Posted by: Jina Bacarr | June 14, 2011

Titanic, the Irish, the rosary…and Katie O’Reilly

Last time I spoke about Margaret Rice and her five sons who boarded the Titanic at Queenstown, Ireland. And how Margaret and all five of her boys were lost…

When her body was recovered, she was identified as being a Catholic by her rosary.

Many survivors said they saw passengers–including many men–on bent knee saying the rosary at the time of the sinking.

The word “rosary” comes from the Latin meaning “garland of roses.” Rosaries are usually made from plastic or wood. I remember my grandmother making rosaries by hand for the missions. I still have the cornflower blue rosary she made for me among my keepsakes.

In my story, my heroine Katie O’Reilly takes her few possessions with her on the ship, including her mother’s black rosary beads. They’re a symbol of everything she’s left behind in Ireland.

And of her faith.

Katie grabs her rosary when she’s at her lowest point after the ship hits the iceberg:

Hot tears veiled her eyes and they burned something awful. In the whole of her life Katie had never felt more alone. She wiped her face, picked up her black rosary, then huddled in the corner of the bunk with only her wounded pride and lost hope for company.

Abandoned by her God she was, for surely He had listened without sympathy to her pleadings and sent the girls to give her hope, then take it away.

How Katie gets her faith back and learns to believe in herself is an important part of my story.

Also, how her staunch beliefs change the life of Captain Lord Jack Blackthorn, a gentleman gambler, is even more amazing…

Next time: Titanic and Gamblers

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