Hometown Hero: 91-year-old’s handmade rosaries reach people around the world

Hometown Heroes

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – At 91 years old, this week’s Hometown Hero uses what she calls a gift from God every day.

“I grab a handful of beads in my hand and I have the cord.”

Agnes Siragusa loves making rosaries.

“It gives me something to do. I can’t do anything else. I can make rosaries though, you may ask me, ‘Make rosaries,’ I’ll make rosaries,” she said.

Over the years, Siragusa has made thousands of rosaries with the help of her son, who sends her all of the hand-cut cords and beads.

For Siragusa, making rosaries began about 30 years ago, at a chapel on the west side of Youngstown. But, her sons say she’s always had a giving heart.

“As we were growing up, she was always volunteering,” said her son Steve Fedorisin.

It hasn’t come without challenges — a surgery when her sons were growing up left her hands going numb.

“She lost feeling in her hands so she found out that by doing things with her hands it kept them limber,” Steve said.

And when she broke her hip in 2013, she didn’t let it stop her.

She now makes rosaries almost every day.

“Since 2013, I think the estimate was around 7,000. So she can when she’s feeling good and her hands are steady. She can make 12-15 a day,” said her son Bill Fedorisin.

“I hate to brag, but I can make rosaries really, really fast,” she said.

Siragusa will make a rosary for anyone who wants one.

Recently, a rosary group has started sending Siragusa’s beads all over the world, to missionaries and children from New York to India.

“I give them to everybody, anybody that wants a rosary, I can give them a rosary, no problem,” Siragusa said.

She says being able to make these rosaries at 91 and spread them around the world is a gift from God.

“I feel good, I feel happy. There’s something about it, making the rosaries, a feeling that I’m part of God. I really feel that way, I’m connected with God that way,” she said.

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