“Rosaries & Keepsakes Created From Flower Petals” – Funeral Home & Cemetery News, October 2013

Rosaries & Keepsakes Created From Flower Petals

October 2013
Funeral Home & Cemetery News

For over 30 years, Rosaries has been a family-owned and operated business that transforms your special flower into a life-long keepsake. This craft was taught to the Barbieri Family by the French Grey Nuns and, with great honor and pride, the second generation of the family continues this traditional of hand-rolling and assembling beads from flowers.

Rosaries’ signature product is the traditional Catholic Rosary. It takes only a single rose to make a rosary and the color of the flower will be the color of the Rosary. Other available religious items include: a chaplet, bookmark, Rosary bracelet, and key chain. The company also offers non-religious versions of the bracelet, bookmark, and key chain for those that prefer a non-denominational keepsake.

Rosaries provides a unique service and comfort to many families and has built lasting relationships with over 250 funeral homes across the country.

For additional information and to find out how you can make Rosaries available to your families, please visit www.rosariesfromflowers.com or call (978) 851-9103.

Original Article: CLICK HERE

“Faith in Bloom” – Lowell Sun, April 6, 1999

Faith in Bloom

April 6, 1999
by Christine McConVille – Sun Correspondent

TEWKSBURY – Pauline Barbieri had no intention of becoming a full-time rosary maker.

“I was saying my dad’s rosary, and something came over me” says Barbieri. “I got warm all over.”

When the Tewksbury woman asked a Sister of Charity to teach her to make the religious prayer beads, Barbieri was told that only nuns could learn the almost-lost-art.

Two decades later, she operates a successful rosary-making business at her Rogers Street home and believes her work is a divine calling. “After about a year, this nun called me. She said she had done some research and that she thought she was the last nun doing this, so if I wanted to learn…”

Almost one year later, she made her first set of daughter’s bridal bouquet. “I asked if I should advertise and she said ‘no.’ She said that there will come a day when you will have more work than you can handle.”

Orders for the $50 rosaries now come from around the world. Business is so heavy that it takes 12 weeks to fill an order.

“The Blessed Mother meant for me to do this,” says Barbieri, 61.
“The Blessed Mother has run this business from day one.”

The beads are made from dried and then crushed flowers from wedding and funeral bouquets. Her kitchen table is flush with reds, pinks, and purples. Nearby, bag of rosaries and crushed flower petals are neatly labeled.

Barbieri rolls the ground flower petals into perfectly shaped beads. Once cured, she puts silver caps on the top and bottom and a metal post through them. Her 87-year-old mother helps with the delicate silver chains that link the 53 rosary beads -six “Our Father” beads, a “Blessed Mary” medal, and a cross.

Barbieri’s brightly colored beads are legendary. She made beads for the Kennedy family after matriarch Rose Kennedy died. A pair made for a Reading couple was blessed by Pope John Paul II in the Vatican.

Religious pilgrims bring her silver-chained beads to Medjugorje, Yugoslavia, where at least 10 rosaries have been transformed. “As they are saying the rosary, (the silver chains and caps) turned to gold,”she said.

As Barbieri rolls the bead, her dusty hands covered with floral frost, she sometimes thinks of the people connected to the beads. “It’s a lot of heartache. We make beads (in memory of) still-born babies, teen-agers who commit suicide,” she says.

Saddened by the human tragedies, she is happier to be part of the joyful weddings and baptisms.

“Rose’s Faith Still Flowers” – Lowell Sun, Feb. 18, 1995

Rose’s Faith Still Flowering

February 18, 1995
by Virginia Kimball – Sun Correspondent

TEWKSBURY – Even in death, Rose Kennedy’s love of the Catholic faith goes on.

Rosary beads made from the pink roses that were placed near Rose’s casket at the wake held at the family compound on Cape Cod were made by Rogers Street residents Pauline and Bernard Barbieri.

These specially handmade rosaries are treasured by family members because of the sentimental and spiritual value, Bernard says.
When the couple received Rose Kennedy’s pink roses, they regarded the task a great honor, he said.

“We feel it is quite an honor because of the stature of the woman. She was true to her faith, to God, and all the way through life she never faulted (from it)” he added.

“It’s ironic that even in her death, her faith is still out there. Somehow, I feel she is a part of all this,” Pauline said.

The Barber rosaries can be ordered through funeral homes when people are making arrangements for deceased relatives. They can also be ordered directly from the Barbieri’s.

When Pauline and Bernard received the fresh pink roses from the Rose Kennedy Funeral, they went right to work in making the family heirloom.

It is a delicate procedure that involves heating flowers to a powder, then mixing the powder with liquid to make a paste. Each bead is rolled from the paste, set with a silver cap on each side and strung on a metal post to form the chain of the rosary beads.

The exact technique in making the rosaries is a family secret, one which Pauline originally learned from the Sisters of Charity, also known as the Grey Nuns in Canada.

Pauline regards the craft as a special kind of ministry. Often she will say prayers as she puts the rosary beads together.

In this case, the rosary was made for the family as part of the funeral arrangements. It is now at the family compound, held by Rose’s devoted personal aide, Dolores Stevens, according to Kennedy press secretary Scott Ferson.

The rosaries can bring people to faith or create family closeness. Whatever the reason, it often is not known until a later date. “I have found that there is always a reason.” If it is meant to be, it will be,” Pauline said.

She saw connections already in the eulogy for Rose offered by her son, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy. “He said that her prayers would sustain them even in her death. She truly was the perfect rose,” Pauline noted.

“And, of course, we know Rose’s great devotion to the Blessed Mother was related to the rosary,” Bernard said.

In the past, during the process of making the flower paste, the color usually turned black from heating. The Barbieri’s have since invented a way to preserve the flower’s original color.

Each rosary takes about 2 1/2 hours to complete over a two day process. One small flower can make an entire rosary, Pauline says.

Pauline says she was inspired to take up the almost lost art of making flower rosaries while praying to Mary with her rosary, which was made of flowers from her father’s funeral. It now has become the family’s home business mixed with a religious meaning, she said.

Bernie, a former salesman, lends a hand at rolling each bead and lining them up in a tray at Pauline’s elbow. She then carries out the tedious task of stringing the silver or gold capped beads and attaching other decorative pieces such as a cross.

Flower rosaries are often given as gifts for First Communion, a wedding, or other special events.

“But this is the highest we’ve ever gone. You can’t get much higher than the president’s mother,” Pauline.