A few years ago, while getting into my car at the Angeltown Mall, I saw something embedded in the snow bank. Our parking lots get legendary snowbanks in this part of the country (the one near the grocery store was 40 feet high this February; they were using construction equipment to drive up the mini mountain to dump more snow.)
When I looked closer, I saw beads on a string, and I pulled it out of the snow to find a broken rosary. Made of wooden beads on a black string, it was mostly intact except that the loop was unjoined and the crucifix was gone. The Our Father beads had religious pictures on them (the Infant Jesus of Prague, the Sacred Heart, the Immaculate Heart, etc.) Overall, it was rather pretty and remarkably undamaged. I brought it home, sealed it in a plastic bag, and made a mental note to fix it someday.
I can fix rosaries made with wire links, courtesy of the cheapie beading tools I picked up at AC Moore, and necessary because they seem to fall apart about once a week here. But string I wasn’t sure how to work with, so it wasn’t until a month or two ago that I realized a friend visiting my house made knotted rosaries, and she’d know what to do.
I showed it to her, and after she left, I made an unskilled attempt at rejoining the loop. It’s not going to hold you up if you fall over the side of a bridge, but it’s together. And this weekend, I bought a black crucifix and attached it to the bottom.
We’re good to go, right? I figured I’d mention the intention of whoever lost this rosary the first time I used it.
About halfway through the first decade, I got that distinct “something is wrong” sensation.
Each decade is supposed to have ten; this one has thirteen.
Since then, I’ve hunted online and been stumped: what is this? I’ve found chaplets with thirteen beads; I’ve found lists of every known chaplet. I’ve found “witch beads” which are used in wicca, have thirteen beads (total) and are generally made with crystal and strung on wire. I’ve looked at Orthodox prayer beads. I haven’t found anything to do with Santeria, but maybe…?
I’m not sure what to do with this chaplet. For it to be useful as a rosary, I’d have to remove three beads per decade, and since they’re knotted, that would require breaking them.
I know the rosary has Mysteries, but the first mystery shouldn’t be what it is.
Any idea what? Any idea who might know?