Antique Rosary discovered thanks to local merchant

By Raquel Garcia….

Mother Maria Jose Socias holds the antique Bavarian rosary given to her by SoMi Boutique owner Roman Compte (center) while Blessed Trinity Catholic School Principal Maria Teresa Perez smiles broadly.

SoMi Boutique Owner Roman Compte had no idea when he awakened around 5am on a recent Saturday morning to go “treasure hunting” that he would end his adventures combing area garage sales for unique jewelry and collectibles with quite the find: a 200 year old Bavarian Catholic Rosary bead necklace.

“I think God works in mysterious ways and the way it all happened, from me finding the rosary to encountering the perfect person to donate it to, it was like something out of the Twilight Zone. It is a reminder to me that God is always around and we should be careful what we do. Even though we may be going through difficult times we must remember to love one another and we should forget about money worries. It is the feelings and love that matter in this life,” suggests a philosophical Roman.

Roman says when he spotted the necklace at an estate sale in Coral Gables hosted by the niece of the owner of the cross who had recently passed away; he was struck by the elaborate filigree work and translucent red stone beads. “It was a very large estate sale and the owner was from New Orleans, Louisiana as am I, so I lingered around there for a bit and made this incredible discovery. After I got home I did a Google search and found the cross and read about its origin and estimated value at nearly $2000., a lot more than the $10. I paid for it.”

Roman decided to consult a theology teacher friend to advise him on what he should do with his treasure. “I am a Catholic after all and my friend said that if you decide to keep it you should have it blessed to cleanse any of the pain that those who prayed on it in the past may have brought with them to the sacred necklace. And if you have it blessed you certainly cannot sell it so then I was on a quest to find out where to donate it.”

Roman did not have to search for long. About two days after his find he arrived at the boutique atypically early one morning and was followed in the store by a regular customer, Maria Teresa Perez, principal of Blessed Trinity Catholic School. They got to talking and he found out the school and church were about to celebrate a festival in honor of the Virgin Mary. In the pamphlets promoting the special upcoming event he learned the insignia of the Virgin Mary “M” was the same initialized filigree design on the discovered rosary necklace. Roman had found a home for his rosary treasure.

“The church was about to host this special event in honor of the Virgin Mary and seeing the same signature initial on the cross and in the church’s event brochures it just hit me, ‘oh yikes God is watching me, I know what I have to do: donate the rosary to Blessed Trinity Catholic School” exclaimed Roman.

The cross was ultimately presented by Principal Perez to the church’s very own Mother Maria Jose Socias. Mother Socias was celebrating her 25th year anniversary and thanks to Roman Compte, and his apparently pre-ordained treasure hunt, Mother Maria Jose received the perfect commemorative present for her years of service to the school: an antique Bavarian rosary necklace 200 years in the making for her special day.

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