Recently, the city got to see an exhibition of a rare kind.
On the feast day of Our Lady of the Rosary earlier this month, inside the Gratia Plena Church within the premises of Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine in Villianur, thousands of rosaries were on display.
Devotees walked around the entire church watching in awe and devotion the nearly 3,000 rarest and exotic collection rosaries, which J. Suganthi Rose exhibited from her collections in the Rosary Museum in Coimbatore.
Rev. Fr. Pitchaimuthu said that it was the first time in Puducherry that such a vast collection of rosaries was exhibited. “From the late 19th century when the church was built, feast day is being observed in this church every year. People of all faiths visit the church and pray. This year, all the devotees have the opportunity to see the vast range of rosaries displayed,” he said.
An avid philatelist, Suganthi was pulled towards collecting rosaries after she was gifted the golden rosary used by Saint John Paul II by a former Coimbatore Bishop, Ambrose in 2000. Since then, for the past 17 years, she has travelled across the world to add nearly 3,000 rosaries to her collection.
“I even have a collection of all the saints’ chaplets, relic chaplets, handmade rosaries, speciality rosaries, rosary with relic, relic chaplets, icons, coins, spiritual medals,” she says.
Choosing to collect money instead of gifts for her birthdays and wedding anniversaries from her husband, parents and father in law, she searched online and identified places to pick the best rosaries. “There are different rosaries for different types of prayers. I collected enough money to travel and my entire family encouraged me to do so. Each rosary would cost at least ₹40,000 to ₹50,000. The travel expenses would be ₹3 lakh,” she adds.
Her collection includes a spring rosary from Lourdes, Saint Helen’s bone rosary and many more from Italy, Spain, Germany and other parts of the world. She also has the oldest handmade rosary called catacomb, made of ivory. She even has a three-foot rosary from Italy.
“I want to bring all of them together to let people know and see the different varieties of rosaries here. Every year, themed rosaries are released by Vatican. I will continue to collect them though it is a challenging task,” says Suganthi.
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