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Business is Good

Being an ex car-salesman, it’s hard for me not to see the world in terms of numbers. For years I watched margins, gross profit, floor plan reports, and negotiated deals while trying to always ensure a profit. It seemed like my success was tied to my ability to make the company money.

Unfortunately that sometimes still carries over to the “business” of making rosaries.
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Guide to Making a “Breakaway”

If you inspect a habit rosary worn by someone who wears it on a regular basis, you’ll often find a mechanism that allows the rosary to not break when it’s pulled, tangled, or caught on something. Especially a longer rosary (like the one I wear) is extremely susceptible to getting caught in a car door, stuck on a pew, or pulled by someone/something. 

This breakaway was made by another friar, made smaller than mine.


The term breakaway is what I’ve called this unique mechanism, simply because no one has provided me with a better name. I got the concept from the breakaway rim used in basketball: a device that keeps guys from crashing the backboard after a big dunk. The purpose of a rosary breakaway is to provide a means for the rosary to be torn away from the belt without destroying the rosary. Since the device is built to provide a weak-spot, the breakaway prevents eye pins or jump rings from being pulled out. It also prevents cord rosaries from snapping. 

I’ve been asked several times to make a guide for these. I took some time because, honestly, I’m still not an expert at it. However people tell me I’m my own worst critic, so I decided to post this guide on how to make a breakaway, especially for those religious who are interested in making their own habit rosary. 

Continue reading ‘Guide to Making a “Breakaway”’


Not Just Habit Rosaries


Just so you don’t think I only make habit rosaries, this is a rosary I made for someone last month. I used black onyx for the beads which gives the rosary a shinier look than wood.

I found it interesting that these regular rosaries were tougher for me to make than the large, habit rosaries. The biggest thing is the wire work. Usually I have plenty of space to bend and attach wire, but these smaller rosaries showed me that there’s a lot of work that goes into a regular rosary

Here’s how it looks up close:


Franciscan Crown

This is a rosary that completed version of the rosary I showed last time. I’m actually waiting for a San Damiano Cross to come in, but for the sake of pictures, I put this crucifix on in the meantime. I think it came out rather nicely.

One of the things I did this time was try to avoid jump rings and use wirework to make the connections I needed. It took a few hours and plenty of wire to actually get right, but I think I’m finally getting the hang of it. You can see them here on this pic better. (I don’t know what their proper name is. If you know, please tell me!)

And here is a picture of the front of the rosary. Again, I’m waiting on another crucifix to come in. I’ll switch it out when I get it.


7 Decade Rosary

Rosary I've been working on

This is a 7 Decade Rosary I’ve been working on. I’m still waiting on the medals and the San Damiano Crucifix to come in.


Hanging the Habit Rosary

When choosing a habit rosary, there’s a few important things to look at. One of the most important being how it attaches. Most religious wear either a belt or a cord, providing a great place upon which to hang a rosary. However there are better methods than others, some of which can cause damage to your belt/cord or even destroy your rosary.

My personal rosary with a key loop on the end for display.

First and foremost, if you are looking for a habit rosary, make sure it has a break point. Most common is the one seen on my rosary. They are called frog legs or Break-Aways. They provide a means for a habit rosary to break from your belt without actually destroying the rosary. If you get a rosary without a safety mechanism, you could be very disappointed the first time you snag it on a car door or pew and find your beads all over the ground.

But I digress…back to the hanging methods:

The most frequent I’ve seen is the key loop, as shown above on my rosary. This is the least desirable way to hang your rosary, and for several reasons:

  • It makes the rosary extremely hard to take on or off.
  • The loops slide on the belt/cord, allowing the rosary to tangle.
  • Depending on the size of your cord/belt, the bigger loops look oblong and tacky.

Unfortunately this is the most common means that people use when making habit rosaries. The quick fix is to use carabiners or similar latched hooks. This does allow for the rosary to be taken on and off much easier, however the rosary will continue to slide. I’ve also had issues with the carabiner catching on my cord; the damage to my cord is bad enough that I’d love to get a new one. So I suggest staying away from the latched hooks as well.

Like loops, hangers can come in various sizes.

Probably the best way I’ve seen is to use a metal hanger which simply hangs (as it’s called) over the belt. I’ve found them surprisingly secure. More importantly they make the habit rosary very easy to put on and take off…a good thing for those people who need to take the rosary off their belt to pray it. However they still slide on the belt, but much less than a loop or carbiner.

But if you’re looking for a way to make your habit rosary easier to wear without having to add/remove things like the hanger, perhaps you need a key fob.

My rosary shown with trigger clasp and key fob attached.

The idea was borne originally because friars were looking for a better way to hang their rosary without the sliding or without discoloration. What I do is add a trigger clasp, a simple item from Jo-Ann’s for $1.50, and a key fob. I try to use leather because cheaper ones could discolor the cord we use. The trigger clasp swivels to keep the rosary from tangling, the leather doesn’t slide, and it is extremely easy to take off (either at the button or at the clasp) while still remaining secure.

If you have a rosary with just loops, I’d strongly recommend making an investment $6.00 or so to buy a trigger clasp and key fob.



Ever since I started fixing and making rosaries, I’ve been the “rosary guy” both here at Novitiate and around the entire Capuchin Community. One day while I was sitting, I doodled a small logo and added a little car-sales lingo and put the sign on my door.

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St. Seraphino of Montegranaro


June 2018
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Questions or comments?

Feel free to leave any comments. If you have questions or would like to inquire about obtaining a habit rosary, please email me: vito[AT]