KOCHI: A rosary exhibition took place at the Sacred Heart College in Thevara on Thursday. There were rosaries from 72 countries. “Some of the rosaries are more than 200 years old,” says collector Sabu Caiter. “There are rosaries from Jerusalem, Bethlehem and many other holy places.”
Some of his rosaries were in the possession of notables. “I have a rosary that has been used by Mother Teresa,” he says. When Pope John Paul II visited Kerala in 1986, Sabu was able to get a rosary blessed by the Pontiff. Later, he got one from Pope Benedict XVI. “I also have rosaries blessed by 130 Bishops,” he says. Some of them have been made of gold, pearls, copper, steel, sandalwood, and coconut fibre. There are rosaries that symbolise the five continents, rosaries made of a thousand pearls, luminous and wedding rosaries. “Many cardinals, bishops, priests, nuns, friends and relatives have contributed to my collection,”: says Sabu, who has a collection of 36,000 rosaries.
Sabu Caiter was 13 when his grandfather died. As he was about to be buried, Sabu grabbed the rosary that was placed on his grandfather’s chest. “I wanted to have something that would remind me of my grandfather,” says Sabu. Little did he realise that it would engender a passion for rosaries. Of course, it helped that both his parents were avid rosary collectors. Soon, Sabu became one. When relatives and friends who lived abroad asked him what he wanted, he always said, “Please bring me a rosary.”
At his house in North Paravur, he has set aside one room to store the rosaries. They are kept in small plastic boxes.