THE SEVEN JOYS OF MARY
Also known as The Franciscan Crown Rosary
The Franciscan Crown Rosary, properly known as "The
Franciscan Crown of Our Lady's Joys" dates back to
approximately the year 1422. According to tradition, as
related by the famous Franciscan historian Father Luke
Wadding, a very pious young man who had been admitted to
the Franciscan Order in that year was saddened and had
decided to return to the world and quit the cloister.
Before his entry into the Order, it was his custom to
adorn a statue of the Blessed Virgin with a wreath of
fresh and beautiful flowers. Now, he was unable to
continue his act of piety and devotion to the Blessed
Our Lady appeared to him and prevented him from
taking such a step as he had planned. "Do not be sad and
cast down, my son," she said, "because you are no longer
permitted to place wreaths of flowers on my statue. I
shall teach you to change this pious practice into one
that will be far more pleasing to me and 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 and can always be had." When Our Lady had
disappeared, the overjoyed Novice at once began to recite
the prayers in honor of her Seven Joys, as she had
directed. While he was deeply engrossed in this
devotion, the Novice Master happened to pass by and saw
an angel weaving a marvelous wreath of roses. After
every tenth rose, he inserted a golden lily. When the
wreath was finished, the angel placed it on the head of
the praying Novice. The Novice Master demanded the
Novice tell him the meaning of this vision. The joyful
Novice complied. The good priest was so impressed that
he immediately made it known to his brethren. Thus, the
practice of reciting the Franciscan Crown of Our Lady's
Joys soon spread as a favorite devotion of the Friars.
The Joys of Mary remembered in the devotion are these:
The Annunciation of the Angel to Mary
The Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth
The Nativity of Our Lord
The Adoration of the Magi
The Finding of Jesus in the Temple
The Resurrection of Our Lord
and The Crowning of Our Lady, Mary, in Heaven as Queen
One proceeds through each of these, in this order, as one devoutly prays
an Our Father and ten Hail Marys, while thinking on each of these joys.
When you have thought and prayed about all the joys, two Hail Marys are added to make a total of 72,
which is one of several traditional numbers put forth as the number of years Our Lady Mary lived on this earth.
After this one adds an Our Father and a Hail Mary for the intentions of all faithful Bishops and our spiritual superiors.
It's a very simple devotion, but one that is very fruitful for spiritual growth.
There are many ways of praying this
within the overall framework of the devotion. We are pleased to share a couple of them with you.
A meditative form of the Franciscan Crown
A Scriptural Rosary recitation of the Franciscan Crown