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Wednesday, October 26, 2016
A Combat Rosary for Spiritual Warfare
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A few years ago I met a man after Mass in San Antonio, TX who gave me a combat Rosary.  This Rosary is often given to soldiers.  It is truly a "manly" Rosary that does not break, does not get tied up, and has beads that fit well between a man's fingers (which are bigger than a womans).  In fact, I still use this combat rosary in the car as I drive.  Whereas my previous Rosaries were prone to knot up, the Combat Rosary has for two years never failed me.

Here is a short excerpt from the card that came with it:

The Ranger Rosary Story by Wayne Laugesen (National Catholic Reporter) excerpts:

Unfortunately, many of the standard rosaries distributed by chaplains don’t hold up so well in combat situations, because of weak strings or chains. They come in pastel pinks and blues, which clash against the tough exteriors of Navy SEALS, Army Rangers and trench-hardened Marines.

So Ristaino invented what a growing number of soldiers consider the mother of all rosaries—the Ranger Rosary, an ultra-tough model that comes in a variety of military colors. The beads are strung on what the military classifies as 550 cord: a tough, lightweight rope that connects soldiers to their parachutes.

The handmade rosaries are popular among soldiers, and military chaplains are requesting them faster than volunteers participating in the Ranger Rosary project can turn them out.

“While we have considerable numbers of other rosaries that have been very generously donated to us, I would like to assure a supply of the Ranger Rosaries here at Kirkuk, if possible, due to their advantages for the combat conditions in which our troops, especially our soldiers, find themselves,” wrote Father Pat Travers, a chaplain at Kirkuk Regional Air Base in northeastern Iraq, in a formal request for more Ranger Rosaries.

Ristaino, a father of 11, was inspired to invent the Ranger Rosary while attending the Marine Corps officer candidate school in 1985. He and other candidates were learning to “keep pace” as part of a land navigation course.

...

He sat on the idea until the late 1990s, when several of his children began learning to make mission rosaries under the instruction of volunteers from the Legion of Mary.

Ristaino got most of his children involved in making Ranger Rosaries, and many of their fellow students at St. Mary’s High School in Annapolis joined in. Catholic elementary-school students began making them, as did young adults who attended Theology on Tap. The Rosary Guild at St. Mary’s Parish in Annapolis began coordinating the rosary-making efforts of various groups, and soon several hundred rosaries were made and shipped to military chaplains for distribution in Bosnia.

Today, parish organizations, schoolchildren, rosary guilds and a variety of other Catholic organizations and individual volunteers throughout the United States are making hundreds of rosaries for distribution in Afghanistan and Iraq. 

To learn more and request a Combat Rosary for yourself or someone, please write to combatrosary@yahoo.com

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