Can I wear a rosary like a necklace or is it a sin?

I have this beautiful tiny rosary that I wear like a piece of jewelry. When I say the rosary I just use the one on my neck. It is always there. But then I heard on Catholic radio that I was not suppose to do that. Why?

Rosary lover, RG


Your question is thought-provoking. All my life I’ve considered it wrong to wear the rosary like a necklace only because others told me that, but I have never heard why that might be, and I have received rosary bracelets and rings as gifts. Nuns and monks have worn them as cinctures for centuries. I looked it up, and there are websites where you can buy rosaries especially made to wear around the neck.

I would say that if wearing a rosary helps you think about praying more often, then it would be a good thing. Just as in wearing of medals, scapulars, and such.

God bless you.

all my life I have been taught it is wrong to wear the rosary as jewelry, but if people can dangle it from a rearview mirror, I guess there is no objection to wearing it as a rather elaborate chain for a crucifix. In both instances if it is not used for praying, but for decoration, it has no value. I’d rather see rosaries in pockets where you touch it and are reminded to use it. The actual rosary is a garland of prayers, not a garland of beads. Without the prayer, it is just another object.

Agreed. I do not wear my Rosary on the neck for decoration. I find pockets are quite useful. That’s where I put it when Iam out in public, and when at home, I have 3 of them, one sits in the conatianer it came with, and 2 hang on the wall.

During one of our Lady’s apparations, the Blessed Virigin Mary instructed us to pray the rosary often and even WEAR IT AROUND OUR NECKs.

That noted, I have to say that if you do it for pious reasons, then there is nothing wrong with it and it is even a good thing but if you do it for vanity reasons, then that’s a different story.


I am going to quote from the writings of St. Louis De Monfort, perhaps the most well known, loved, and influential saint when it comes to devotion to Mary and to the Rosary.

These are taken from his little work entitled The Secret of the Rosary

Alphonsus, King of Leon and Galicia, very much wanted all his servants to honor the Blessed Virgin by saying the Rosary. So he used to hang a large rosary on his belt and always wore it, but unfortunately never said it himself. Nevertheless his wearing it encouraged his courtiers to say the Rosary very devoutly.

One day the King fell seriously ill and when he was given up for dead he found himself, in a vision, before the judgement seat of Our Lord. Many devils were there accusing him of all the sins he had committed and Our Lord as Sovereign Judge was just about to condemn him to hell when Our Lady appeared to intercede for him. She called for a pair of scales and had his sins placed in one of the balances whereas she put the rosary that he had always worn on the other scale, together with all the Rosaries that had been said because of his example. It was found that the Rosaries weighed more than his sins.

Looking at him with great kindness Our Lady said: "As a reward for this little honor that you paid me in wearing my Rosary, I have obtained a great grace for you from my Son. Your life will be spared for a few more years. See that you spend these years wisely, and do penance."

When the King regained consciousness he cried out: “Blessed be the Rosary of the Most Holy Virgin Mary, by which I have been delivered from eternal damnation!”

After he had recovered his health he spent the rest of his life in spreading devotion to the Holy Rosary and said it faithfully every day. People who love the Blessed Virgin out to follow the example of King Alphonsus and that of the saints whom I have mentioned so that they too may win other souls for the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary. They will then receive great graces on earth and eternal life later on. “They that explain me shall have life everlasting life.” [1] Ecclus. 24:31

(from the Eigth Rose)

And here is another:

Blessed Alan relates that a man he knew had tried desperately all kinds of devotions to rid himself of the evil spirit which possessed him, but without success. Finally, he thought of wearing his rosary round his neck, which eased him considerably. He discovered that whenever he took it off the devil tormented him cruelly, so he resolved to wear it night and day. This drove the evil spirit away forever because he could not bear such a terrible chain. Blessed Alan also testifies that he delivered a great number of those who were possessed by putting a rosary around their necks.

Father Jean Amat, of the Order of St. Dominic, was giving a series of Lenten sermons in the Kingdom of Aragon one year, when a young girl was brought to him who was possessed by the devil. After he had exorcised her several times without success, he put his rosary round her neck. Hardly had he done so when the girl began to scream and cry out in a fearful way, shrieking, “Take it off, take it off; these beads are tormenting me.” At last, the priest, filled with pity for the girl, took his rosary off her.

The very next night, when Fr. Amat was in bed, the same devils who had possession of the girl came to him, foaming with rage and tried to seize him. But he had his rosary clasped in his hand and no efforts of theirs could wrench it from him. He beat them with it very well indeed and put them to flight, crying out, “Holy Mary, Our Lady of the Rosary, come to my help.”

The next day on his way to the church, he met the poor girl, still possessed; one of the devils within her started to jeer at him, saying, “Well, brother, if you had been without your rosary, we should have made short shrift of you.” Then the good Father threw his rosary round the girl’s neck without more ado, saying, “By the sacred names of Jesus and Mary his holy Mother, and by the power of the holy Rosary, I command you, evil spirits, to leave the body of this girl at once.” They were immediately forced to obey him, and she was delivered from them. These stories show the power of the holy Rosary in overcoming all sorts of temptations from the evil spirits and all sorts of sins, because these blessed beads of the Rosary put devils to rout.

(from the Ninth Rose)

I think that we can take from these quotes that there is certainly room for the faithful to wear the Rosary* with devotion* if they so choose.

I think that the misgiving that one may have about wearing the Rosary stem from either concerns about 1) hypocritical misuse, 2)misplaced piety amounting to superstition 3) lack of devotion.


Here is what I mean:

  1. Worries about Hypocritical Misuse

It is not appropriate for those who have no devotion to Mary, who are atheists, etc to wear the Rosary and then to live lives that are not in accord with proper religious belief. In other words, it would be hypocritical for a gangster to wear a Rosary, and would even become a mockery of it. In a less grave case, such as someone wearing a Rosary and behaving rudely (or a driver hanging one from a mirror and driving dangerously or rudely) this would at the very least give scandal.

*2) *Worries about Misplaced Piety

It is certainly possible that someone (Catholic, non-Catholic) may wear the Rosary more from superstitious motives that from piety. This amounts to a belief in the Rosary *as a talisman, *which would be strictly forbidden. In other words, some people may have an idea that the Rosary, in itself, has power.

  1. Worries about Lack of Devotion

It may happen that a Catholic, while avoiding the above two mistakes, succumbs to wearing the Rosary without any devotion or much at all. If you note the first quote from St. De Monfort above, the point of that story was that the King began to actually pray the Rosary. I think that for those who pray the rosary devoutly it may be painful to see someone “just wear it” without any devotion to something so near and dear to their hearts.

So I think that there are *legitimate objections and concerns *to the wearing of the Rosary when it not accompanied by the proper disposition.

However, I for one, do not underestimate the good that may be done by this small act, however imperfect it may be. There is such a thing as “holy simplicity” and an almost childlike faith and trust – which was often exhibited by the Saints.

Again, remember the caveat – with proper devotion.

I think a good analogy would be to the use of the Holy Scriptures. There are, perhaps, many people who own a bible but who never open it or do not open it as often as they should (Personal note: Guilty as charged). Or perhaps they treat it as any old book, and it collects dust, becomes tattered through misuse, is used as a coaster for drinks!? – what have you.

Certainly this is to be avoided at all costs. But that does not mean that having a Bible in your home is wrong – provided that one treats it with the proper dignity and devotion.

Same with the Rosary.

This is, of course, just my thoughts on the matter. I humbly submit to the teaching of the Church, and freely admit that I may be in error in my views.

Any thoughts Roxanne?
Or other posters?

God Bless,

Oops, I almost forgot.
Welcome to the forums Roxane! :tiphat:

Thank you all for your kind and time consuming replies. I now can wear my rosary as a necklace with confidence and devotion. It is very convenient for it to be in around my neck. It never gets lost or washed in the laundry. I have lost so many rosaries in my pocket and purse. I always have it in the middle of the night when I wake up for no reason. I also had it during the movie about Emily Rose. It is a powerful and life transforming prayer!

God bless all,

p.s. what plank is in your eye? maybe i have one too.

I used to have a nice black rosary, that I was given out during a mass at my old school. I haven’t seen it in a while, but it should turn up sometime. Are black rosaries good to pray with?

Black rosaries were generally given to boys and white rosaries to girls. Any color or material (wood, stone, gemstone, plastic, metal, etc) is fine.

It is just a way to keep track where you are in the devotion.

Use your black rosary with confidence and pride.

I never wear mine hidden or openly. These are Sacred Mysteries
and I believe they should not be lowered to an adornment or even used for what do they call it, “branding”.

I also wouldn’t want it to be inferred it was a talisman.

Even if the Blessed Virgin Mary instructed us to do so?

Where and when ?

Where else am I going to put it when I’ve got my scrubs on? It’ll fall out of my pocket.

Keep a rosary with you always. you never know when you may need it, for yourself or as a gift for another. Pocket, neck, boot, belt, where ever, just keep one with you always.

On a side note, I tend to keep my on the gun rack at home. Very convenient, all my weapons in one place, right by the bed.

“I look across the world, and I see so few that carry their beads of prayer. Whatever shall they do when they are forced to run? When the Chastisement comes upon you, many will flee with whatever they have on their backs or on their persons. Therefore, My children, it is not for decoration that I have asked you to wear your beads of prayer about your neck. It was for when you flee; you will have your armor upon you.” - Our Lady, May 30, 1973

Let’s not forget …

To those who openly wear the rosary out of devotion and to set a good example: a hundred days’ indulgence – confirmed by our Holy Father Pope Innocent XI on 31st July 1679, and received and made public by the Archbishop of Paris on 25th September of the same year.

… Mother Church would not be giving out indulgences unless this was a good thing to do.


Another difference between us Australian conservative right wing pro-life Catholics and the same from the USA is the gun laws / opinions on guns. Our conservative PM (John Howard) here has made the strongest anti-gun laws we’ve ever had, so yea, for us, rosaries and guns don’t exactly go together.

Actually now I’m reminded of the Arnold Schwarznegger film ‘End of Days’ where he is loading up all these guns to fight against the devil and then realises that that’s not the kind of weapon he needs.

Anyhow, thanks for this thread, I always wanted to wear my rosary beads round my neck - maybe then the socialists and the protestant bible study groups at my uni might stop approaching me asking me to join their groups! Plus, I’m proud to be Catholic… and I don’t have a crucifix to wear around my neck. And, I’d never have the problem of not having my rosary beads with me when I have a good opportunity to pray the rosary (like on long quiet train trips). So yea, I think I’ll start wearing them round my neck from now on.

:stuck_out_tongue: Good thing too because ya’ll are the spawn of convicts. :eek: