August 27, 2016

The Seven Joys of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Altarpiece of the Seven Joys, by the Master of the Holy Family, c. 1480.

The Seven Joys of the Blessed Virgin (Also known as The Franciscan Crown Rosary)

Today is the traditional feast of the Seven Joys of Mary. The origin of the prayer can be found in the Manual for Franciscan Tertiaries:

"About the year 1420, a young man, deeply devoted to Our Lady, took the habit of St Francis. Before joining the Order, he had, among other practices, been accustomed daily to make a chaplet of flowers, and with it to crown a statue of the Blessed Virgin. Having in his novitiate no longer an opportunity of making this crown for his Most Beloved Queen, he, in his simplicity, thought that she would withdraw her affection from him; this temptation of the devil disturbed his vocation, and he resolved to abandon the cloister. The merciful mother appeared to him, and gently rebuking him, strengthened him in his vocation by telling him to offer her instead of the chaplet of flowers, a crown much more pleasing to her, composed of seventy-two Ave Marias and a Pater after each decade of Ave Marias, and to meditate at each decade upon the seven joys she had experienced during the seventy-two years of her exile upon the earth. The novice immediately commenced reciting the new crown or rosary, and derived therefrom many spiritual and temporal graces. This pious practice spread quickly through the whole Order, and even throughout the world… St Bernardin of Siena used to say that it was by the Crown of the Seven Joys that he had obtained all the graces which Heaven has heaped upon him."

The Joys of Mary remembered in this devotion are:

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

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