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Temecula Artist Designs Rosary For Pope Francis

TEMECULA ( — A Temecula artist known for her high-end rosary designs received what was perhaps her greatest order ever, when clergy at the Carmel Mission recently asked her to design a rosary for none other than Pope Francis.

Arasely Rios said it was quite the honor.

"It's an incredible honor to be chosen to make a piece a very exclusive design for the Pope," Rios said. "It was happy day."

It took Rios hours upon hours to come up with a design fit for a pope, known for his concern for the poor.

"He's really a pope for the people and I wanted the beads the design the packaging to align with love homily and faith," Rios said.

Some of Araceli's pieces sell for hundreds of dollars and people have questioned the high price tags on religious items. But Rios said using the best materials is important.

"These rosaries are little alters to God," she said. "They have the best possible materials I can find."

Rios flew from her home here in Temecula to the East Coast to be a part of Wednesday's canonization of Franciscan Missionary Junipero Serra. The rosary was to be presented to Francis by representatives of the Carmel Mission.

She realizes Francis is going to get lots of gifts but she's just hoping he uses her rosary in a prayer at least once.

Meanwhile, staff at the Carmel Mission said Rios' rosaries are flying off their gift store shelves.


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