How do I pray with a 7-decade Rosary? What is the Franciscan Crown?


#1

History

The Franciscan Crown is a special Rosary consisting of seven decades. It is also known as the Seraphic Rosary. In the early fifteenth century, a young man with a special devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary used to weave a crown of wildflowers to place on a beautiful statue of the Blessed Mother. When this young man decided to enter the Franciscan Order, he was saddened that, as a novice, he no longer would be able to go out and gather the flowers required for his personal devotion. He even thought about leaving the order. One evening, while he was having these thoughts, the Blessed Mother appeared to him in a vision. She encouraged him to remain in his new vocation, and reminded him of the joyfulness of the Franciscan spirit.

She explained to him that he could still weave a crown for her, only it would be a crown of prayers, instead of flowers. This would be even more pleasing to her than a crown of wildflowers. She told him that he should meditate on seven joyful events in her life, and that this would be a new form of Rosary. The young novice began to pray in this manner, other Franciscans followed him, and in 1422, the Crown Rosary was established as an official prayer of the Franciscan Order. It is used by all three of the Franciscan Orders (first order, second order, and third order regular and secular).


#2

The Mysteries

As with the Dominican Rosary, the Franciscan Crown is prayed while meditating on special events in the life of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. In the case of the Franciscan Crown, the mysteries used are the Seven Joys of Mary.

**The First Joy: **The Annunciation – The angel Gabriel visits Mary to announce to her that she is to conceive by the Holy Spirit and bear a son, Jesus, who will become the Savior of the world.

The Second Joy: The Visitation – Mary goes to the hill country to visit her cousin, Elizabeth, who is also with child.

The Third Joy: The Nativity – Jesus is born.

The Fourth Joy: The Adoration by the Magi – The Wise Men, recognizing that the newborn Jesus is the long-awaited Savior, come from the East to do Him homage.

The Fifth Joy: The Finding of Jesus in the Temple – After three days of frantic searching, Mary and Joseph find the young Jesus in the temple of Jerusalem.

The Sixth Joy: The Resurrection – Jesus is raised from the dead.

The Seventh Joy: The Assumption and Coronation – Mary is assumed into Heaven, body and soul. She is crowned Queen of Heaven.


#3

How to Pray the Franciscan Crown

A set of Franciscan Crown Rosary beads contains seven decades, one for each Joy of Mary. The crucifix may be of the San Damiano design. If you don’t have a set of special Crown Rosary beads, you can pray without using beads, or you can use a set of five-decade beads, and start around again for the sixth and seventh decades.

The San Damiano Crucifix:

http://usera.imagecave.com/TaiChiPanther2/sdcross.gif


#4

I guess you care allowed to vary it a bit compared to usual. Read the bottom of this page.
fisheaters.com/franciscancrown.html

This link puts it together better.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franciscan_Crown


#5

Begin with the Sign of the Cross:

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Optional: Some people pray the Apostles’ Creed following the Sign of the Cross.

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.


#6

Announce the first Joy of Mary, “The Annunciation”.

Meditate on this joy while praying the prayers for this decade.

http://usera.imagecave.com/TaiChiPanther2/Annunciation-copy.jpg


#7

Proceed to the first Our Father bead.

Pray the Our Father:

*Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. *
Amen.


#8

On each of the next ten beads, pray the Hail Mary:

Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.


#9

Follow this with the Glory Be:

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.


#10

Continue on to the next decade, announcing the second Joy of Mary, and repeating the Our Father, the Hail Mary (10 times, one for each Hail Mary bead), and the Glory Be.

Repeat this procedure for each of the remaining decades.

(If this Rosary is being prayed in a group, one person may wish to read a more detailed meditation for each decade.)


#11

At the end of the seven decades, you will have prayed the Hail Mary a total of 70 times. In honor of the 72 years the Blessed Virgin Mary is thought to have lived before being assumed into Heaven, two additional Hail Marys are added immediately after the final Glory Be (use the two beads before the first Our Father bead).


#12

Next, pray one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory Be for the intentions of the Pope (use the last two remaining beads – the ones closest to the crucifix).


#13

Finish with the Sign of the Cross.

http://usera.imagecave.com/TaiChiPanther2/sdcross.gif


#14

Are there not seven sorrows that represent another meditation? I am pasting the list below from here:

ixeh.net/faith/Seven-S/ss-menu.html

ixeh.net/faith/Images/icons/button-v.jpg 1. The Prophecy of Simeon. Reading: Luke 2: 25-35.
ixeh.net/faith/Images/icons/button-v.jpg 2. The Flight into Egypt. Reading: Matthew 2: 13-15.
ixeh.net/faith/Images/icons/button-v.jpg 3. The Child Jesus Lost in the Temple. Reading: Luke 2: 41-50.
ixeh.net/faith/Images/icons/button-v.jpg 4. Mary meets Jesus carrying the cross. Reading: Luke 23: 27-29.
ixeh.net/faith/Images/icons/button-v.jpg 5. Mary at the foot of the cross. Reading: John 19: 25-30.
ixeh.net/faith/Images/icons/button-v.jpg 6. Mary receives the body of Jesus. Reading: Psalm 130.
ixeh.net/faith/Images/icons/button-v.jpg 7. Mary witnesses the burial of Jesus. Reading: Luke 23: 50-56.

Kind of cool how the botton-links came along with the text. :slight_smile:


#15

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#16

The Seven Sorrows of Mary are sometimes used in personal practice as alternative meditations when praying the Franciscan Crown Rosary.

A little history

About the same time that St. Francis was starting his order, a group of prosperous men were meeting in Florence, Italy as part of a religious society intended to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary. Like Francis, these men left their comfortable lives to begin leading lives of holy poverty and penance. They eventually became known as the Friar Servants of Mary, or Servites.

The Servites originated a special devotion based on seven sorrowful events in the life of our Blessed Mother.

Although the meditations on the Seven Sorrows of Mary do not constitute a Franciscan devotion (and they have their own special set of Rosary beads), they are sometimes used in personal practice to pray the Franciscan Crown Rosary during penitential seasons such as Lent.

The Seven Sorrows:

The First Sorrow: The Prophecy of Simeon - During the Presentation, Mary hears the prophetic words of Simeon, “Behold this child is set for the fall, and for the resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be contradicted.”

The Second Sorrow: The Flight into Egypt - Mary and Joseph must flee their home to protect the child Jesus.

The Third Sorrow: The Child Jesus is Lost in Jerusalem - Mary experiences grief when Jesus disappears in Jerusalem for three days.

The Fourth Sorrow: Mary meets Jesus as He makes His way to Calvary - Mary experiences absolute sorrow as she sees her Son, defiled and bruised, carry His cross on the way to Calvary.

The Fifth Sorrow: Mary stands at the foot of the cross - Once again, Mary experiences sorrow as she sees her Son dying on the cross, and is unable to minister to Him.

The Sixth Sorrow: Mary receives the body of Jesus - When Jesus is taken down from the Cross, Mary is grief-stricken as she receives Him into her arms.

The Seventh Sorrow: Mary places Jesus in the tomb - Mary, in total sorrow, places the body of her beloved Son into the tomb.


#17

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