Friday, June 14, 2013

The Franciscan Crown Rosary

BEADS OF JOY 06-14-13
“Franciscan Crown Rosary”
©2013 James Dacey, Jr. OFS

The Franciscan Crown Rosary
The Seven Joys of Mary

How to Pray The Franciscan Crown Rosary

1. Using beads for the Franciscan Crown (seven decades), announce the First Mystery and pray the Our Father on the single bead just before the medallion.

2. Pray one Hail Mary for each of the ten beads. (It seems most fitting to proceed around the beads in a clockwise direction.)

3. On the single bead between the decades, announce the next Mystery and then pray the Our Father. Continue as in Step 2 for the remaining Mysteries.

4. After the last Mystery, pray one Hail Mary each on the fourth and third beads from the Cross to complete 72 years of Mary’s Joy.

5. Pray the Our Father and the Glory to the Father (Gloria Patri) for the intention of the Holy Father on the 2nd bead from the Cross.

6. Pray a Hail Mary on the single bead closest to you.


The Seven Joys of Mary

1. The Annunciation (Luke 1:26–38 & Isaiah 7:10-14)
May I become your humble servant, Lord.

2. The Visitation (Luke 1:39–45, 56)
Grant us true love of neighbor, Lord

3. The Nativity (Luke 2:1–7 & Matthew 2:1-12)
Give us true poverty of spirit, Lord.

4. The Adoration by the Magi (Matthew 2:1–2, 9b–11)
Help me obey all just laws.

5. The Finding of Our Lord in the Temple (Luke 2:41–51)
May I never lose you through serious sin, Lord.

6. The Resurrection (Luke 24:1–8 & Mark 16:1-8)
May we share your glory, Lord.

7. The Assumption (Judith 13:18 and Revelation 12:1; 21:1-6 and John 11:17-27)
Mary, may we share your crown of eternal life.

According to Franciscan tradition the Seven Joys of Our Lady are recited throughout the year. However, in recent years, some substitute the Seven Sorrows of Mary during penitential seasons.


First Sorrow: The prophecy of Simion. “When Mary and Joseph present the infant Jesus in the temple, Simeon predicts that a "sword”(of sorrow) will pierce her soul. Luke 2: 25-35.

Second Sorrow: The flight into Egypt “When King Herod orders the death of all male children age two or younger, Mary and Joseph flee to Egypt with the infant Jesus.” Matt 2:13-15.

Third Sorrow: The Child Jesus Lost in the Temple “Mary and Joseph search for the child Jesus for three days, finding him at last in the temple.” Luke 2; 41-50.

 Fourth Sorrow: Mary meets Jesus carrying the cross “Mary shares Jesus' suffering as He carries the cross through the streets of Jerusalem.” Luke 23: 27-29.

Fifth Sorrow: Mary at the foot of the cross. “Mary witnesses the crucifixion and death of Jesus.” John 19: 25-30.

Sixth Sorrow: Mary receives the body of Jesus. “Jesus is taken down from the cross and his body is placed in Mary's arms.” Psalm 130.

Seventh Sorrow: Mary witnesses the burial of Jesus. “The body of Jesus is laid in the tomb and Mary awaits the Resurrection.” Luke 23: 50-56.

A Bit of History

The Franciscan Crown, or "Rosary of the Seven Joys of the Blessed Virgin Mary" -- also known as the "Seraphic Rosary" -- is a 7-decade Rosary that focuses on the 7 Joys of Mary. It's an ancient Franciscan sacramental that has its origins in A.D. 1422, when a young man, whose name is unknown to us, joined the Franciscan Order. He'd had the practice of crowning a statue of Mary with garlands of fresh flowers, but couldn't continue the practice during his novitiate. When he was tempted to leave the Order, he had a vision of Our Lady, who told him, "Do not be sad and cast down, my son, because you are no longer permitted to place wreaths of flowers on my statue. I will teach you to change this pious practice into one that will be far more pleasing to me and far more meritorious to your soul. In place of the flowers that soon wither and cannot always be found, you can weave for me a crown from the flowers of your prayers that will always remain fresh."
She then asked that the novice say one Our Father and 10 Hail Mary’s in honor of each of her Seven Joys -- the Annunciation; Visitation; Nativity; Adoration of the Magi; Finding Jesus in the Temple; Resurrection; and Assumption and Coronation of the Virgin.

The young friar began his prayers as instructed, and when he was deep in the middle of it, the novice master noticed him, and watched as an Angel wove a garland of fresh roses, inserting a golden lily after each tenth rose. When the novice's prayers were finished, the Angel crowned him with the garland.

The novice master asked if the novice knew anything about the vision he'd just seen, and after it was explained to him, he told the rest of his brothers what he'd seen. Thereafter, the practice of reciting what became known as the "Franciscan Crown" spread.

Seven decades of 10 Hail Mary’s equal 70 Hail Mary’s, but two Hail Mary’s were later added to make the total of the Hail Mary’s equal to seventy-two, the number of years that Our Lady is said to have lived on earth.

To pray the Franciscan Crown, one simply prays an Our Father, and then 10 Hail Mary’s, for each decade, in honor of each of the 7 Joys at each decade (meditation on those Joys isn't necessary). Then add two Hail Mary’s at the end. One may also add an Our Father, Hail Mary, and a Glory Be at the very end for the intentions of the Holy Father.

There are many variations of the Seraphic Rosary: some add the Apostles Creed, three Hail Mary’s, and an Our Father before beginning, as in the Dominican Rosary; some add Glory Be's to the Our Father in between the decades, etc.

I hope this will be helpful in your devotion. God Bless.


Your brother in Christ Jesus 
And His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr OFS

MY FIRST BOOK. More to come…