"An Paidrin Beag", in the Irish language "Paidrin" means Rosary and "Beag" means small. "The Little Rosary" is a single-decade rosary used in Ireland in the Penal days, when it was forbidden to practice the Catholic faith in Ireland. The Irish Penal Chaplet consists of 10 beads (a decade) plus one additional bead strung on a cord with a ring at one end. The ring could easily be attached to the finger and hidden in the hand and/or up a sleeve, allowing one to pray the rosary without being detected.
Place the ring on the thumb and commence the recitation of the Rosary in the normal way. After completing the first decade, move ring to first finger and so on for each decade
Religious persecution in Ireland began under Henry VIII (1540 till about 1731). The local Parliament adopted acts establishing the king's ecclesiastical supremacy, abolishing the pope's jurisdiction, and suppressing religious houses. A trip through the countryside of Ireland today will yield ruins of monasteries and churches everywhere. After awhile, one has to ask, what really happened? It is a long and sad history as soon after this came the Potato Famine which claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of men, women and children.
In 1691, King James II signed the Treaty of Limerick. This assured that the Irish Catholics were secure to own their own land, could speak their own language and above all, practice their religion. History tells us that as soon as he left Ireland, the treaty was broken and all the guarantees above were denied by the English.
Death became the common penalty for attending or celebrating the Mass. Many Priests and Laity lost their lives in the underground churches. These times became known as the 'Penal Times' and the Irish Penal Rosary became popular.