Sunday, October 9, 2011

Franciscan Crown Rosary with Meditations

(Our SFO fraternity prays this rosary at our May and October meetings.  It is recommended to be prayed on Saturdays)

Method of Praying the Franciscan Crown with these Meditations

Begin with the first decade, without any introductory prayers, announcing the first Joy, reflecting on the Meditation, and offering the prayer which follows. Then pray one Our Father and ten Hail Marys in honor of that mystery. Continue in the same manner with the remaining six decades, praying each one in honor of the mystery commemorated. On finishing the seventh decade, offer two Hail Marys (on the two beads near the link), in honor of the seventy-two years of Our Lady’s earthly pilgrimage. Finally, pray one Our Father and one Hail Mary (on the two beads nearest the cross) for the intentions of the Holy Father. There is no Creed nor any other prayer on the cross, nor are any of the traditional Marian prayers, such as the Hail Holy Queen or “O my Jesus….,” said during the recitation of the Franciscan Crown Rosary. A Marian hymn may precede or follow the Crown.

The Franciscan Crown, also called the Rosary of the Seven Joys of the Blessed Virgin, dates back to the year 1422, and is still a traditional devotion for all three Orders of St. Francis in honor of the Mother of God.

Franciscan Crown Rosary: Mirror of a Franciscan Vocation

Sister M. Bernetta Quinn, OSF
Rochester, Minnesota (1954)

Our Lady’s Joys

I offer you these joys, each one a gem to gleam, dear Mother, in your diadem:

     The first, a sapphire-truth of Gabriel’s words
          More musical than flights of singing birds;

     The next, an emerald-sign of hope in Him
          who slept within you, hymned by Seraphim;

     The third, a ruby-charity in bloom
          against your heart in Bethlehem’s narrow room;

     The fourth, a topaz-like the Wise Men’s star
          Lighting their way from country strange and far;

     The fifth, a diamond-tears that turned to joy
          When with the Doctors you beheld your Boy;

     The sixth, an opal- quick with fire that shone
          From the wounds of Christ that earliest Easter dawn;

     The seventh, a pearl- that prize worth all the rest.
          Hail, Queen, forever reigning, ever blest!

First Joy - The Annunciation

As fire to bush the Word to Mary came,
Who, unconsumed, burned with a silver flame.
O Eucharistic Lord, come and ignite
my spirit with Your uncreated Light!


Mary, just before she conceived Christ, was preparing her soul for union with God, although unaware of what form this union would take. A brief conversation with an angel, and she found herself one with God in a unique and ineffable way. Before Communion, we too prepare the Portiuncula of our heart for this entry; afterward, though the material accidents conceal the fact, our Lord is no less really present in us than He was in His Immaculate Mother.


Dearest Lady, more than mirror of the Divine Son, very tabernacle of His dwelling, obtain for us through your loving prayers such cooperation with grace that we also may conceive within our soul your everliving Son.

Second Joy – The Visitation

Our Lady left the nest of Nazareth
That Christ her son might bless Elizabeth.
Stay with me, Lord, throughout the busy day;
anoint with grace all that I do or say.


Framed between two lovely songs, the Magnificat and the Benedictus, the birth of John the Baptist set aglow, as a flame lights a candle, the thought of a Redeemer in each citizen of the hill country who came to the precursor’s christening. Before and after this holy nativity, the gentle presence of Mary blessed the one of Zachary, as we too bless the places to which we bring the Christ united to us in the Eucharist, and pledged to remain in our heart as long as grace continues there.


Our Lady of Service, for whom no duty was too small, help us to see that love transforms every action, and that without it what is praised by others as success is dry and fruitless for eternity. St. Francis, servant of all, teach us to copy Mary in her humility.

Third Joy – The Nativity

In Bethlehem, one star-enchanted night,
The Blessed Virgin bore the world’s delight.
Christ in the Sacrament, be born anew
within this soul that longs to shelter You!


Outside the city of self, in the darkness of trust in God, the Blessed Virgin bore her Child. Although His incarnate life was now separate from her body, the Word remained within her like a king on his throne. So does He reign within each of us, possessing and possessed, when as a result of His birth in the first House of Bread, Bethlehem, He comes to us in the Eucharist. Each of us becomes, morning after morning, a Greccio, a home for the infant God.


Who can teach us as well as you, dear Mother, how to receive the body and blood, soul and divinity of Jesus? Walk beside us to the altar and deepen in us all virtues, that we may bear closer resemblance to Him Who is Eucharistically born in our hearts.

Fourth Joy – The Visit of the Magi

Balthasar, Caspar, Melchior knelt down
To pay their court as to a kingly crown.
O Lord, desired of nations, come to me
with all the treasures of Your deity.


Just as Mary’s eager desire to share her Son led to the Visitation and to the adoration of the shepherds, so did she, brighter than any star, draw these Magi to the feet of their Redeemer. After their arrival, with joy she gave Him to each in turn, even as she does to us who receive Him in Holy Communion. The gold of abandonment, the myrrh of Franciscan penitence, and the frankincense of complete love are little to return for such a Gift.


Sweetest Mother, every morning when we kneel at the altar rail, place your Son within our soul as you placed Him in the arms of those first Wise Men to enter the poor cave of Bethlehem. Even before this earthly exile ends, show us the Fruit of your womb, Jesus our Lord.

Fifth Joy – The Finding of Jesus in the Temple

Where once she brought Him to be sacrificed,
Our joyful Lady found again her Christ.
Here in Your Father’s house I seek you, Lord.
Within this Host, by Seraphim adored.


None know so well as our dear Mother, sorrowful in this faint reflection of the three-day separation after Calvary, how heavy a burden life can be when Christ is absent. Just as He embraced Mary tenderly when she discovered Him in the Temple, so does He greet each of us who find Him anew in the Eucharist; as He went down to Nazareth with her, so does He accompany us wherever our Franciscan work for Him may lead.

Now that you have found your Son beyond any possibility of loss in the Temple of Paradise, pray for us who are still on pilgrimage. Dear Mother, may each finding of Christ in the Eucharist along the stations of our journey be a foreshadowing of perpetual union with Him in Heaven.

Sixth Joy – The Resurrection

The storm clouds broken and the shadows gone,
His Mother kissed her risen Son at dawn.
Dear Mary, teach me, day by happy day,
What words of welcome my poor heart should say.


Joyful beyond any words, the meeting of Mary and her Son on the morning of His resurrection represents in heightened splendor what happens in every Communion. With no language but tenderness, the risen Christ gives Himself to the soul who receives Him in the Mass, Calvary all over again and climaxed as that was by the glory of a more perfect union than a world without suffering could ever have known.


O Queen of Heaven, rejoice- and help us to rejoice, when after each night we kneel in the radiance of a new Easter as our Lord comes to us in Holy Communion. We too must be worthy to bear Him, Who has risen as He said, but we can be so only through your aid, channel of every grace. St. Francis, wounded on La Verna, pray that we, like you, may achieve the Vision of God.

Seventh Joy – The Assumption and Coronation

God crowned her Queen, the only sinless one,
Her diadem the stars, her robe the sun.
O Blessed Gift! Now Heaven has come to me
Since God is Heaven, and His Son is He.


“Where I am, you also shall be.” The love of Christ for His Mother, body and soul, made Him long for her entrance into eternity. In the greatest of her festivals, He welcomed her into Heaven. Mary’s assumption is a dazzling transfiguration of that union Christ effects in us all through the Eucharist; her coronation is the symbol of the “greater things” in store for us according to the exhortation of our holy father St. Francis.


“Mary the Virgin, well the heart knows.
She is the Mystery, she is the Rose.”

In the words of Fr. Hopkins we hail you, Mary, as a white rose, Dante’s figure of Heaven. You are Heaven, in the sense, because Heaven is where God is and He is with you beyond all ages. Lead us, dear Mother, to that consummation of which the Eucharist is the unbreakable promise. Amen.

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