Is it okay to wear a rosary around your neck?

Is it okay to wear a rosary around your neck?

Guess what! There is no rule against wearing rosaries around your neck. Many people think it’s wrong, but let’s consider some other examples. Dominican and Franciscan friars hang the rosary from their belts. Some people wear rosary bracelets, and some even wear rosary rings. You might also hang a rosary from your rear view mirror or your bedpost. None of those things seems wrong. So, is it right to wear rosaries around our necks?

The answer: no and yes. We have to examine why a person would wear it. First of all, the rosary is not a piece of jewelry. Yes, many rosaries are very beautiful and look very much like a necklace, but the truth is, they are not. Wearing it as a decoration, even if you happen to be Catholic, is wrong.

Next, the rosary is not a magic talisman. Some people wear the rosary around their necks because they believe that it provides protection or blessing. This is superstitious, and therefore wrong. Indeed, the rosary is in fact a powerful weapon against evil, but that comes from praying it, not wearing it. The physical beads on a string are only a device to help you keep count.

Finally, some people might wear the rosary (or hang it in their car) as a symbol of their faith. I once knew a guy who kept the rosary in his pocket but purposefully let the cross dangle out so people could see it. This is not wrong, but we must bear something in mind. The (physical) rosary is not a primarily tool for evangelization, but a tool for prayer.

The only reason a person should ever wear a rosary is that he actually prays it. If you pray the rosary (everyday or close to everyday), then feel free to wear the rosary, just as you might a rosary bracelet or ring. That’s not because you earn some kind of right to wear it by praying it. Rather, wearing it might be a convenient reminder to pray. Let’s not be so concerned with whether or not we should wear the rosary. (I keep mine in my pocket.) More important is this: PRAY THE ROSARY!

Yes, you can believe it!

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