Has anyone else heard of this?
A friend sent around an email warning about "New Age Rosaries." The content was as follows:
> This is a warning to our Catholic friends about New Age Rosary. They SHOULD NOT keep them. I know the following is true because my sisters were in Medjugorje (pilgrimage) and they were given this New Age Rosary for free. There are people giving these away for free on the streets. A priest who is an exorcist at Medjugorje told my sisters to throw it out right away.
> Here's the excerpt of an email I received recently: One of the things I must mention is that there are now going around in the world, plastic new age rosaries in white, blue and pink. I had no idea about them until this was mentioned on the trip. Upon arriving home I went through my own ollection of plastic rosaries and found 2 that had a snake wrapped above Jesus' head with the mouth just besides his face. Also, no INRI sign and I think it is pentagons that surround each point. On the back, are also puncture marks of some kind on the cross? Please remind everyone to look carefully for these. Maybe you are already aware but it would be a good idea to tell Catholics what is now happening. One priest said it would be OK once it's blessed but another priest, whom I trust explicitly and who is a Marian priest said even though it may be blessed, it has not been exorcised and evil may still persist........
> NEW AGE ROSARY WARNING
> These rosaries have appeared on sale at pilgrimage centers across Europe and are in most cases are given away for FREE. They are made from cheap plastic and come in white, blue or pink, stamped as having been made in Italy , yet no one knows who has produced them.
> Since they are available at places of pilgrimage this makes people automatically think they are fine to use. Information regarding the danger of these rosaries was given at the Marian Cenacle in Limoges , France on 14th March 2005. Why are they considered New Age?
> They are considered New Age due to their symbolism which is not too easy to see except by close inspection of the crucifix, which shows a very sinister story. Behind the figure of Christ there can be seen a caduceus, which is an upright pole, representing mediation between Heaven and earth. It is an ancient herald's wand which was carried by messenger gods like Hermes or Mercury. The rod is also a divining rod to measure the earth and it's energies of power. The serpent Satan is shown behind the figure of Christ and is depicted by a coiled serpent which means latent power, concealed but not yet fully manifest, a dormant power. It may also represent to Satanists that the devil is co messianic, co redeemer and co Christ etc. The circles on the crucifix are from Egyptian Graeco-Roman, Phoencian, Baal symbols called the Pentagram, which is a major occult sign. The circles or pentagrams have five points, which represent, spirit, fire, earth, water and air. The pentagram at the bottom is upside down represents the devils goat. The four circles with dots in the centre signifies gold or the sun in alchemy. In general the meaning is "The resolution of all possibilities." Christ does not share any platform with any other god, philosophy or belief system or minor deity least of all Satan. The depiction of Christ on the cross is the most prominent place of worship, adoration, veneration, glorification, for Catholics and many other Christians and now Satanists or 'new agers,' have placed Satan alongside Christ. Some have even said that if these rosaries are blessed, they loose any negative power, however this cannot be assured, for it cannot be known what curse, spell or hex has been placed on these rosaries, and what do you think? There is some debate going on about this at the moment.
> Anyway Does anyone really want to pray on a rosary that depicts Satan? What we need to be asking ourselves who has made these rosaries with these symbols that should not be there.!!
> What do I do if I am given one of these rosaries?
> If you are offered or given one of these rosaries break it and throw it away that way it will loose its power when incomplete. There are a small minority of UK suppliers who have bought some of these rosaries and are trying to push people to buy them, I assume they do not completely understand the seriousness of this symbolism. Also tell your friends about these rosaries so they are aware of its dangers.
> Why has this happened?
> Over the years especially through the last century Our Lady has been firm and very explicit regarding the power of the Holy Rosary being the weapon against Satan, therefore would it not be fair to say that the New Age rosary, is a sign that dark powers are trying to undermine her crusade!
Is there such a thing or is it a hoax? Snopes has nothing on the subject. I cannot find anything on the internet beyond what is printed above. I asked a friend of mine who is a good Catholic bishop. He had never heard of such a thing.
But! A couple of years ago I had bought a few cheap plastic pink rosaries for the girls. I had figured, the girls could learn on them and if they broke them, well, who cares, they are not blessed and are cheap plastic. So, out of curiosity, I went to check them. ALL FOUR were as described in the "warning." I was stunned. Regardless of whether it is true or not, I thought it best to be on the safe side and have cut them up and thrown them out. Why wouldn't I, and thus my children, pray on a rosary that has the "INRI" and no pole or strange circles, etc. The only real difference is that mine said they were made in Ecuador. I emailed pictures of the "crucifix" to my friend and, just from looking at the pictures, he said, "They look a little strange to me."
Here are a few of the pictures:
If you have any further information on the subject, I'd be interested to hear it. My husband teaches theology and he had never heard of anything of the sort either. And, if you have any plastic rosaries, might want to check them, just in case.