The inspiration for this rosary design came from Lisa, a Graceful Lady Rosaries customer. She asked “If you were a rosary during the Jubilee Mercy Year, what would you look like?” And so began the creative process to translate mercy into prayer beads.
Where better to find inspiration then Sacred Scripture and great art! The Return of the Prodigal Son, found in the Gospel of Luke 15: 11-32 , tenderly reveals God’s Mercy and Baroque painter, Rembrandt Van Rijn, passionately illuminates this story. The design began by gathering materials for this rosary in the palette of Rembrandt and the elements of the Year of Mercy.
First, replicating the warm earth tones in the painting, Crazy Lace Agates were chosen. The name of this natural gemstone reminds me of the frantic pace and complicated patterns of life. Each bead, as each person’s journey, is quite unique. In thinking about mercy I pondered the question “where do we find God’s Mercy in this crazy lace of life?” The answer came…right smack dab in the middle of it all. And that is how Red Jasper hearts found their way into this design. Their color is a brick red, rich and warm, as found in the cloak of the Father in Rembrandt’s painting. Two hearts nestled together in the center of each decade, merciful hearts buried within the prayer.
Now for the medals. The cross of Pope Francis depicting the parable of the Lost Sheep (Luke 15; 1-7), beautifully illustrates the powerful story of God’s love and mercy. The pièce de résistance of this rosary is its center medal. Taken directly from Rembrandt’s work we see father and son captured in the precious moment of grace gifted and received. The moment where the fire of God’s most merciful love, the warmth of acceptance and the flood of relief meet. In that image we see the full power of God’s strength displayed in tenderness of the heart.
An assurance of God’s mercy is not just for this Jubilee year but for all time. This rosary design is for anyone who needs to be reminded of the enduring and never ending merciful love of God, for one who longs to offer or receive forgiveness, or as a wonderful commemoration of the “Jubilee Year of Mercy”.
Painting by Rembrandt van Rijn, c.1669, Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg.