Franciscan Crown

The Franciscan Crown (or Seraphic Rosary) is a rosary consisting of seven decades in commemoration of the Seven Joys of the Virgin, namely, the Annunciation, the Visitation, the Nativity of Jesus, the Adoration of the Magi, the Finding in the Temple, the Resurrection of Jesus, and either the Assumption of Mary, or the Coronation of the Virgin. Devotion to the seven joys of Mary is found in a variety of forms and communities. It is especially popular Franciscans, Cistercians, and the Annunciades of St. Joan of France. The devotion was granted many indulgences by different Popes, becoming the most heavily indulgenced devotion in the Church. Whereas other rosaries required blessed beads to be used in order for any associated indulgences to be received it was unnecessary for a Franciscan rosary to have been blessed or even to use beads at all in specific instances.


The Franciscan Crown has variously been called the Franciscan Rosary, the Seraphic Rosary or the Rosary of the Seven Joys of Our Lady. The "Seven Joys" is a devotion that recalls seven joyful episodes in the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The practice originated among the Franciscans in early 15th-century Italy. The themes resemble the 12th-century "Gaudes", Latin praises that ask Mary to rejoice because God has favored her in various ways.

The Franciscan historian, Father Luke Wadding (1588-1657) dates the origin of the Franciscan Crown to the year 1422. In 1442 an apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary took place in Assisi, to a Franciscan novice named James. As a child, he had the custom of offering daily the Virgin Mary a crown of roses. When he entered the Friars Minor, he became distressed that he would no longer be able to offer this gift. The Blessed Virgin appeared to him to give him comfort and showed him another daily offering that he might do: to pray every day seven decades of Hail Marys, meditating between each decade on one of the seven joys that she had experienced in her life. Friar James began this devotion, but one day the Director of Novices saw him praying and an angel with him who was weaving a crown of roses, placing a lily of gold between each of the ten roses. When the novice had finished praying, the angel placed the crown upon him. The Director asked Friar James what this vision meant. After hearing the explanation, he told the other friars and soon this devotion spread throughout the Franciscan family.

Among the Friars Minor, the promotion of this devotion is attributed to St. Bonaventure, Bl. Cherubin of Spoleto,St. John Capistran, Pelbart of Temesvár, and St. Bernadine of Siena to mention a few. St. Bernadine is also said to have had a vision of the Virgin Mary when he was meditating on the seven joys of Mary.

How to pray the Franciscan Crown

Sign of the Cross :"V." + In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.:"R." Amen!

Mysteries of the Seven Joys of the Virgin Mary - After each mystery, pray one Our Father and ten Hail Marys
#The Annunciation of the angel Gabriel of Mary. (Luke 1: 26-33; 38)
#The Visitation of Mary to her cousin Elizabeth. (Luke 1:39-45)
#The Nativity of our Lord Jesus. (Luke 2:1-7 or 2:6-12)
#The Adoration of the Magi/Epiphany. (Matthew 2:1-2 & 9-11)
#The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple. (Luke 2:22-23 & 25-32)
#The Resurrection of our Lord Jesus. (Mark 16:1-7, Luke 24:36-41, John 20:19-22)
#The Assumption & Coronation of Mary {Luke 1:46-55, Psalm 45 (44):11-14, Rev.12:1;5-6}

It is customary, after the seventh mystery, to pray two Hail Marys to bring the total number to seventy-two in honor of the tradition that the Virgin lived for seventy-two years on earth.

Prayer for the PopeCatholics customarily pray an Our Father, a Hail Mary, and a Glory Be for the intentions of the Pope.

Sign of the Cross:"V." In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.:"R." Amen.

External links

* [ The story of its origin as well as how to pray it, from a 19th century Franciscan manual]
* [ Catholic Encyclopedia Article]
* [ Seven Joys--Online Prayer] . The devotion presented in order, step-by-step. Each of the Seven Joys includes a holy image, customary prayers, and Scripture reading suggestion.



*Documented History of the Franciscan Order
*Franciscans at Prayer
*New Catholic Encyclopedia


*Faith Seeking Understanding

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