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 | By Michelle DiFranco

Making the Case for a Rosary

A year before I met my husband, I had hit a low point in my life. I was feeling anxiety and distress from calling off a wedding. Work was busier than ever, with much travel back and forth between the East and West Coasts. It was the perfect storm of emotional anxiety mixed with intense work stress. And if that wasn’t enough, there was a frightening incident with one of my flights.

There was a loud boom as my plane took off. Panicked, I grabbed my carry-on and fished for my rosary. As I was pulling it out of the bag, it got snagged on something. I remember feeling frustrated with myself for not putting it in a case, and thinking that a snagged rosary was the last thing I needed when my plane was about to go down. I just held onto it for dear life inside the bag as the noisy plane shook. 

Later, after we returned to the airport for an emergency landing, I learned that there had been a dangerous mechanical problem. In the moment it was happening, however, I knew nothing since I called upon the Blessed Mother to be with me. I felt peace and comfort as if I were holding my mother’s hand, and my mind was no longer on the plane, but with her son, Jesus. 

What is it about our relationship with the Blessed Mother that we Catholics find so effective and comforting? And why does the rosary mean so much to us?  Well, the physical item of the rosary is no talisman. It has no magical properties, so clutching it tightly does not make a failing plane fly any better. And we also know that the Blessed Mother doesn’t really respond to our prayers directly, but through her son, Jesus. Yet we know well the power and importance of the rosary.

Of course, theologians can respond to these questions better than I ever could. But I do think I have one part of the answer. In a simple and humble way, it has to do with our humanity. None of us has ever met Jesus here on earth the way the apostles did, so it is a challenge to fathom what that would be like. But we are all born to feel a natural bond with our own mother, so we do know what that is like, and that gives us a glimpse into how she sees us as her spiritual children.   

Whatever the cause, and regardless of the explanation, I can only account for results. In moments of stress, I turn to the rosary. And unlike any other meditation or exercise I know, it brings peace in the most chaotic and unsettling of circumstances. Did merely having my rosary in hand account for my safe landing in a damaged aircraft? Who knows! But did turning to our Mother bring me peace and place me closer to Jesus? Absolutely.

And lest my rosary should get tangled once more in a moment of urgent need, I will be more mindful to use a case, going forward.

Tin rosary case

You will need:

  • Craft or spice tin with clear top (big enough to fit rosary)
  • Printed image of the Blessed Mother
  • Craft knife
  • Decoupage glue

Trim image to fit inside window of tin case. Apply decoupage glue to back of image and adhere to window. Apply coat of decoupage glue over the image to protect it. Allow case to dry before use.