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Materials Tools
7' string
6 gold pony beads
3 1/2" x 3/8" leather
Leather hole punch
Knife or scissors

For other activities, see the Activities Chapter.

The string is called Seine Twine Mason Line. It is 100% nylon and is about 1/8" in diameter. It comes in 230' spools.

Superglue works great with string. Remember that it will soak into the string and spread out from where you placed it. Fingers and everything else should be at least an inch or two from where you place the drop of glue.

  1. Using a sharp knife, cut the strip of leather in two pieces - 2" and 1 1/2" long. Punch a small hole in one end of the longer strip - this will be the top of the cross. Use E-6000 to glue the two pieces together to make a cross. Set aside to dry (this will take an hour or two).
  2. Measure the amount of string needed (7'). Hold the string straight while keeping your fingers out of the way, and place a drop or two of superglue where you want to cut the string. Blow on the glue and it should dry in less than a minute and the string will become stiff. Cut the string in the middle of the stiff area. The superglue keeps the ends of the string from fraying and will make the ends stiff like a shoestring.
  3. Start about a six inches from the end of the string. Tie ten overhand knots about 1/4" apart. Try to make them uniform and pull them tight.
  4. Put on one gold bead and skip about 1" of string before tying the next knot.
  5. Repeat the last two steps four more times, except do not put on the last bead. This gives you five sets of ten knots with four beads between them.
  6. Place the first and last knots together with the free ends laying next to each other in the same direction. Now using BOTH strings tie one overhand knot about 3/4" from the last two knots you tied. Pull the strings tight.
  7. On the long end, put on one gold bead and skip about 1" of string. Then tie three overhand knots.
  8. Put on the last gold bead. Place the cross on the string about 1" from the last knot. Tie the cross onto the loop of string. Many knots will do here - a square knot, or two half hitches, but what really looks nice is a stopper. The stopper is illustrated here - Bowline with stopper. The cross should be on a loop of string with the knot tied to the string above the cross. With the stopper, you will have an extra string going through the middle of the loop wraps.
  9. Glue the double overhand knot made in step 6 above and the knot that holds on the cross. Pull the knot tight, hold the string tight, and carefully place a drop of superglue on the knot. Let dry, then cut off any excess string with the knife or sharp scissors.

Some people have trouble controlling where the overhand knot ends up and thus can't get them close enough together. The technique I use is to hold the string where it just comes out of the knot very loosely between my thumb and pointer finger. This should be about 3/8" from the last knot. With your other fingers on that same hand pull on the string to tighten the knot. The knot will tighten, but the distance between this knot and the last knot should remain the same. As the last of the string is pulled out tightening the knot, use your fingers to make any final adjustments.

If you are running out of string when you get ready to put the cross on, there are a couple of things you can do. One is to just run the string through the cross and tie an overhand knot so the string won't slip back through the hole in the cross. If you don't have enough string to even do this then run the string through the cross and then back through the last bead. Use superglue to hold it in place.

If you are REALLY short on string, you can add a third string to the double overhand knot that joins the two ends in step 6 above.

If you want to make your rosary completely out of knots, use a stopper knot instead of the beads.


The practice of reciting prayers using a string of beads or knots is widespread among the traditions of Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam. The word "rosary" means "crown of roses." It comes from the Latin word "rosarium" which means "rose garden." The rosary was not invented by one person, many people contributed to it. Use of the rosary similar to the one we know today dates back to around the middle of the fifth century.

In 1917, during the Russian Revolution and the outbreak of World War I, the Blessed Mother appeared to three children at Fatima, Portugal. She told them to pray the Rosary often for peace and the conversion of Russia. It is believed that these prayers helped to bring an end to World War I. In August 1991, Russia collapsed ending the communist reign. This allowed the Russian people to start openly practicing their religion. Many are converted daily.

During World War II, the armies of the Soviet Union invaded Austria, East Germany, Poland, and Czechoslovakia. The Soviets placed their lifestyle and form of government on these countries. The Austrian people were helpless and unable to do anything to take control of their lives and government. They turn to praying the Rosary asking the Blessed Mother to intercede in obtaining God's help. In 1955, without explanation, the Soviet army withdrew from Austria - their prayers for peace were answered.

How to pray the Rosary

  1. Make the Sign of the Cross and say the "Apostles Creed."
  2. Say the "Our Father."
  3. Say three "Hail Marys."
  4. Say the "Glory Be."
  5. Announce the First Mystery; then say the "Our Father."
  6. Say ten "Hail Marys," while meditating on the Mystery.
  7. Say the "Glory Be," then say the "Fatima Prayer."
  8. Announce the Second Mystery; then say the "Our Father." Repeat 6, 7, and 8 continuing with the Third, Fourth, and Fifth Mysteries in the same manner.
  9. Say the "Hail Holy Queen."

Sign of the Cross
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Apostles Creed
I believe in God the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell; the third day He arose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit; the Holy Catholic Church; the Communion of Saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and life everlasting. Amen.

Our Father
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by Thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Hail Mary
Hail Mary, full of grace the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Glory Be
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Fatima Prayer
O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell and lead all souls to heaven, especially those most in need of Thy mercy. Amen.

Hail Holy Queen
Hail Holy Queen, Mother of mercy! Hail, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To you do we cry, poor banished children of Eve; to you do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears! Turn then, most gracious advocate, your eyes of mercy toward us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Pray for us, Holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray. O God, whose only-begotten Son, by his Life, Death and Resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life, grant, we beseech you, that we who meditate on these mysteries of the most holy Rosary of the blessed Virgin Mary, may both imitate what the contain and obtain what they promise, through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Joyful Mysteries

  1. The Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary - Mary said, "Here am I, the servant of the Lord." (Luke 1:38)
  2. The Visitation - Mary visits her cousin Elizabeth (Luke 1:45)
  3. The Birth of Jesus at Bethlehem (Luke 2:7)
  4. The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple (Luke 2:22)
  5. The Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple (Luke 2:49)
Luminous Mysteries - Mysteries of Light
  1. Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan - Beginning of His public life (2 Cor 5:21, Matt 3:17)
  2. Wedding Feast at Cana - His self-manifestation and first miracle (John 2:1-12)
  3. Proclamation of the Kingdom - Call to conversion (Mark 1:15, Mark 2:3-13, Luke 7:47-48), John 20:22-23)
  4. Transfiguration - Revelation of His glory (Luke 9:35)
  5. Institution of the Eucharist - Sacramental expression of the Paschal mystery (John 13:1)
Sorrowful Mysteries
  1. The Agony in the Garden - Jesus prays in the Garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22:24)
  2. The Scourging at the Pillar - Pilate took Jesus and had Him flogged (John 19:1)
  3. The Crowning with Thorns - They clothed Him in a purple cloak; and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on Him. (Mark 15:17)
  4. The Carrying of the Cross - Jesus carries the Cross to Calvary (John 19:17)
  5. The Crucifixion - Jesus dies for our sins (John 19:26-27)
Glorious Mysteries
  1. The Resurrection - Jesus rises from the dead (John 20:19)
  2. The Ascension - Jesus ascends into Heaven (Mark 16:19)
  3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles (Acts 2:4)
  4. The Assumption of Mary into Heaven (Luke 1:48-49)
  5. The Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary - Mary is crowned Queen of Heaven and Earth (2 Timothy 2:12)

Copyright © 2003 Vincent Hale