ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Machine guns, killer knives, grenades and combat boots. These are the tools of modern combat warriors.
“And rosary beads,” says Sgt. 1st Class Frank Ristaino, a former Marine and a recruiter for the Maryland National Guard.
“Rosaries are readily available to any soldier in the military,” Ristaino said. “Just about any military chaplain hands them out.”
Unfortunately, many of the standard rosaries distributed by chaplains don’t hold up so well in combat situations, because of weak strings or chains. They come in pastel pinks and blues, which clash against the tough exteriors of Navy SEALS, Army Rangers and trench-hardened Marines.
So Ristaino invented what a growing number of soldiers consider the mother of all rosaries—the Ranger Rosary, an ultra-tough model that comes in a variety of military colors. The beads are strung on what the military classifies as 550 cord: a tough, lightweight rope that connects soldiers to their parachutes.
Well the Rosary is used in sp ritual warfare so this makes sense. Actually I need a super strong Rosary. Nothing is more embarrassing then praying the Rosary after Mass and for it to come apart and start spilling beads which roll everywhere. I know this since it happened to me. I have had a couple of Rosaries fall apart on me and you start to wonder if it is a sign. Hopefully it is just the sign of a worn out Rosary.
Well actually this wasn’t the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to me at Church. Once before Mass I was praying at an altar rail before the Blessed Sacrament. Some time had passed and my legs fell asleep. When I got up I started to fall and grabbed the top of the altar rail to stabilize myself. The rail was covered in marble and where I grabbed wasn’t very secure since about a three foot section of marble came off and I fell backwards and had that section of altar rail laying on top of me. People made sure I was alright and pulled that section off of me. God has a great sense of humor and knows just when to develop humility.