The 7 Joys of Mary and the Franciscan Crown

The commemoration of the 7 Joys of Mary takes place on Saturday, August 27th. While the 7 Sorrows of Mary tend to be a more well-known and popular devotion, the 7 Joys of Mary is just as ancient.

Where did the tradition of the 7 Joys of Mary come from? 

It is a devotion preserved and lived throughout the centuries by the Franciscans through a ‘rosary’ called the Franciscan Crown. 

The Franciscan Crown comprises 7 decades, rather than the usual 5. The exact origins of this rosary aren’t known, but the most popular account tells of a young Franciscan novice in the 15th century who was instructed by the Blessed Virgin Mary to recite daily a Rosary of seven decades in honor of her seven joys. This young man had the daily habit of weaving a crown of flowers for a statue of Our Lady. She told him praying this rosary would allow him to weave a crown more pleasing to her than the physical crown of flowers.

What are the 7 Joys of Mary? 

While some sources differ on the exact 7 joys of Mary (at times adding Christ’s Resurrection and Pentecost while removing the Visitation and the Assumption), most common devotions list the following 7 joys:

  1. The Annunciation.
  2. The Visitation.
  3. The Nativity of Jesus.
  4. The Adoration of the Magi.
  5. Finding Jesus in the Temple.
  6. The Appearance of Christ to Mary after the Resurrection.
  7. The Assumption and Coronation of Our Lady.

How to Pray The Franciscan Crown:

Praying the Franciscan Crown is much like the traditional recitation of the Rosary – including the announcing of the mystery, an Our Father, and 10 Hail Marys. The difference can be found in the additional 2 decades, as well as 2 additional Hail Marys tacked on to the last decade in honor of the 72 years tradition says Mary lived on this earth. (Saying the Glory Be and the Fatima prayer at the end of each decade is optional.) 

  1. Announce the First Mystery and pray the Our Father.
  2. Pray one Hail Mary for each of the ten beads while contemplating the Joy of that decade.
  3. Repeat #2 and #3 for all 7 decades. 
  4. At the end of the 7th decade, pray 2 more Hail Marys.