Is it a sin to wear a rosary as a piece of jewelry?

By Paul Dion, STL

About one year ago a dear friend of ours gave my wife a wonderfully crafted, dainty and beautiful golden rosary specifically made to wear around her neck. At the time we both were deeply impressed by the craftsmanship and the captivating beauty of the piece.

About a week or two ago a thought ran across my mind. I had not seen my wife wearing the wonderful rosary. This surprised me somewhat because my spouse is very deeply spiritual and profoundly modest. She is so modest that she hardly ever wears the diamond ring that she inherited from my mother.

I couldn't get over it, so one Sunday morning I asked her, "Why don't you wear the beautiful rosary that you received from our dear friend?"

Her answer was tentative, but sure, "Someone told me that it is not right to wear a rosary around your neck."

I had this Popeye reaction, "Well shiver me timbers and blow me down!"

I won't tell you my reaction, but I did practice good intellectual honesty and went around asking various friends and acquaintances if they thought that it was proper to wear a rosary as a piece of jewelry. I got a lot of answers, some right, some not so right.

Now is asking you:

"Is it proper or not to wear a rosary around your neck as a piece of jewelry?"

Post your comments below.

Click here to view our answer.


  1. There is a difference between someone who prays the rosary and wears a rosary as a piece of jewelry also... and the ignorant "Catholic", and I see it all the time in the high schools, who wear it just to wear it... One time this little gangster kid was wearing it, and every other word out of his mouth was a profanity. I asked him, "do you know what you are wearing around your neck?" "What?", he said. I replied, "exactly"...

  2. I am amazed at seeing them everywhere worn as jewelry. I am sitting here as we speak and watching "The Ellen Show" and an actor from
    Jersey Shore is appearing and he is wearing not one, but two rosaries. One of them as a star in the spot where crucifix would normally be...really? He is also dancing (with his dancing with the stars partner) in a manner that some might consider suggestive. The point is, there is a time and place for respect for God and for any religion... this would not be it. Some people don't even know the difference between a rosary and a stylish necklace, but I as a Catholic DO know, and that is the difference.

  3. Anonymous1:27 PM

    I agree with Linda that people wear the rosary as jewelry without a thought of what it represents.

    I am having a problem with something I want to do. I made a 23rd Psalm bracelet for a friend and she wants more for some friends.

    Because my mother always recited the Anima Chrisi, I want to make these and sell them to raise money for a homeless veteran home. While the 23rd Psalm only has a cross, I wanted to make the crucifix a part of the Anima Christi. The bracelet has crystals that represent the parts of the prayer. The idea is to have the persons wearing them to recite this prayer often and with reverence. Because I was raised to believe it was wrong to wear a crucifix as jewelry, I can't decide if this is a good idea. I do not make the bracelets gaudy and have given the 23rd Psalm bracelets to several people who wear them to church. Any suggestions on my Anima Christi bracelet?

  4. Suggestion on Anima Christi bracelet:
    Go for it.