Heritage: Penal Rosaries

Celebrating Enduring Faith

The Penal Cross used is reproduced in both silver and bronze from an original dated to 1722, to an era where practice of faiths other than the 'established' Anglican faith was outlawed in Ireland. The characteristic short-armed cross developed to counteract the tendency of the wooden arms to break off. It is thought that the one-decade Penal rosary lent itself to being concealed in the hand or up a sleeve. Decades were kept track of by moving the ring from thumb to finger to finger.