Paternoster, 'Knight's' (1470)

Dominican priest and one of the movers and shakers behind the rosary confraternity movement in the 15th C., Alanus de Rupe wrote 'Unser lieben frauen', in the 1470's, and it was one of the first printed psalters, or rosary books. In the tenth "Exemplum" (anecdote) in that book, de Rupe describes a rosary prescribed by St. Dominic for a penitent knight. 

"In the next-following figure is a paternoster that has five large stones, and after every one large stone should be ten small. The first large stone of the five is many-colored and signifies the multiplicity of your sins. The second stone is light colored, and signifies the uncertain death that is in your certain future. The third stone is red, and signifies the Last Judgment at which you must give an account of your life. The fourth stone of the five is black, and signifies hell. The fifth stone of the paternoster is gilt, and signifies the glory and joy of the saints: which glory and joy is promised to those who keep the commandment of God."

Medieval paternosters and rosaries were made of a variety of materials which were chosen for their beauty and symbolism.  Our reconstruction of the 'Knight's paternoster' is made of glass beads with gauds in the colours described by de Rupe.  

Large- Both Ave beads and gauds are 10mm and the loop measures approx.11.5" (shown on left)

Small- Ave beads are 8mm, gauds are 10mm and the loop measures approx. 8.5" (shown on right)

Individually hand made by Gwen.

(NB- I have been remiss in not crediting the translation of  Rupe's 'Exemplum' to Chris Lanning.  This translation was originally published in her blog on October 25, 2005 and can be found here:  Alanus de Rupe and the Beads of Death. My apologies for the oversight, and any upset it may have caused.)


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  • Model: SL-PAT-KNI
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This product was added to our catalog on Saturday 30 March, 2013.