The Rosary Card: Our Story

The hospital equipment beeped and buzzed all around him. It was hard to move under the tangle of cables and tubes. One IV was taped into his right elbow, another into his wrist, and a web of EKG leads covered his chest. Doctors and nurses worked on other patients just beyond the curtains to his left and right, and he knew it was almost his turn. Next would be the tube down his throat and the catheter to his heart. Nothing to do now but pray. He wished he had his Rosary.


2020 had taken a serious toll. By December, Steve had been in multiple emergency rooms and multiple hospitals. Just after the start of 2021, a cardiologist had spotted a severe and worsening problem. The TEE and heart cath confirmed what the echocardiogram had indicated: his heart's mitral valve was malfunctioning. The prognosis for repair was good, but the idea of open-heart surgery -- and stopping the heart for a few hours -- was scary. There were a lot of sleepless nights.

It was on one of those nights -- at 3:00 AM while staring at the ceiling -- that the dots connected. It was not like Saint Catherine's vision of the Miraculous Medal. The choir of angels didn't sing. It was more like finally getting a joke after puzzling over it uncomfortably after everyone else had laughed. One dot was that yearning for the Rosary. The other dot was the predicament of not having one and the restrictions of going into the hospital: no phone, no watch, no "everyday carry" items in the pockets. The only things Steve had with him were his driver's license and his insurance card. Two small rectangles of plastic...

Why not a third? Why not one more card?

The entire "design" process took thirty seconds. He took the Rosary from his nightstand and laid it across a credit card. One decade -- ten beads -- ran exactly the length of the card. Our Father at the top, Glory Be at the bottom, O My Jesus on the left side, and ten Hail Mary beads carved into the right. By 3:01 AM, Steve knew he would never have to be without a Rosary ever again.

"Unless you are willing to do the ridiculous, God will not do the miraculous. When you have God, you don't have to know everything about it; you just do it."
— Mother Angelica

The idea of the Rosary Card solved the immediate problem -- having a rosary on you during an emergency or having personal items restricted in a hospital -- but then a cascade of other possible scenarios unfolded. Having a Rosary Card in your pocket, purse or wallet meant that you always had a rosary available: at work, at play, while traveling, during an emergency, or anytime you needed the comfort of prayer.

The plastic card could go anywhere and everywhere an ID card could, including airport scanners and metal detectors (something that Steve's bulky rosary with the metal St. Benedict crucifix couldn't do). It would be tough enough to withstand years of use. And inexpensive enough that cost would not be a barrier. It would not replace a traditional rosary but rather complement and supplement it. A Rosary Card in every pocket, purse, and wallet.

Immediately, of course, the demon of doubt began the usual course of derailment: "You have no idea how to manufacture anything," and "you have much more important things to worry about," and "no one even prays the Rosary anymore, anyway." A hundred different reasons to dismiss the Rosary Card as a stupid idea bubbled up. But then another voice was remembered, in that no-nonsense tone that was both gentle and stern:

"You want to do something for the it. Whatever you feel needs to be done, even though you're shaking in your boots, you're scared to death -- take the first step forward. The grace comes with that one step and you get the grace as you step. Being afraid is not a problem; it's doing nothing when you feel afraid."
— Mother Angelica

Our Story: Our Lady

So one day at a time, as the heart surgery loomed, the Rosary Card project took shape. Finally the big day arrived. Just as he had believed all along, the surgery was successful. Although complete healing would take time, within days Steve was back on the project. Exactly one week after the surgery, the first Series One Rosary Cards began shipping to new homes and new pockets. We hope you like them. We hope you use them. We hope you share the dream and simply share them. May they inspire just a few more Hail Marys and bring a little light into your life and into the world.