Playing with Beads

The month of October is dedicated to the Rosary! In fact, October 7 is the day in which we celebrate the Feast of the Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary. And so, I figured I would do a blog series illustrating the various mysteries of the Rosary.

But first! Let’s focus on the lady of the hour — and by that, I mean Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary!

The Virgin with Child, by Gerard David, c. 1520. Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain. Via IllustratedPrayer.com
The Virgin with Child, by Gerard David, c. 1520. Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain.

One thing that I absolutely love about this picture is the way that Jesus is playing with the beads of the rosary. It is just so typical of all children! I know that my babies and toddlers, if they see me praying the Rosary with my rosary beads, they’ll instantly come over and snatch them up!

In fact, that was one of the biggest inspirations behind my book series, The Illustrated Rosary… they can sit down and read picture books with me, no problem, but praying an actual Rosary with the actual beads? NOPE. Thus, I made an entire set of picture books, just so I could pray the Rosary devoutly with small children around! (Plus, let’s just be honest… the way my poor, tired brain works, the picture books actually help me focus on the prayers as well. So, it’s a win-win for everyone!)

So! To see an image where Jesus is depicted as grabbing onto the rosary beads fills me with joy. Yes, this was painted nearly five hundred years ago. And yet! Children are still the same. The same struggles that I faced as a mother, trying to pray the Rosary with small children around, are probably the same problems that other mothers have faced… including those that have lived centuries before!

And yet, there is Mary, patiently holding Jesus as He plays with the beads. The Mother of God: an image of strength, patience, and reserve in a situation that would honestly leave me flabbergasted.

My role model.

My mother.

And it reminds me that, yes, sometimes running a household is crazy and taking care of children can sometimes be an exercise of patience. It always has been.

Yet, through all the difficulties in our lives, God waits for us patiently to come to Him.

And so, I invite you all to join me this month in coming to God with the same sort of wild abandon by exploring the Rosary with me! May we grow closer to Jesus through this beautiful devotion.

Karina Tabone

Karina Tabone is a wife, mother of three, author, blogger, and lover of Christian artwork. She's the author of the Illustrated Rosary series, which pairs every prayer of the Rosary with beautiful religious artwork. She likes also milkshakes, sunshine, and mystery novels. Follow her on Twitter at @illustr_prayer

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