 Jul 1996 13:22:20 -0400

Organization: University of Toronto -- EPAS




For a good, concise introduction, try the entry under "Rosary" in the New

Catholic Encyclopedia.  It's several pages long, and traces the history

of the devotion from its origins in the "poor man's breviary" of the

12th century, its connection with paternoster beads, some of the various

forms the devotion took in the Middle Ages, and its crystallization into

the modern form in about the 16th-17th century.  It also gives a bibliography

if you're interested in continuing your research.


For info on making period rosaries, Mistress Alys Gardiner had an excellent

article on the topic in a _Tournaments Illuminated_ of a couple years ago.



Nicolaa de Bracton

sclark at chass.utoronto.ca



From: sjaqua at ix.netcom.com(Scott Jaqua)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: medieval rosary

Date: 8 Jul 1996 06:09:18 GMT


   One of the period beads to use in a rosary would be rose beads.

There is an excellent article on making them in the June/July issue of

the Herb Companion magazine. It looks like a bit of work, but I have

seen them, and the work is worth it!

   Allesaundra de Crosthwaite



From: WISH at uriacc.uri.edu (Peter Rose)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: medieval rosary

Date: Tue, 09 Jul 96 13:50:32 EDT

Organization: University of Rhode Island


>I have a question on this subject as well. Why do they call it a rosary?

Someone posted something a while back about making rosary beads out of

pulverized rose-blossoms.  (Hence the name "rosary")

I tried that over the 4th, by putting about

50 wild-rose-blossoms and 1/2 cup of water in a blender, spreading

the resulting sludge in a brownie-pan, and frying gently until I got a

thick paste.   It worked, and the 'beads' still reek of roses, but they're

very fragile, to the point where, if you want holes in them for threading,

you're best off forming the beads around bits of straw in the first

place, because there's no way to punch holes in the dried beads

w/out destroying the bead.

I also tried mixing table sugar or flour in with the paste as a

hardener/adhesive. The sugar worked fairly well, the flour didn't

work worth a damn.   I think I remember someone mentioning adding

Gum arabic or Gum-something else as a binder, and I may try that,

if I ever go home again before the roses go out of season.




From: sclark at chass.utoronto.ca (Susan Carroll-Clark)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: medieval rosary

Date: 9 Jul 1996 12:14:16 -0400

Organization: University of Toronto -- EPAS




The word rosary is derived from rosarium, Latin for garden or chaplet

of roses.  The modern rosary is divided into three sections, or "chaplets"-

-the Joyful Mysteries, the Sorrowful Mysteries, and the Glorious

Mysteries of Mary--five of each.  In saying the rosary, one builds a garden

or chaplet of roses to crown the Blessed Virgin.  This explains also why

the beads were often made of pressed rose petals, or carved to resemble




Nicolaa de Bracton

sclark at chass.utoronto.ca



From: sclark at chass.utoronto.ca (Susan Carroll-Clark)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: rosary/worry

Date: 11 Jul 1996 11:33:10 -0400

Organization: University of Toronto -- EPAS




Muslims do have "prayer beads" as well, although I do not know how

they work, exactly.  There is some thought that the rise in appearance of

paternoster beads in the 11th and 12th century may owe something to Crusaders

and monastic and pilgrim visitors to the Holy Land noticing the

practice and adapting it to Christian practice.  Paternoster beads are one

of the ancestors of the rosary;  a devotion known as the "poor man's breviary"

in which 150 Pater Nosters were said in place of the 150 psalms

(because the "poor man"--in the sense of "uneducated"--did not know

his psalter as a monk or priest would) and the beads were used to keep count.



Nicolaa de Bracton

sclark at chass.utoronto.ca



From: Sirena Glade <sirenag at peak.org>

To: Mark S. Harris

Date: Wed, 10 Jul 1996 23:45:28 -0700 (PDT)

Subject: Re: rose beads and rosaries


I would have to find the reference, but as I recall it was in a National

Geographic magazine some time ago.  They had a good photo of a rosary

found in a ship wreck.  My mom has made a couple rosaries on order using

her rose beads, stones and sterling.  They are beautiful!  I'll ask her

where she found the photo...  If you're interested in rose beads, I could

send you a price list (it's not on the 'net yet!).


Sirena M. Glade               In the frenzy of the time all resistance

26003 Alsea-Deadwood Hwy.     could be denounced as treason or

Alsea, OR  97324        counterrevolution and punished with the


(541)487-8453                 *Notes on the French Revolution*

sirenag at peak.org           _Europe Since Napoleon_ -David Thomson




From: Sirena Glade <sirenag at new.PEAK.ORG>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: rose beads

Date: Thu, 11 Jul 1996 19:10:15 -0700

Organization: Public Electronic Access to Knowlege,Inc


Because of the large amount of inquiries I've reeived regarding the

confection of rose beads, I've decided to post the recipe here.  This is

the method my mother uses and has been successful for many years.



       rose petals, any colour, in large quantities



       meat grinder, preferably metal

       cast iron skillet(s) depending on how many batches are to be made




       two weeks



       Begin by making sure the rose petals don't include any leaves or

any green pieces at all (these will ruin your beads!)  Grind the petals

in the meat grinder into the cast iron skillet.  Once you have ground the

petals, cover with cheesecloth making sure the cloth doesn't rest on the

concotion by using tooth picks and leave until the next day.  You will

have what I call a rose 'mush' in the skillet.

       Repeat this process daily for two weeks, and you will end up with

a black 'mush' that smells of roses.  FAIR WARNING: This 'mush' will turn

your fingers black!  Roll your beads and place each bead on a pin or nail

depending on how large you wish the hole to be.  Allow the beads to dry

thoroughly then remove carefully from the pins/nails.

       Voila!  Rose petal beads!  If you have any questions, please

don't hesitate to ask.


Sirena M. Glade                 In the frenzy of the time all resistance

26003 Alsea-Deadwood Hwy.       could be denounced as treason or

Alsea, OR  97324                counterrevolution and punished with the


(541)487-8453                     *Notes on the French Revolution*

sirenag at peak.org                _Europe Since Napoleon_ -David Thomson




From: ladyallyn at aol.com (Lady Allyn)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: medieval rosary

Date: 12 Jul 1996 02:41:54 -0400


Gentle Friend,


The "gum something" in question is gum tragacanth (i *think* a botanical

derivative so possibly period), which you should be able to find at a) a

good herbalist, b) a health food store, c) a forward thinking pharmacy.  I

refer again to "The complete Book of Herbs", whose recipe differs slightly

from one I've used in the past, but appears to be quite practical.  ( It

also includes powdered orris root to retain the scent and gum benzoin

(period to old Egypt) (from pharmacy or chemist supply) to keep them from

growing mold. (an important safety tip)


I have always threaded rose and myrrh beads while the paste is still quite

damp, twisting them about the strings once or twice a day until dry. Waxed

"nine cord" (nine strand cottton string) works very well and leaves a hole

quite large enough for threading onto various kinds of projects.


The current and just past issue of Herb Quarterly have also had well

researched info on medieval gardens. The current issue has Ancient Rome

and Medieval England articles.



Lady Allyn



From: David Corliss <corlisd at aa.wl.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: medieval rosary

Date: Wed, 17 Jul 1996 08:43:18 -0400

Organization: Retro Team, Parke-Davis Ann Arbor




The most scholarly Nicolaa de Bracton wrote:

> In saying the rosary, one builds a garden

> or chaplet of roses to crown the Blessed Virgin.  This explains also why

> the beads were often made of pressed rose petals, or carved to resemble

> roses.


Wolfram Hugo von Gumbach replied:

> So what is the significance of the ROSE? I've seen it on early and modern

> Christian crosses. Does it have some hidden meaning?


The Rose itself is taken as a symbol of the Blessed Virgin, hence the appropriateness of using roses to remind oneself of her.


Beorthwine of Grafham Wood



From: dpeters at panix.com (D. Peters)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: medieval rosary

Date: 21 Jul 1996 08:49:57 -0400

Organization: Panix


tvolkert at aol.com (TVolkert) wrote:

>So what is the significance of the ROSE? I've seen it on early and modern

>Christian crosses. Does it have some hidden meaning?


If you'd like a period reference, there's a fifteenth-century carol whose

first verse is:


"Ther is no rose of swych virtu

As is the rose that bar Jhesu"


You can find the music in _Musica Britannica_, vol. 4; the nicest

recording of it that I know is on "The Service of Venus and Mars" by

Gothic Voices (Hyperion CDA66238).





From: dickeney at access4.digex.net (Dick Eney)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Rose Beads

Date: 25 Jul 1996 01:26:09 -0400

Organization: Express Access Online Communications, Greenbelt, MD USA


Gus Forsman <gaforsma at mailbox.syr.edu> wrote:

>Looking for the recipe for boiling rose petals down to a paste to make

>beads out of.  This was published in one of the society publications

>at some time in the past.  It might have been under Rosary beads.

>They are suposed to keep the rose scent for years.  Thank you ina

>advance for any help.


Detailed instructions were published in a magazine called _The Herb

Companion_, June/July 1996 (Volume 8, No. 5).  The article was not listed

on the cover, which did list Apothecary Roses, Parsley, A Lemon Garden,

and Midsummer's Eve.  The Herb Companion is published bimonthly by

Interweave Press, Inc., 201 East Fourth Street, Loveland, CO 80537-5655.

$4.95 US for one issue.


The bead mash has to be cooked (covered) for 2 or 3 _days_, but you can

cook them for a few hours, cool them and reheat them to cook more, over a

long period of time.  It can be baked (covered) at 250 F for 1 to 2 days

if you can't occupy the top of the stove that long.  It has to be covered

to prevent a crust from forming.


Beads that aren't properly formed can be cooked down again.


Puree the rose petals with just enough water to let the blender work at

highest speed.  Drain the mash through cheesecloth or a jelly bag.  When

the mash is cooked in iron, a chemical reaction turns the mash black, and

it will stain anything it touches -- wear old clothes and rubber gloves.

And you may want to use an old iron pot and keep it just for making

rosemash - the mash will remove the patina from an iron pot.  But you can

also use a stainless steel pot.

After the mash is cooked it has to be cooled.  Layer a tray thickly with

newspaper and cover the newspaper with paper towels.  The mash will stick

to newsprint but not to paper towels.  Cover the mash with another layer

of paper towels and let it drain.  This may take a few hours or may take

overnight, and may have to have new paper towels several times.  


The people who wrote the recipe add a few drops of rose essence to the

mash -- 6 or 7 drops to 1 cup of mash -- and knead it in.  I suppose it's

because they are using petals from the national rose garden, which has a

lot of tea roses with no particular scent.  BTW it doesn't matter what

color the roses are, they all turn black anyway.


Mash can be stored refrigerated in tightfitting plastic containers for up

to a week, or frozen for a few months, thawed and refrozen as necessary.


For each bead, they use a slightly rounded 1/2 teaspoon of mash; the bead

will shrink to about one third its original size as it dries.  Wearing

gloves! knead each piece in your hand to make sure it's smooth and has no

thorns, etc, in it.  Roll it to make it round.  Crack can be rubbed with

water or rubbing alcohol (cracks will get larger as the bead dries).

Slide the bead onto a wire to dry; they use brass wires, about ten beads

per 12 inch wire, making sure the beads don't touch each other.  They

suspend the beads by hanging the wires across an empty box, so the beads

don't get a flat side.  If the beads dry too fast, they will crack, so

keep them away from heat and drafts.  If they dry too slowly they may get

moldy. During the first week, turn the beads and slide them a little

along the wire every day.  Let them stay on the wires for another week or

two until they dry completely.  Store them in tightly covered glass jars

to keep the perfume in until you're ready to string them.  


The article said they string the beads on dental floss, but the photograph

of an old rosary of rose beads shows each bead on its own metal thing (you

know, a short piece of wire with each end formed into a loop, which hooks

into the loop of the next bead, forming a chain that doesn't let the beads

rub against each other).


The people who wrote the article are the Herb Society

of America -- Potomac Unit, PO Box 1055, Springfield, VA 22151.


They sell the necklaces as a fundraiser.


I am not a member.  I just bought a copy of the magazine.


-- Tamar the Gypsy



From: luiseach at aol.com (Luiseach)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Rose Petal Beads

Date: 21 Apr 1997 01:30:08 GMT


Directions for making rose petal beads as well as other scented beads were

in a recent issue of Bead & Button magazine--check issues 17 and 18.  You

can probably find Bead & Button in bead stores; or try a bookstore that

has a good selection of magazines.  The article had complete directions

and photos of the finished beads.


Luighseach nic Lochlainn



From: Tovah at hubert.rain.com (Tovah)

Date: 25 Apr 97 22:05:01 GMT

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Rose Lady


Greetings Gentle Folks!


This is a small example of  the rose recipes I have.  I chose to first

write the most asked for recipes, which are the Rose Beads and the Rose


The Rose Water is needed for some other recipes I will be writing about.

There are several Rose Water recipes, but I will only metion the strictly

only rose recipe.  The others call for other herbs and flowers, if you are

interested in those also, please let me know.

   I decided to make the recipes public, instead of writing them to only the

Folks who asked for them because there was so many who wanted the recipes.

Though there were several of  you who asked me to send the recipes directly

to you because of certain circumstances, I will do that also.

   Please enjoy this wonderful and versatile flower!


                         Tovah of Misty Isles

                         Lady of North Keep

                          a.k.a Rose-Lady



Rose Beads


   Gather the roses on a dry day (best done in the dew of the morn) and chop

the petals finely.  Put them in a saucepan and barely cover with water.  Heat

for about an hour but do not let the mixture boil.  Repeat this process for

the three days and if necessary add more water.  The deep black beads made

from rose petals are made this rich coulour by warming in a rust pan.  It is

important never to let the mixture boil but each day to wam it to a moderate

heat. Make the beads by working the pulp with the fingers into balls.  When

thoroughly well worked and fairly dry press on to a bodkin (* See note) to

make the holes in the centres of the beads.  Until they are perfectly dry the

beads have to be moved frequently on the bodkin or they will be difficult to

remove without breaking them.  Held for a few moments in a warm hand these

beads give out a pleasing fragrance.


* Note:  Most of  the recipes will ask you to use Damask roses or red roses,

        but I have found that any modern, well scented rose will do as well.

        Instead of  using a bodkin, you can use a clothes hanger.



Rose Water

<snip - see rosewater-msg file>



Date: Sat, 31 May 1997 09:43:22 -0400 (EDT)

From: Carol at Small Churl Books <scbooks at neca.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Rose beads


> But I don't have any real

>documentation of either origins or techniques. Does anyone out there have

>such to share?


Don't have copies on hand at the moment, so can't tell you for sure if the

information you want is in these sources -


Rose Recipes from Olden Times, Eleanour Rohde, Dover

The Old English Herbals, same.


Lady Carllein



Date: Mon, 02 Jun 1997 14:25:41 -0700

From: Eric & Lissa McCollum <ericmc at primenet.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Rose beads


DianaFiona at aol.com wrote:

>      I know from a variety of tertiary sources that rose beads are period,

> and probably came from the Middle East. But I don't have any real

> documentation of either origins or techniques. Does anyone out there have

> such to share?


Perhaps a clue as to where to look--The June/July 1996 issue of

The Herb Companion magazine had an article on how to make rose

beads. It mentions the history briefly:


"Beads made of rose petals that have been cooked, mashed,

and molded by hand trace their origins to India, where the

devout used them as a counting device while reciting their

prayers. Eastern Christian monks adopted the use of rose

beads in the third century, and the beads were given official

approval in 1520 by Pope Leo X."


Perhaps there is a way to search out that official approval?


I also recall that "The History of Beads" had a section on

rosaries, talking briefly about the connection between the rose

and the Virgin in history, but I don't remember that it

metioned rose beads in particular.


I would be interested in hearing about what you find out!


Gwendolen Wold



Date: Tue, 03 Jun 1997 09:49:21 -0700

From: "Kevin D. Walmsley" <walmsley at cruzio.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Rose beads


Margritte's wonderful web page on making rose beads will be more easily

found at:



                        Enjoying Your Page,

                              Kevin of Yorkshire



Date: Sun, 8 Jun 1997 13:15:24 -0400 (EDT)

From: Rooscc at aol.com

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: rose beads


Oh wow, I don't use any binder at all. Just a little salt and

fresh, ground (and reground and reground and . . .) rose

petals, white tips removed. And of course cooked in a

iron pot to make them black. I keep them in covered

storage when I'm not wearing them and they and their

scent last--my best ones may be five years old now.





Date: Tue, 10 Jun 1997 11:07:01 -0500

From: Margritte <margritt at mindspring.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Rose beads


>In a message dated 97-06-04 05:05:21 EDT, you write:


> I strongly suggest _not_ using flour as a binder. It will often spoil over

> time, ruining the whole batch of beads. I use powdered gum arabic as a

> binder, along with powdered orris root to act as a fixative, both of which

> add some substance to the rose petal powder.>>>

>    ???? I've not had any such problems with using flour, and I've made a

>fair number of beads in the last few years. Maybe I've just been lucky so

>far! ;-) I am interested in trying the gum arabic version, but I'll have to

>mail order it, as none off our health foodstores carry it. And since the only

>places I can think of that sell the stuff do so by the pound, that can get

>pretty pricey for something I'd use so little of at a time. Do you have any

>suggestions for cheap sources, etc.?


I had one batch of rose beads that molded on me not too long after I made

them. My biggest disappointment, though, was with a batch of yellow

wildflowers that I was going to make into beads. They dried to a vibrant

yellow, and I was looking forward to some really unusual beads because of

the color. Unfortunately, I was out of gum arabic, and used flour instead.

It ruined the color, turning it to a nasty vomit green. Those two

experiences concinced me to never use flour again. YMMV.


For small quantities of gum arabic, and many other neat things, I suggest

Ravensnest Herbals. If you are in the Atlanta area, they can be seen at the

Georgia Renn Fair most years. They also do mail order. I don't have the

snailmail address handy, but they can be reached at:


      greg cochran <ravens at mindspring.com>


They also carry powdered orris root, and even powdered rose petals. I'm not

affiliated with them in any way. Just a satisfied customer.


I don't remember now what the problem was with using liquid gum arabic

instead of the powdered. I know I tried it first, because I couldn't find

the other. Seems like maybe it made the paste too watery, but I'm really

not sure anymore. I may have to try it again, not that I have a better idea

of what I'm doing.


Good luck.




From: "Margot Carter-Blair" <beadsong at hotmail.com>

To: markh at risc.sps.mot.com

Subject: rosaries :rialto archives

Date: Thu, 14 Aug 1997 05:56:03 PDT


Dear Mark


Have enjoyed your guestbook very much on various subjects.

We have a new site with the history of the rosary called 'Journaling the

Bead' which has been compiled and cross referenced from many sources and

resources including general history, bead books and church documents.  


Esp interesting are the filigree rosaries with pictures!


Come visit us.  Not as much fun as guessing and supposing but good

foundation is great converstion....I love the section on rose bead recipes

and also comments about where to go to see old rosaries such as the

Cloisters.....thanks for being there!




Margot Blair for the Guild



From: Eric & Lissa McCollum <ericmc at primenet.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Renaissance chompie toys

Date: 21 May 1998 13:31:01 -0700


Gretchen M Beck wrote:

> Coral--you can find lots of pictures of babies wearing coral necklaces.

> I've seen (but can't locate names for) several sources that describe

> coral as a traditional teething item.


> toodles, margarert


If you do come across those sources, would you please post

them? I haven't heard that suggestion before, and would be

interested in adding it to my collection of bead info.


'The History of Beads' suggests that coral in the Middle ages

was thought to have protective powers, specifically to

strengthen the heart and prevent ailments of the blood. In

many Medieval paintings the Christ Child is shown with a

coral rosary (those strings of beads). Early rosaries were

a kind of amulet string as well as being a counting tool.


The coral of Southern Italy and the Tunisian coast was

a very popular material for making rosary beads out of. When

the rosaries were introduced, one general term for beads was

in fact 'krallen' "a designation derived from one frequently

used material for beads, i.e. coral." (1) (After rosaries were

introduced, the word gradually changed to 'bede', from the word

'biddan' which means 'to pray'.) Along with other materials,

coral was also a source of controversy: "As early as 1261

the Dominicans were forbidding lay brothers to 'give themselves

airs by using excessively grand beads.' In the middle of the

fourteenth century, an Augstinian canon of Onasbruck outlawed

the wearing of coral rosaries around the neck." (2)


I do have a picture from the 1897 of a young girl

with a coral necklace, suggesting it was a common gift

to children at that time to conjure health. However

my personal suspicion is that the coral necklaces shown

in Medieval paintings relate more to the prevelence of

rosaries as a devotional item at the time, and less to

do with teething--though I also know that babies will

put anything in their mouth that they have in their

hands. :)


If the original poster goes this route, do be careful

of the choking hazard.


Gwendolen Wold




(1) "Glass Beads from Europe" by Sibylle Jargstorf.

Schiffer Publishing Ltd. Atglen, Pa. 1995.


(2) "The History of Beads, from 30,000 BC to the Present"

by Lois Sherr Dubin. Harry N. Abrams, Inc. New York.




Subject: Re: monks habits, etc

Date: Tue, 27 Jul 99 11:57:22 MST

From: wenner <wenner at pdq.net>

To: "Mark.S Harris (rsve60)" <rsve60 at email.sps.mot.com>


<snip of lots of info on monks and orders - see monks-msg>


Different topic:  on "rosaries" somebody wanted to know

about "Tudor rosaries" --well, remember The Tudors started with Henry VII

who was a good if unremarkable Catholic, and included Queen (Bloody) Mary

who was a fanatical one (Pope St Pius V told Her to lighten up and merely

be tolerant of individual religious freedom, because the English people

had suffered too much chopping and changing already; but she wouldn't

listen). The Tudors of course are identified with Henry VIII and Elizabeth

I who were protestant; but it so happens that when Mary was on the throne,

she gave her teen-aged half-sister Elizabeth the gift of a coral rosary.

(So I recall from reading a biography of young Elizabeth some years ago.)

So there you have a Tudor rosary, at least of the upper classes.  By the

way the Saxon word "bede" means prayer--hence the name of Venerable St

Bede, England's first historian.  It is possbly true that the crusaders

saw the muslim "rosary" of 99 beads with a tassel (for the 99 praise-name

of Allah) and got the idea to make a chaplet of 150 prayers (for the 150

psalms,which most laypeople couldn't read or memorise, like the monks) of

beads on a string.  the 150 was divided into three groups of 50 for

brevity's sake, which is the structure of the modern rosary.


--Raven Wenner



Date: Mon, 20 Mar 2000 10:47:06 -0500

From: "Gryphon's Moon" <margritt at mindspring.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: RE: Rose Petal Beads


>I haven't made rose petal beads.  I just collected the references. Perhaps

>Nora, who's  on this list and who's email address is linked from the Rose

>Petal Bead section of the Beading page, can help you.


>M'Lady Inui Nijo

>inui at jwhiteconsulting.com



I've made several sets of rose petal beads. I have an article on the

process at:



They truly are not very beautiful when finish. One gentle said they

resembled dog kibbles... I always thought they looked more like

rabbit droppings  :-)


One way to avoid that look is to make them in an cast iron pot. The

petals react with the iron and turn jet black. You can also mix them

with other beads for contrast for a different look.


To get the petals ground fine, I usually use a food processor after

drying the petals either in the convection oven (varying between

little and no heat) or the door of a just-used clothes dryer. In

other words, anywhere you can get some gentle heat. For that matter,

a nice sunny day would probably work just as well. Important note: if

you use a convection oven, make sure to place a screen over the

petals to keep them from blowing all over. Trust me on this...


If you want to make rose petal beads, but don't grow your own roses,

I have been  very happy with the products I have purchased from

Raven's Nest Herbals (they are on the web somewhere). They carry

powdered rose petals which make a wonderful paste for the beads. It

is very finely ground.





Date: 20 Mar 00 11:33:50 EST

From: Nora Siri Bock <heathentart at usa.net>

To: <sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu>

Subject: Re: Rose Petal Beads


Oy vey.  Nothing like finding out someone's reposted something of yours

*without* obtaining permission.  Not nice.  Those recipes are NOT mine, btw,

but culled from various books I consulted during my research into perfumery.


As for the rose beads themselves, yes, they look like dog kibble.  No they

will never look like anything else.  They'll turn dark brown regardless what

you do, unless you don't use rose petals and use a pigment or dye instead.


For me, that's the joy and beauty of them.  I want it to look as they did when

they were first made as "rosarium."  To aid in rolling them, I use rose oil on

my hands to make them slick, and to add scent to the beads.  Also, I use only

the most dried of petals, ones that I've ground to a fine powder.  I sift out

the larger bits with an extremely fine sieve.


And ask me HOW happy I am that I've found a direct source for Damascene rose

otto in Turkey, AND that he had a sale this month.  Gowan, ask.



Siri bint Saadia



Date: Mon, 20 Mar 2000 14:11:40 -0500 (EST)

From: Jenne Heise <jenne at tulgey.browser.net>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Rose Petal Beads


> A number of us in our local Barony tried them several years ago, and had a few

> problems--no matter how dry we _thought_ the petals were, they still didn't want

> to crumble nicely.  Also, our beads ended up looking like nice-smelling dog

> kibble, good for potpourris or sachets, but not for nice rosaries or jewelry.

> Any suggestions?


All the recipes I have seen in books direct one to heat one's rosepetals

in an iron pot to produce a uniform black coloration.


Also, most of the recipes I've seen call for fermenting fresh, or

partially dried, rosepetals, but these online ones call for completely

dried ones. I'm not sure if this would be a technique difference only, or

whether the results would be completely different.


Has anyone gotten some really strong documentation for rose beads? I

consider them a special case of pomanders, but I have no period

documentation for them.


Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, mka Jennifer Heise          jenne at tulgey.browser.net



Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2000 20:31:44 MST

From: "Ceridwen of Wizard's Keep" <auntdwen at peakonline.com>

Subject: Re: ANST - Rosaries

To: <ansteorra at ansteorra.org>


There was a wonderful article in a past TI  (Issue 99, Summer XXVI) by

Mistress Alys Gardner (Elizabeth Z. Bennett) regarding medieval rosaries

(which were long strands of beads vs. the circle in modern use).  I refer

you to her excellent resource.


Baroness Ceridwen Tir Gwastraff

House Wizard's Keep



Subject: Re: ANST - Rosaries

Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2000 00:13:07 MST

From: Charlene Charette <charlene at flash.net>

To: ansteorra at ansteorra.org


Scot and Domino Eddy wrote:

> Here is a question that I hope someone would help us with. Rosaries. How do

> they work? As a Protestant trying to play the part of a good Catholic I assume

> that we should have some idea of the proper use of a rosary.


Go to Yahoo and type in "rosary".  Several sites come up including

http://rosary.virtualave.net/ which has a how-to guide (at least for the

modern rosary).  Most libraries have a copy of the Catholic Encyclopedia

which should have historical information as well.  Additionally, a local

Catholic church would probably be happy to answer any questions you






Subject: Re: ANST - Rosaries

Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2000 06:04:33 MST

From: Gina Barrett <gina at et-tu.com>

To: ansteorra at ansteorra.org


The Rosary as it is said today (in the same manner throughout the Catholic

Church) was only beginning to be finalised in the late years of the

fifteenth century, even then, it took some time to become commonplace. A

full break-down of the traditions according to the catholic Church can be

found at http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13184b.htm


        In England, certainly during the 15th century, the Rosary was known

as a Paternoster. It was used as an aid to remembering which prayers to say

- the Ava Maria (Hail Mary) and the Paternoster (Our Father). Each bead

represents one full version of the prayer - a large bead for the

Paternoster, small bead for the Ave.


        These strings of beads could be either a string (often finished

either end with a tassel) or a loop (finished with only one tassel).

Paternosters consist of sections of beads, with 1 large bead between 6-12

smaller beads. The beads are held in the hand, as the fingers move to a

bead, the appropriate payer is said.


        There was no 'short' version as such, although, because there wasn't

a consistent requirement for the saying of the prayers as there is today

(fifteen decades of hail Marys with an Our father between each ten), people

did actually say less as there was such a variety in the number of beads. Of

course, the very pious would just start over again!


        Everyone who could afford to would carry a paternoster. The medieval

people on the whole had a very different outlook to religion, and the

carrying of prayer beads was commonplace. Paternosters were made of whatever

could be afforded - all small beads would be of the same material and all

large beads often a contrasting material (but all large beads matching each

other). Many works of art depict paternosters made of materials such as

amber, garnet, silver, pearls, etc.


        Paternosters were certainly carried to church, and it is thought

that they were carried at all times, certainly by the pious. (As well as

taking into consideration the costs of some of them, it can be supposed that

they wouldn't be left at home often) A man would often loop a Paternoster

over his belt, and as art shows more women using the loop of beads, it could

be assumed that this was to enable them to carry it say, around their wrist.


G. Barrett


Soper Lane

15th Century Silkwomen



Date: Mon, 10 Apr 2000 11:22:17 CEST

From: "Christina van Tets" <cjvt at hotmail.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: rose petal beads


Yes, my rose petal beads looked like dog biscuits too, and bits came off at

an alarming rate, so I dipped each one in wax to give them a smooth outer

coating before threading them on anything.  They still smell like roses

(though with a hint of beeswax now).  No, I haven't any documentation for

this - it just seemed like a good idea at the time, and a better way of

honouring the seed pearls I was stringing with them.





Date: Tue, 18 Jul 2000 12:41:10 -0700 (PDT)

From: Christopher Douglas Buckley <cbuckley at gladstone.uoregon.edu>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: rosewood


The rosewood that most woodworking projects (including rosaries I have

seen) actually comes from the Pterocarpus indicum.  The wood from an

actual rosebush is grainy, brittle, and difficult to work with.  Rosewood

gets its name from the deep reddish-brown color of the wood.  It's often

available at hardwood stores (yes, they do exist) or even at some craft

stores.  If you'd like some help with rosary design, I've been making my

own rosaries now for about five years.  Best of luck.


Benedicet Deus te,


Father Nathan O'Ceile,

Ordo Praedicatorum

Adiantum, An Tir




From: Lord Phelippe Descors [descors at sbcglobal.net]

Sent: Friday, July 05, 2002 11:16 PM

To: Ansteorra; Elfsea; Steppes

Subject: [Ansteorra] Fw: Paternosters mailing list


I just saw this on the Rialto and thought that others might benefit from

this new list.


      Phelippe Descors


"Chris Laning" <claning at igc.org> wrote

> Apologies to anyone who sees this more than once, but I thought

> people on several lists might be interested in yet another Yahoo!

> group (as if we all need _more_ mailing lists to subscribe to!).

> [Paternosters] is an e-mail list for people interested in historical

> rosaries, paternosters, and other prayer beads. If you re-create,

> research, collect, or just admire and are interested in the variety

> of rosaries (etc.) that have been used in history, you are very

> welcome to join us!

> There is also a FAQ file in the Paternosters files area (which anyone

> can read) giving a brief synopsis of the history of the rosary and

> its predecessor, the paternoster. It's at:

> http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Paternosters/files/Rosaries-FAQ

> Please feel free to forward this invitation to other people (or mailing

> lists) who might be interested.

> Pax et bonum!

> _________________________________________________________

> O    (Lady) Christian de Holacombe

> |     Chris Laning  <claning at igc.org>

> +    Shire of Windy Meads  -  Davis, California

> _________________________________________________________



From: "Kirsten Houseknecht" <kirsten at fabricdragon.com>

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Date: Tue, 22 Oct 2002 17:29:40 -0400

Organization: Fabric Dragon

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Rosaries, was :gum tragacanth


the "Rosary" is a more recent (by SCA standards <grin> ) term. very late in

period. like 1500s


the practice of saying "Ave Maria" or a related phrase, was concurrent with

saying the "Our Father" or Pater Nostre..... from... IIRC... about 1000?

certainly by 1100

the pater nostre as a repeated prayer... said with beads or knots or

scratches on wood to keep count. is in fact MUCH older, and i believe there

was some documentation that traces that back in to the 700?800?


the origens of this is the fact that those who couldnt attend mass every day

could say the psalms as a sort of liturgy of common.


the psalms are long, and most people couldnt read (and wouldnt take a

valuable book on trips) and did i mention they are long?? so the practice

arose of saying the  Pater Nostre...... or the hail mary.... 150 times, once

for each of the psalms evolved...... then the practice of breaking up the

150 psalm substitutes into groups, divided by a different bead, or

something.. so as not to lose your place most likely.


MY opinion is that the division for accounting predated the "insert

different prayer here" and the different prayer was added because the bead

was there.. but i digress.


the Rosary. as both a saying of Ave Maria, interspersed with the Patre

Nostre.. combined with some kind of meditations. actually pre dated St.



the best documentation on this is available from the book "Stories of the

Rose" which i reviewed on Amazon dot com........ and there is a recent book

out that covers similar materiel (the history of the Rosery and other prayer

beads) called.. praying with beads???


anyway, since i make Rosaries i am always interested.  the variations in

STYLE of Christian prayer beads was fascinating.  in archeology they tend to

make an assumption that beads found at the waist are prayer beads.... but

beads around the neck are "jewelry" but based on an exsisting sermon in the

1300s we KNOW it was considered appropriate to wear Rosaries AS a

necklace...... so i tend to be more liberal and assume that any bead

string..... which is evenly divided by "different" beads.. found in a

Christian grave MAY be prayer beads... and any bead circle of 150 probably




<the end>

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