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Irish Penal Rosary

An Paidrin Beag means “The Little Rosary” in Gaelic and came to be known as the Irish Penal Rosary in the 1700s when the “Penal Laws” forbade religious objects in Ireland. Easily hidden in a sleeve or pocket, it could be used to keep count of the prayers of a full five-decade rosary, by looping the ring over a thumb and praying the first decade, then moving the ring to each finger in turn, praying one decade at each position. This piece pays honor to those times and is now appreciated for enabling a more “private” devotion and meditation.

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