Mother Tereasa Job's Tears Rosaries

Posted by Kim Williams on

 Job's Tears Rosaries

Mother Teresa of Calcutta who incidentally is my most loved modern day saint, was well known for  her simplicity and humility.  Mother Teresa of Calcutta favoured a simple Rosary made of Job’s Tears for her personal prayers. She would make her own seed bead Rosaries and hand them out to people.

You can find our beautiful grass seed Rosaries on our online shop in the Job's Tears Rosary Collection. We are also able to make more personalised Job's Tears Rosaries by adding names/letter beads to the decades. My personalised Mother's Rosary made from Job's Tears, has the name of my three children within the decades.

So what is this special bead?

It is a beautiful tear drop shaped tropical grass seed/ fruit of the plant called Coix lacryma-job. It has a hard shiny bluish-grey porcelain feel coat with a natural hole at its tip, making in rather conducive to string for beaded craft and other jewelery.

We are not the first to see the value in this natural bead which has been found and utilized in jewelry since 3000 B.C. Its scientific name Coix lachrymjobi is actually a common seed produced by long tall grass that favours growing along river banks. It grows in various places around the world and in ditches of tropical areas, including Asia and back home here in South Africa. Growing up as a child in Kwa Zulu Natal, we would make our own beads from theses seeds, collecting them with our local rural ladies, along the river, hence the name Zulu River Beads or Zulu teething beads, because they are cool to the touch and have been used for centuries as teething beads in the form of necklaces or bracelets. (Zulu - a warrior tribe in the province of Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa for our foreign readers).

They are are called Imfibinga or chwabisi seeds by the Zulu tribe in South Africa and can be found near the Mpumalanga river in KwaZulu Natal. These tropical wild grass seeds which come in various shades of grey and brown, have been gathered for centuries.

Each of our Job's Tears Rosaries are handmade and the beads are as they are found in nature and therefore sizes vary. Some of the beads are coloured naturally to get the blue, green, pink, yellow colours making for really unique and gorgeous Rosaries. Why not you gift a loved one who can carry the gift and touch of Africa with them?

How did it come to be called Job's Tears?

Legend has is that this Coix lacryma-job fruit derived its name in memory of the many tears that Job himself shed in the Old Testament writings/scriptures. We know from scripture that Job endured countless agonies, weeping untold tears unto God which were never wasted because the teachings tell us when Job's tears fell to the ground, a miracle would occur. According to legend it is these very tears which became the seeds which in turn sprouted, growing into tall grass producing unmatched beauty. Its a reminder that in our tears we can still find beauty if we look. I love these Rosaries and find praying with them a constant reminder that through praying the Rosary miracles do indeed happen. Being a very tactile human I do love the feel of the beads between my fingers when praying.

A little history.

In other places around the world they are also known as corn beads, coix seed or tear grass, and as mentioned are a member of the grass family and intend to grow quite similar to corn. More recently they were uncovered in a western Native American historical site.  It was used as an important food source. Back to modern today where they are primarily used for their very hard, teardrop shaped grains as beads for making jewelry and other craft projects. Job's Tears are also used in traditional Chinese medicine, where they are known as yi yi ren.

Mother Teresa chose to carry a simple rosary of Job’s Tears but during the Middle Ages members of religious orders were forbidden to carry Rosaries made of more expensive materials such as amber. Thank goodness we are now free to make beautiful Rosaries with an array of beads.

What Makes Them Shiny?

A unique feature of these seeds is that the oils of the hands of the person praying with them make them shinier. They can darken the more you pray with them. with time old Rosaries can turn a beautiful rich chestnut brown. Mother Teresa's Rosary must have all been a very rich chestnut brown! 

Don't forget to take a look at our Job's Tears Rosaries and order yours!


The Village Artist






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