Broken Rosary {Spiritual Meaning}

As far as the Bible and the Catholic Church is concerned, a broken rosary doesn’t have any deeper spiritual meaning. It’s just a broken rosary. 

But some cultures and people believe that a broken rosary means something, usually not good. In this post, I discuss those superstitions. I also explain what to do if your rosary breaks. 

What Does A Rosary Symbolize?

What Does A Rosary Symbolize

If you are not a Catholic or don’t belong to a church that uses rosaries, it can be difficult to understand why some Christians greatly value their rosaries.

It’s not that rosaries are divine or have special powers. A rosary is simply a prayer aid that helps Catholics recite the Rosary prayer

Like other physical objects like the crucifixes, candles and holy water, a rosary is not somehow magical. It’s simply a meaningful object that helps us in various acts of faith like prayer. 

A rosary symbolizes the different parts of the Rosary prayer including the four mysteries. 

There’s no Bible verse or Catholic doctrine that says a broken rosary causes bad luck or means there are evil powers haunting you. Being like any other object, rosaries can break from damage, improper use, accidents, or wear and tear. 

That’s not to say you can compare a rosary to any ordinary object. Things like rosaries and holy water are sacramentals and must be handled respectfully.

Here’s what the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1667) says about them.

Holy Mother Church has, moreover, instituted sacramentals. These are sacred signs which bear a resemblance to the sacraments. They signify effects, particularly of a spiritual nature, which are obtained through the intercession of the Church. By them men are disposed to receive the chief effect of the sacraments, and various occasions in life are rendered holy.  

What Does A Broken Rosary Symbolize?

Biblically, a broken rosary doesn’t symbolize anything. If your rosary breaks, you can repair it and continue praying with it. Alternatively, dispose of it properly and get a new one. 

However, some people believe that a broken rosary symbolizes something. Here are some of the beliefs and superstitions I have come across. Keep in mind that these are not based on the Bible or any Catholic teachings. They are usually based on cultural beliefs.

  • A broken rosary is a symbol of bad luck. Other people see a broken rosary as a bad omen or sign. 
  • Some people believe a broken rosary means that someone is sending negative energy your way. 
  • One interesting belief I found says that a rosary breaks when it has absorbed too many prayers or energy and it finally snaps. 

People who have the above beliefs say that you have to dispose of the necklace once it breaks.

What Do You Do When A Rosary Breaks?

What Do You Do When A Rosary Breaks

There’s no need to worry if your rosary breaks. It doesn’t mean you are a bad person or you are in for some tough times. 

Keep in mind that most rosaries are sold as cheap mass market products. Similar to cheap necklaces, they are not designed for strength and longevity. 

And considering that most people use theirs daily or multiple times a day, it’s easy to see why a rosary can easily break. 

If your rosary breaks for whatever reason, here’s what you can do. 

  • Most cheap rosaries are not worth repairing. It’s best to dispose of it and get a new rosary. See my guide below on how to properly dispose of a rosary. Have the new rosary blessed by the priest as soon as possible. 
  • If it’s a valuable (e.g. passed down the family), expensive or handmade rosary, you can try repairing it or finding a professional like a jeweler who can fix it. Once it’s repaired, keep using it normally. 
  • Check if your parish accepts old or broken rosaries. If they do, you can leave yours there and get a new one. 

How To Dispose Of An Old or Broken Rosary

Sacramentals should be treated with reverence. Throwing away your broken rosary in the trash is not acceptable. 

First check if you can leave your broken rosary at the church. Some churches accept sacramentals like rosaries, palm branches and crucifixes for proper disposal.

You can also check around to see if there’s someone you can give the rosary to. Ask them to repair it and use it as their own. But as I mentioned, it’s probably not worth it if it’s a cheap rosary. 

If neither of the above is possible, you have two other options: burn or bury. Blessed objects should either be burned and buried, or outright buried. 

Burn the rosary down to ashes, then bury the ashes. If you don’t have a garden, you can bury the ashes at church grounds (with permission). 

If the rosary cannot be burned or it’s not safe to do so, the other option is to bury it in the ground. 

Note: Sale or purchase of sacramentals including rosaries is prohibited by the Catholic church. If the broken rosary was not blessed, you can sell it. Otherwise, repair it or dispose of it. 

Final Thoughts 

If you have to buy a new rosary, I recommend buying one that doesn’t break so easily. It’s better to spend a bit more money on something you’ll treasure for years and maybe even pass on. 

Some of my favorite rosaries are the handmade ones from Rugged Rosaries. Their collection includes extra durable rosaries such as paracord rosaries and WWI Battle Beads® Combat Rosaries. 

For more interesting guides on rosaries, check out this post about spiritual meaning of finding one.

3 thoughts on “Broken Rosary {Spiritual Meaning}”

  1. Story time, I was watching this interesting YouTube clip where they were playing pop songs backwards and listening to hidden messages which usually said something along the lines of ” hail Satan ” and when I bent over to grab something off the ground, my rosary just gently broke and fell off. But, get this, yesterday evening when I purchased it, I put it right on and then when I got into the house I noticed that the crucifix was gone. I literally had no idea where it went, all I knew was that it was gone, this morning my friend found it in the driveway and I fixed it best I could. A couple things to be taken into consideration:
    1. I have currently been trying to start a spiritual journey.
    2. I got a bunch of arts and crafts & spiritual stuff such as healing crystals, sage and tarot cards. I found a Lil mini voodoo doll and brought it back to her and tried to do a cleanse with holy wood.
    3. Before any of the above occasions, I was telling anyone whod listen that a ghost was following me because weird stuff was happening like random things falling, ect
    4. My lil sister passed away recently

    What do you think? Should I be worried? Do you really think I should burn and bury the rosary? What if that’s the opposite of what I’m trying to do?

    • Dear Kiara,

      Try not to mix and match spiritual traditions. Find one that feels right at the time, then stick to it and practice it throughout the ups and downs. The Rosary is a Catholic Christian prayer tool and is linked to the Virgin Mary who is venerated very highly in Catholicism ( although many Catholics might deny this, she is practically considered a Goddess, The Queen of Heaven). As Catholicism is a Christian faith it does not allow room for holding multiple beliefs, you either believe in one God who sent his Son Jesus down to die for your sins or you do not, there is no in-between in Abrahamic religions such as Christianity, Islam and Judaism, one God and that is that.

      So if you are using spiritual practices from Abrahamic faiths do not use tarot cards or voodoo dolls. Those are not from a monotheistic tradition and clash. You cannot connect to the energy of millions of Catholics praying a rosary then go connecting to the energy of pagans and expect it to work out. You have to pick a side. Sorry I know it sucks but it’s the way it is. Try Hinduism if you are looking for something that allows you to see God in everything. Abrahamic Theology is inherently much stricter in what you are allowed to do.


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