JFK's personal rosary beads are being auctioned as part of a "Camelot: Fifty Years after Dallas" collection in advance of the anniversary of the president's Nov. 22, 1963, assassination approaches.
As the 50 th anniversary of his assassination approaches, President John F. Kennedy’s personal rosary beads are set to be auctioned off this week as part of a JFK-themed auction in Boston.
The rosary of black onyx beads features a sterling silver crucifix engraved with Kennedy’s name. He had given it to friend and special assistant David F. Powers, according to the New Hampshire-based RR Auction offering the item.
The item is part of a “Camelot: Fifty Years after Dallas” collection being sold on Thursday at Omni Parker House.
A 2013 letter from Powers’ son, David J. Powers, says that the elder Powers and Kennedy campaigned together from 1946 to 1963 and often attended Mass, making three wishes at each new church.
“My father was in the fateful motorcade in Dallas, right behind President Kennedy’s vehicle,” his son writes. “I can imagine that reflecting with these rosary beads gave my father comfort in the years after the President’s death.”
Rosaries are used by Roman Catholics to pray to Mary, the mother of Jesus, and to reflect on events in Jesus’ life.
Kennedy is the only Catholic to be elected U.S. president. He was 46 when assassinated on Nov. 22, 1963, as his motorcade drove through Dallas.
Among other items in the collection are an 18-karat gold ring given to Kennedy by wife Jacqueline Kennedy; the 1963 Lincoln Continental used to transport the Kennedys to their final flight to Dallas; a pair of rotary phones from the Hotel Texas presidential suite, where Kennedy made his final call; and a 1960s GE video broadcast camera that recorded the Nov. 24, 1963, shooting by Jack Ruby of Lee Harvey Oswald, who had been charged with murder in Kennedy’s death.
RR Auction says that a portion of proceeds from the rosary’s sale will benefit the non-profit David Powers Foundation that helps the Boys and Girls Club and military families.