The Franciscan Crown or The Seven Joys of the Blessed Virgin Mary
This seven decade rosary is a Franciscan devotion that dates back to 1422. We are told that a young man who had a very sincere devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary entered the Franciscan Order. As a layman he had always kept his statue of the Virgin adorned with fresh flowers, and now was troubled when he realized that he could not continue that in the novitiate. Our Lady is said to have appeared to him and suggested a practice even more pleasing to her, saying “You can weave me a crown from the flowers of your prayers.” She then told him of her seven joys and the prayers he could say.
This young man began these prayers as directed and grew in holiness. One day his Novice Master observed him in prayer and saw an angel weaving a crown of flowers and placing it on the novice’s head. This led to the friars adopting the recitation of the Seven Joys of Mary as a favorite form of prayer. Each decade consists of one Our Father, ten Hail Mary’s, and a Gloria. Each of the Joys is introduced with a prayer as follows:
1. The ANNUNCIATION: O Immaculate Mary, saluted by the angel, obtain for me a constant union with Jesus through the practice of obedience.
2. The VISITATION: O Mary, who visited Elizabeth for the sanctification of John the Baptist, obtain for me that ardent zeal for charity which Jesus bears to souls.
3. The BIRTH of JESUS: O Mary, so poor in the stable, obtain for me the riches of Franciscan poverty that will aid me to find Jesus and to say with truth, My God and My All!
4. The ADORATION of the MAGI: O Mary, who presented Jesus to the Magi, obtain for me an ever growing faith that I may communicate it to souls with whom I come in contact.
5. The FINDING of JESUS in the TEMPLE: O Mary, happy in finding Jesus, obtain for me the fidelity to grace that I may never lose Jesus and aid me to repair his loss in souls.
6. The RESURRECTION of JESUS: O Mary, consoled by the risen Jesus, obtain for me a supernatural spirit which will console me by the life of Jesus in my soul and in the souls of many.
7. The ASSUMPTION of MARY: O Mary, Mother of Love, triumphant in glory, draw me near to thee by means of a persevering love for your Divine Son and by the desire of heaven.
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