Alex Bourque — This is perhaps the most powerful rosary that I've made. I received this request in an email one afternoon; I made the rosary that same day late at night and shipped it the following morning. That's the short story. But the full story has only just begun.
First, about the rosary itself. All beads are 8mm glass beads. The crucifix is red enamel. The matching pewter centerpiece features St. Florian, the patron saint of firefighters. I also hung a charm which has two axes and a fireman helmet. The chain is silver plated.
The full story started on Sunday, May 8, 2022 with an email that I received from Bryan Champagne, Fire Chief at the Broussard Fire Department in Broussard, LA. He shared with me the story of Alex Bourque, a 26-year-old firefighter with a wife and two sons, who was in the fight of his life against cancer. He asked if I'd make for him a version of my Firefighter Rosary with just a couple of small changes. Something just hit me about this unique request, I think it was the Holy Spirit talking to me. Plus, I've lost both of my parents to cancer, I know what it's like to pray for healing. So I made this rosary immediately and shipped it the next morning. Bryan and I exchanged several emails in the ensuing days, one of which told me that Alex passed away on Wednesday, May 11, only three days after I made the rosary. Heartbreaking. His funeral was on Monday, May 16 (my 35th wedding anniversary). I was told subsequently that in his casket, Alex held this rosary in his hands. WOW! Just WOW!
There is so much more to this story, so much that tugs at my heart and even has me in tears. Let's just say that this whole experience has been very special to me, and I'll forever cherish being a just small part of the last few days of Alex's life.
If you listen to my rosary podcast episode 91 and episode 92, you'll get a clearer picture of the rest of the story.
Note: The background in these photos is different from the white background used in the photos of all my other rosaries. This is a result of the speed at which I made this. I didn't have time to setup my little photo station, so I just took the photos on the counter at the UPS store.