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The Story of the Franciscan Crown Rosary

In the year 1422, a certain young man who had a reverent devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and always adorned her statue with a wreath of flowers, was admitted to the Order of Friars Minor. Not being able to gather flowers and continue this practice in the novitiate, he decided to return to the world, but before leaving, he went to Mary's altar to beg her protection.

Our Lady then appeared to him and said: "Do not be sad and cast down because you are no longer permitted to place wreaths of flowers on my statue. I will teach you to change this pious practice into one that will be far more pleasing to me and far more meritorious for 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 are always available.
"Recite one Our Father and ten Hail Marys while recalling the seven joys I experienced. If you recite these prayers as I have directed, rest assured, dear son, you will weave for me a most beautiful and acceptable crown and will merit for yourself innumerable graces."

The novice began at once to pray as directed. Meanwhile, the novice master entered and saw an angel weaving a wreath of roses and after every tenth rose he inserted a golden lily. When the wreath was finished, he placed it on the youth's head. The master then commanded the youth to tell him what he had been doing; and the novice explained he had been saying the rosary as the Blessed Virgin had instructed him to do.

As a result, the custom of reciting this crown of seven Our Fathers and 72 Hail Marys, in honor of the 72 years which our Lady lived on earth, became widespread.

How to Say the Franciscan Crown Rosary

Announce the First Mystery and Say the Our Father on the fifth bead from the Cross.

Say one Hail Mary for each of the ten beads.

Announce the Second Mystery and then say the Our Father. Repeat steps 1 and 2 for the 3rd through the 7th Mysteries.

The Traditional Mysteries of the Franciscan Crown

     1. Annunciation (Luke 1:31-32)
     2. Visitation (Luke 1:42, 45 )
     3. Nativity (Luke 2:6-7)
     4. Adoration by the Magi (Matthew 2:1-6)
     5. Finding in the Temple (Luke 2:46-47)
     6. Resurrection (Matthew 28:5-6)
     7. Assumption and Coronation of Mary Judith 13:18 and Revelation 12

Say two Hail Marys to complete 72 years of Mary's Joy on the fourth and third beads from the Cross.

Finish with Our Father and Hail Mary for the intentions of the Holy Father on the beads closest to the Cross.

(Notice the Franciscan Crown does not begin with the Apostles Creed, nor are there any Glories in this prayer. But since its a devotion and not a liturgy, you can do it anyway you like.)

Another approach to the Franciscan Crown Rosary:

Joyful Mysteries, Monday and Wednesday:
     Immaculate Conception
     Mary Visits Elizabeth
     The Birth of Jesus
     Visit of the Magi
     Presentation in the Temple
     Finding Jesus in the Temple

Luminous Mysteries, Thursday
     Baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan
     The Wedding Feast of Cana
     His Announcing the Kingdom of God
     His Transfiguration
     Raising Lazarus from the Dead
     The Entrance into Jerusalem
     The Last Supper

Sorrowful Mysteries, Tuesday and Friday
     The Agony in the Garden
     His Trials before Religious and Civil Authorities
     The Scourging at the Pillar
     His Crowning with Thorns
     Jesus Carries his Cross
     Jesus meets his Sorrowing Mother
     Jesus Dies on the Cross.

The Glorious Mysteries, Saturday and Sunday*
     The Resurrection of Jesus
     The Ascension of Jesus
     The Descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost
     The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
     The Coronation of Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth
     The Last Judgment

* During the Christmas Season the Joyful Mysteries are celebrated on Sunday. 
   During the Lenten Season the Sorrowful Mysteries are celebrated on Sunday.

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