The Franciscan Crown Rosary

The Franciscan historian, Luke Wadding (1588-1657) dates the origin of the Franciscan Crown to the year 1422.  A young man, whose name is unknown to us, joined the Franciscan Order.  He had a practice of crowning a statute of Mary with garlands of fresh flowers, but was unable to continue this practice during his Novitiate.

When he was tempted to leave the Order, he had a vision of Our Lady, who told him:

Do not be sad and cast down, my son, because you are no longer permitted to place wreaths of flowers on my statute.  I will teach you to change this pious practice into one that will be far more pleasing to me and far more meritorious to 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.

She then asked that the novice pray one Our Father and 10 Hail Mary’s in honor of each of her Seven Joys:  the Annunciation; the Visitation; the Nativity and the Adoration of the Magi; the Presentation; the Finding of Jesus in the Temple; the Resurrection; and the Assumption.

The young friar began his prayers as instructed, and when he was deep in the middle of it, the novice master noticed him, and watched as an Angel wove a garland of fresh roses, inserting a golden lily after each tenth rose.  When the novice’s prayers were finished, the Angel crowned him with the garland.

The novice master asked if the novice knew anything about the vision he’d just seen, and after it was explained to him, he told the rest of his brothers what he’d seen.  Thereafter, the practice of reciting what became known as the “Franciscan Crown” or the Seraphic Rosary spread.

In 1905, Pope Pius X, in response to the petition of the Procurator General of the Friars Minor, enriched the Franciscan Crown with several new indulgences that may be gained by all the faithful. Those who participate at a public recitation of the Franciscan Crown also participate in all the indulgences attached to the Seraphic Rosary that are gained by the members of the Franciscan Order.

A way to mediate on the Franciscan Crown Rosary, provided by Fr. Thomas Bourque, TOR, Most Sacred Heart of Jesus Province, Loretto, PA, can be found here.

May the Lord bless you and our Blessed Mother hold you close to her heart.