Franciscan

The Franciscan Crown

The Franciscan Crown has variously been called the Franciscan Rosary, the Seraphic Rosary or the Rosary of the Seven Joys of Our Lady.
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.

The "Seven Joys" is a devotion that recalls seven joyful episodes in the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
the Annunciation,
the Visitation,
the Nativity of Jesus,
the Adoration of the Magi,
the Finding in the Temple,
the Resurrection of Jesus,
and finally, either or both the Assumption of Mary and the Coronation of the Virgin.

The practice originated among the Franciscans in 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.

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.

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