Made in Kentuckiana: Our Lady Rosary Makers supply world with millions of rosaries


by WHAS11

Posted on April 18, 2014 at 5:07 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky.  (WHAS11) -- This Easter holiday you'll likely not only see the cross but the rosary.

It’s a Catholic symbol of prayer used around the world. But what you may not know is that many of those rosaries come from right here in Louisville.

It’s a series of prayers held in your hands. The rosary, or prayer beads, can be traced to third century B.C. when knotted ropes were first used for counting prayers.

“It was really a prayer in the days pre-printing presses, pre bibles, pre-literacy...What better way to teach someone how to pray?” Mike Ford, with Our Lady Rosary Markers International, said.

Now it’s an international symbol for prayer in the Catholic faith. Fifty-nine beads, each with a prayer and reflection.

And right here on Poplar Level Road in Louisville is an international business that sends those supplies to thousands of rosary makers around the world.

At Our Lady's Rosary Makers they call it a mission--not a business.

It started in the basement of the old St. X High School in 1949 where Brother Sylvan Mattingly started making rosaries, teaching others how to and giving them to missionaries to give away.

That's still the idea but now it’s on a much bigger scale.

There are some 14,000 rosary makers around the world who do it for fun, for craft, or even for relaxation.
Just as the prayer is a way to meditate so is the making of the rosary for many.

Out of all the rosaries in the entire world, six and a half million come from right here in Louisville.

Even the beads sold by Our Lady's Rosary Makers are made right here in Louisville at Advantage Plastics on Bishops Lane.