military rosary

Military Rosaries are Specially Designed for Soldiers on the Front Lines

Even if they’re not Catholic, it brings them comfort.

Women in Hernando County are faithfully making rosaries for soldiers around the world.  All the beads are black for camouflage so soldiers can pray without being seen by a potential enemy.

Christine Fiorentino and her friends with the Council of Catholic Women have made over 100 of these Military Rosaries, as they’re known. For her, it’s a passion that fills much of her free time.

“I don’t know exactly how many I’ve made. I am just always working on them,” said Fiorentino, of St. Joan of Arc Parish, Spring Hill.

She orders some of the materials from a catalogue for rosary makers and finds other supplies at a local Hobby Lobby store. Parish ministries help support this effort but sometimes she buys what she needs with her own money.

Some rosaries go to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa and others wind up in the hands of family members or friends. Some people pass along the rosaries to sons, grandchildren or nieces, and they often pick up more than one.

“They send extras so the whole platoon can have some. Even if they’re not Catholic, it brings the soldiers comfort just to rub the rosary beads,” said Fiorentino.

It helps that the rosaries come with instructions, some are in Spanish.

Darci Maldonado is sending a Military Rosary to her son, a major in the U.S. Army. He’s currently serving at the Pentagon, but he’ll be deployed soon. He’s often far from a church when he’s stationed in other parts of the world.

“It’s so hard for service men and women to receive the sacraments. My son was given a dispensation from Mass when he was deployed to Cameroon,” said Maldonado.

“The rosary is a reminder of our faith and it can offer protection and comfort,” she added

Rosaries are sacramentals and they have been known to protect against evil. A sacramental is a sacred sign which bears a resemblance to the sacraments. Other sacramentals include crucifixes, holy water, and saint medals such as the St. Michael medal. Sacramentals do not have “magic powers.” However, according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “they prepare us to receive grace and dispose us to cooperate with it” (#1670).

For men and women, far from home in a dangerous place, the rosaries are a source of strength. They also reflect the love and prayers of the people in our community who have not forgotten their sacrifices.

Additional Information:

More than 100 women gathered at the Hilton Tampa Airport Hotel, August 12-15, 2021 for the 53rd Annual St. Petersburg Diocesan Council of Catholic Women Convention. The women were overjoyed to gather in person after more than a year of Zoom sessions. The Convention theme was Courageously Living the Gospel through the Lives of Catholic Women. Talks focused on spirituality, leadership and service. There was also a special banquet where local priests were honored for their ministry. Father Ted Costello celebrated Mass for the women and Father Mike Smith blessed Military Rosaries at the Convention.

Military Rosary Blessing

During the annual St. Petersburg Diocesan Council of Catholic Women Convention in Tampa on August 13, 2021, Father Mike Smith blesses Military Rosaries held by Christie Fiorentino

To view some photos from their annual convention, click here.