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A box of broken Rosaries helped Dave and Mercedes Rizzo learn that their daughter, who has autism, understood the concept of prayer.

Recently we had been tidying up the house and found a box of broken Rosaries that needed fixing. They sat tangled in front of us on the kitchen table. Several of the Rosaries had chain links broken and glass beads missing. Still they were beautiful and we decided to try our hand at repairing them.

The Rosaries were broken because our daughter Danielle, who has autism, used to twirl them around when she was younger. People with autism sometimes like to spin and twirl things. No one knows why for sure, but it's probably due to sensory processing issues. Danielle was always finding our Rosaries and before we knew it, she would break them.

So we put the broken fragments away in a box where they were forgotten until a couple of Saturdays ago. It wasn't easy putting these broken Rosaries back together. Thank goodness for our trusty pair of needle-nosed pliers to help get the job done.

An hour later five complete sets of Rosary beads were sitting neatly on the table. One of the Rosaries was color-coded to help a person like Danielle learn which prayer goes with each bead. It is our hope that Danielle might learn to do this some day.

As we sat looking at the refurbished beads and admiring our handiwork, we could see Danielle touch several icons on her electronic speech machine. Suddenly the silence was broken by the sound of an electronic voice, the voice we know as Danielle's voice, praying, "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen." 

Danielle understood that Rosary beads meant that she should pray. God is truly good.

Danielle understood that Rosary beads meant that she should pray. God is truly good. #catholicmom

Look for a new Rosary Story each day throughout October, and use the hashtag #myrosarystory to share yours on social media!

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Copyright 2020 David and Mercedes Rizzo
David and Mercedes Rizzo originally shared this story in 2018.