It’s rough gift hunting for Catholic dudes – especially those entering the Church who are still not used to Catholic Holy Hardware. Of course a rosary is a standard choice, but while there are lots of girlie-girl rosaries to choose from out there, few are manly enough for most guys to carry (much less use) without embarrassment. I think men have enough trouble praying without having to endure the indignity of carrying a delicate little necklace around.
Now, there is no reason praying the rosary can’t be manly (I mean, they’re good enough for the Boondock Saints!*), but you need the right tool for the right job. So, for the benefit of manly Catholic men everywhere, I am posting the more masculine rosaries that I have found. None of these are delicate. None are bejeweled in the colors of the rainbow. In fact, some could double as a survival rope or garrote. Further, unlike many rosaries, most of these cost well under $50 – so they won’t break into the tools / guns / bacon / beer budget.
*Note: The Boondock Saints’ necklace – while truly manly – is not an actual rosary. 😦
RUGGED ROSARIES™ are made by CordBands.com – a family company started in 2013 whose mission is to “fulfill a need for rugged, reliable, durable, and masculine rosaries for men that are not only spiritually strong but that look strong too.” Their rosaries are made of paracord. Yes, paracord – the stuff survivalists make bracelets out of. So if you needed to rappel down a cliff to escape a charging bear and pray at the same time, you could totally pull it off. There are numerous options (all very manly): different crucifixes, optional medals, and various cord colors (including camo!). The only thing that would make these rosaries more manly would be if there was a magnesium strip down the side of the crucifix for starting fires.
Church Militant’s Combat Rosary is about as manly as you can get on your way to sainthood. I am pretty sure you could choke out an enemy or saw off a tree branch with it if need be. According to the website, it was inspired by a rosary that was commissioned by the U.S. government in World War I (known as “Service Rosaries”). With its strong chain, steel beads, and locking jump rings, this rosary is meant to last. It comes standard with the Pardon crucifix, Miraculous medal, and St. Benedict medal, plus you can add service-specific medals (firefighter, police, military, etc.) to these. It also comes in a gold finish.
Even non-man-specific rosaries can retain enough masculine attributes to qualify as manly. Rosaries with beads made from rocks or chopped down trees for example. While the Catholic Company’s “Men’s” rosary section can be helpful, even more useful is their rosary searches based on specific materials like wood and hematite.
Finally, metal is manly – and there are numerous metal rosaries out there. Gold and silver cost a lot, and are typically fashioned in ways that make them too weak and breakable for most men to want to hassle with (plus, what man wants a “precious” metal anyway??? How about a HEAVY METAL!). Stainless steel, however, is always good for weight, endurance, and possible weaponization. There are plenty of all-steel rosaries out there – just do a search on Google or Amazon.
Some of the most awesomely manly rosaries won’t appeal to enough people to make the popular lists of the big companies. To see some of the more obscure and unique offerings out there, you might try custom creators like those found on Etsy. For example, to me there is no greater balance between beauty and manly than Celtic artwork. The Celtic rosary pictured above, for example, was made by RachelRichardCrafts.
Nothing says manly like a do-it-yourself project. Whether a man wants a rosary tricked out with specific gear combo that can’t be found elsewhere, or wants to include some meaningful artifacts he already owns (or made himself!), a DIY rosary is just the thing. (Plus, if it’s a gift, it can be made all, you know – “personal” and stuff. I guess.)
Here’s the basic supply list:
- Chain / Cord / Wire
- Crucifix (1)
- Centerpiece (1)
- Beads (59 total – to distinguish sizes: 53 small and 6 large, plus smaller spacers if needed)
- Medal/s (optional)
- TOOLS! (e.g., needle nose pliers, measuring device, clamps, hammers, band saw . . . whatever it takes)
The basic layout order (starting from the bottom) is: Crucifix, Bead (lg), 3 Beads (sm), Bead (lg), Centerpiece, then the circle of beads is comprised of 5 series (“decades”) of 10 Beads (sm) each, with a Bead (lg) separating each series. Medals can be added along the way, or used as the centerpiece, or take the place of the larger beads.
Between all these options, I am sure you can find a rosary manly enough for yourself or the manly man in your life. Now – man up and pray!
“I desire then that in every place the men should pray” (1 Tim. 2:8)