A seed was planted at St. Mary’s church in Annapolis, Maryland in 2003.  It has grown and now is spreading all over the world!  One million combat Ranger Rosaries have been requested and sent to 900 Chaplains of many denominations around the world.  NATO Chaplains from 18 countries are asking for them too.  Stateside bases order as many as 1,000 a month and the active military hospitals also want medals and scapulars.

The idea of a combat rosary came to Staff SGT Ristaino, a full time ARMY recruiter and St. Mary’s parishioner. He watched his family of 12 children make mission rosaries for their Junior Legion of Mary group.  Knowing these rosaries would not be strong enough for combat, he designed the sturdy combat Ranger Rosary.  They are made with parachute cord, dark beads and no metal parts for safety.

Soon other home schooled families helped make the rosaries.  The word passed from one Chaplain to another: “Free combat rosaries are available from St. Mary’s of Annapolis, Maryland.”  Mary’s response to these prayers of the rosary is protection, especially those in war torn areas. They are very grateful to have one on their person or in their tents and vehicles.  Groups praying the rosary started forming, especially on the battle lines.  Many blessings have been received as told by the Chaplains when the brave young men and woman pray it whether in a group or by themselves.  Often the rosary is carried home with them and hopefully will be an important part of their prayer lives.

As the chaplains’ requests grew so did the number of rosary makers.  Now there is a network of 25-plus church groups and many dozens of individuals who make them at home.  The elderly, the young, CCD and Confirmation classes, retired nuns and those who come to weekly meetings are answering the needs.  St. Mary’s weekly group makes and mails close to a 1,000 rosaries a week. Now the entire network is working to reach a million made rosaries since 2003.  Mary is bringing these volunteers together as a family; they love to work together and have become close friends.

Starter kits contain material to make 5 rosaries and a finished rosary to use as an example.  Free kits are mailed by request and close to 2000 have been mailed to date.  St. Mary’s volunteers check the returned rosaries, burn the ends of the cords, package and ship the rosaries to the chaplains after our priests bless them. Entire parish rosary making groups have been formed from the request of one starter kit. Please see below contact information to request starter kits.

Mother Mary wants to be with all her children but particularly those in harm’s way. The shortage of Catholic Chaplains makes it difficult for Catholic troops to attend Mass and receive the sacraments. The rosary is like a chain connecting them to their faith and bringing Mary’s love and protection.  St. Padre Pio calls the rosary “a weapon.”  The rosary is Mary’s favorite prayer and she has asked in many apparitions that the rosary be prayed.

Various news media have followed the amazing growth of this ministry. For example: Our Sunday Visitor, the Baltimore Catholic Review, Washington Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal; and, Fox news TV ran a video on Christmas Day for a couple of years showing the volunteers making the rosaries.

Funds are necessary to purchase the rosary making material.  Ranger Rosary is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charity, all volunteer organization that relies solely on private donations. Without generous donors, we would not be able to purchase the supplies to make and mail these rosaries to continue this holy and important ministry.  Contact rangerrosaryinc@verizon.net or call 410-990-4100 ext 4714.

We would love to help you start your own group or enable you to make them at home.