Chaplets are any form of Catholic prayer beads. All rosaries are chaplets, but not all chaplets are rosaries. Many non-rosary chaplets are dedicated to certain saints, and for many of the most popular ones they have evolved over the years into traditional forms–certain colors and/or numbers of beads. They can be closed, like a rosary, or open. They can be closed, like a rosary, or open. Traditionally the open forms have the saint’s medal on one end and a crucifix on the other; mine have the medals but not the crucifix. Crucifixes: I’m just not that into them.
The top one is a Saint Dymphna chaplet, the bottom one Saint Lucy. I’ve already talked about my interest in Saint Lucy, I’ve also been interested in Saint Dymphna for several years. She was an Irish princess who was beheaded by her pagan father, partly for being a Christian but also because she refused to marry him (yeah, gross) after her mother died. She is the matron saint of those who suffer from mental illness, seizure disorders, and somnambulism.
The traditional form for Saint Dymphna’s chaplet is to start with 2 large beads of any color, then add 3 sets of 5 beads each (which adds up to 15, the age she was killed) in red (symbol of her martyrdom), white (symbol of her virginity), and green (symbol of relief from your illness).
The saint’s medal. Saint Dymphna is almost always portrayed carrying a book, and sometimes a sword as well. Often she is either crowned, or there is a crown at her feet.
Dymphna was Irish, so I finished the other end with a Celtic knot charm.
The traditional form for Saint Lucy’s chaplet is 9 beads arranged in 3 sets of 3. Since she is associated with vision, I used “evil eye” beads.
The saint’s medal. She is depicted here carrying the usual tray of eyeballs, and the palm branch of martyrdom.
Lucy is also associated with divination, so I ended the chaplet with a little crystal ball charm!
I think I want to do one for Saint Martin de Porres too, but I need to read a little more about him.