Belgian Flag Rosary — My Belgian roots run deep, mostly from my LeGrave ancestors. My 2nd great grandparents were Francois and Harriette (Meunier) LeGrave. Francois was born in Ohain, Belgium in 1846, emigrated to American with his family at the age of 10, and died in America in Rosiere, Wisconsin (the small town where my father was born a few generations later) at the age of 88 (1934). Their Wisconsin home was in the small town of Brussels, around which is the largest concentration of Belgians in the world (outside of Belgium).
I decided to make this rosary modeled after the Belgian flag. Several national flags share the same colors of black, yellow, and red, but the Belgian flag's stripes run vertical with the black stripe being nearest the flagpole. So, the six Our Father beads are silver to match the color of a flagpole. The 53 Hail Mary beads are glass, a mix of black, yellow, and red, with black always being the closest to the silver beads. The chain and links are silver plated. The crucifix is a base metal, somewhat ornate. The centerpiece is an image of Our Lady, standing in a position as I'd picture her appearing to Adele Brise, a Belgian-born woman whose family settled in northeast Wisconsin. Brise went on to become a nun and teach children, just as Mary had instructed her to do when she appeared to her in 1859. This Marian apparition is at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Champion in Champion, WI.
My inspiration to make this rosary is the annual kermiss held at the Belgian Heritage Center (BHC) in Brussels, Wisconsin. A kermiss is a community festival where Belgian farmers and families would gather annually to celebrate their harvest. So, to celebrate our ancestry and honor our heritage, the BHC holds an annual kermiss each August. I made this rosary to donate to the silent auction.
You can make this powerful weapon yours by bidding on it at this year's kermiss which happens today, Aug 21, 2022, from 11am to 4pm at the BHC.