Can I wear a rosary around my neck?

Hi friends.

I have a rosary that I wear every single day. I wear it under my shirt so only the top beads are visible. I would like to wear it over my shirt, though, but would like to know whether this is against Church teaching? It makes me feel so safe and protected.

Thank you!:slight_smile:

In some cultures this is acceptable, in others it is not. If you live in the US, I would not encourage you to do so visibly because many people will interpret it as a gang sign or as disrespectful (some people wear rosaries as “fashion statements” rather than as part of a devotion.)

To my knowledge, though, it would not be sinful. Just perhaps not very prudent.

Against church teaching? No.

Will probably 50-ish% of Catbolics approve? No.

If you are doing it for the right reasons and mean no disrespect, should you? Yes.

That’s my opinion… I actually think that it would spark more conversation about your faith and be a constant reminder to you etc… But I am weird.

If you wear don’t do it for attention, as a good luck piece or just as a fashion statement. It should only be worn if you truly pray it and consider it as part of your devotion.

Be prepared there will be those that see it (and have been taught so) as disrespectful. I just keep mine in my pocket.

I don’t think you should. It is a sacramental and has been blessed. I’m a CCD teacher that gave rosaries to all my 7th graders, but explicitly told them it was holy, and not to wear it around their neck as it could be interpreted as a gang symbol. If you do want to wear something around your neck, get a scapular, a miraculous medal, or St.Benedict medal and wear that. Keep your rosary in your pocket. Just my opinion too.

Where is this gang thing coming from? Lol why do people think everytthing is a gang this. Gangs be the boogeymen…though honestly haven’t heard about gangs much lately since ISIS supposedly has a army base in everytown usa…

Gangs are definitely still around and are nothing to laugh at.

Wearing rosaries around one’s neck has long been custom in Latin America. This includes Mexico. Latino gangs often wear rosaries of specific colors (or designs) to show which gang they belong to. Unfortunately, this turned into many people in power (specifically in schools) to consider the wearing of a rosary in and of itself to be a gang symbol.

As for wearing a rosary, it’s important to remember that the rosary beads are tools to be able to pray the Rosary (fyi, lower-cased “rosary” refers to the beads; capitalized “Rosary” refers to the prayer usually prayed on the beads). The proper use of the beads is prayer. And so, if your intent on wearing the beads is to have the wearing of the beads be a prayer in and of itself, there is no problem in wearing them. But if you are wearing the beads as a superstition, then you should not be wearing them, as superstitions are sins against faith in God.

I personally think it is okay. It is not against Church teaching.

I think it’s perfectly fine if you want to, there is no Church teaching against it, Priests etc have all worn rosaries, I like St Francis’ rosary the best and how he has it.

I keep my rosary in my pocket as it would be a little bit too bulky to wear all the time and even if I did I would usually wear it under my shirt, I wear a brown scapular though and it’s excellent, the brown scapular is generally the best for wearing something, you will also feel safe and protected especially with the brown scapular as you do with the rosary, there is also the St. Benedicts Medal and Miraculous Medal which are all very good I believe and other alternatives if your interested.

As for the whole ‘gangs’ thing, if gangs started wearing the scapular, I would not stop wearing mine, and I would wish to reclaim it.

I hope this has helped

God Bless You

Thank you for reading

South of the US, I could not say.
In Canada, I could not say.
In the US, just don’t.

Wearing a rosary as a necklace is something commonly done in Spanish-speaking parts of the Americas, but in the US it can be a sign of affiliation with a gang with roots in one of those areas, such as the Sureños gang (affiliated with organized crime in Mexico) and the Latin Kings.

The other group who wear rosaries in the US are Madonna wannabes who incorporate a rosary necklace as part of a look that is somewhere between sexually provocative and sexually aggressive. Other pop singers have used rosaries in their videos or their on-stage shows in ways that, to be charitable, expose their ignorance of the respect required in the handling of a sacramental object.

In contrast, those in the US who use rosaries frequently for prayer don’t usually wear them as jewelry. Some religious communities wear a rosary in the belt of their habit, but that is rare among lay people.

I’d say that wearing a rosary as a piece of jewelry in the US is more likely to give the impression that you want to make some kind of a defiant statement with it, rather than that you use it.


There was a 12 year old playing tag with his friends in his Chicago neighborhood in February (yes, in 2016) who was shot in the chest for failing to flash the sign for some Latin Kings who were driving by. The Latin Kings are one of the groups who have been known to use a rosary as one of their gang’s symbols. The boy who was shot had no affiliation with any gangs. These murderous gangs are by no means a laughing matter. They are felons and thugs and they ought to be given a wide berth.

NO. Rosaries are not used as necklaces. They are used for prayer and meditation of Christ’s life

If you in fact pray it, then IMNAAHO it is cool.

Fatima sells rosaries that are designed for the neck. Certainly nothing disrespectful to the Rosary would be promoted in Fatima.


In New Orleans, I grew up being told it was disrespectful and that the rosary isn’t jewelry nor a necklace. I’m aware that there are Hispanic cultures that view wearing the rosary as a sign of devotion. If you aren’t Hispanic, I wouldn’t wear a rosary as a necklace.

I personally wear a rosary ring. You might look into that.

Legionary of Christ Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum university, answers the question of wearing rosary beads:

“The closest resemblance to a norm on this topic is found in Canon 1171 of the Code of Canon Law. To wit: ‘Sacred objects, set aside for divine worship by dedication or blessing, are to be treated with reverence. They are not to be made over to secular or inappropriate use, even though they may belong to private persons.’

“Also, wearing a sacred object is not the same as using it in a secular or inappropriate manner. In fact, many religious congregations wear the rosary as part of their habit, usually hanging from a belt. I think that the key to answering this question can be found in St. Paul: ‘So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God’ (1 Corinthians 10:31). In other words, there should be no indifferent or irrelevant actions in the life of a Christian.

“If the reason for wearing a rosary is as a statement of faith, as a reminder to pray it, or some similar reason ‘to the glory of God,’ then there is nothing to object to. It would not be respectful to wear it merely as jewelry.
“This latter point is something to bear in mind in the case of wearing a rosary around the neck. In the first place, while not unknown, it is not common Catholic practice.

“Second, in relatively recent times, certain controversial public figures have popularized the fashion of wearing the rosary as a necklace, and not precisely in order to ‘do all to the glory of God.’ It would also appear that in some parts of the United States and elsewhere, wearing rosary beads around the neck has become a gang-related badge of identification.

“Hence, while a Catholic may wear a rosary around the neck for a good purpose, he or she should consider if the practice will be positively understood in the cultural context in which the person moves. If any misunderstanding is likely, then it would be better to avoid the practice.”

They ought to be given a bullet then, posse up! … I don’t live in a criminal protection zone anymore, round’ here they’d get shot.

The rosary is a sacramental and it’s use is in praying the Rosary which is meditating on the Life of Christ. If you want to wear something around your neck, try a crucifix or a miraculous medal that is designed for that purpose. A scapular is also designed for that purpose.

Don’t let people condemn you for things the church does not. Have pity and pray for them.

I would recommend a rosary bracelet or ring. You still get to wear a rosary, and in the U.S. it doesn’t have the same negative connotations.

There is no evidence of a shortage of people getting shot, knifed, or beaten up, whether for sport or for retaliation, in the rougher neighborhoods of Chicago. Adding one more gang to the mix could not reasonably be expected to improve things.

But we digress…