The Franciscan Rosary: A Tradition of Prayer
During the Middle Ages, most people were not able to read and understand the psalms and scriptures that accompanied the prayers and sacraments of the Church. For this reason, at the beginning of the thirteenth century (corresponding with the latter half of the life of Saint Francis), a series of prayers were introduced to help the faithful maintain their relationship with God and the Church.
Among these prayers was the Rosary. It involved praying “Hail Marys” and “Our Fathers” which were counted on beads. In time, the Rosary would become one of the most popular forms of personal prayer and devotion in the history of the Church. The Order of Preachers (Dominicans) first promoted the Rosary in the form that we know today. But at the beginning of the fifteenth century, the Order of Friars Minor (Franciscans) introduced a new version of the Rosary that focused on joyful events in the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
According to one tradition, the Franciscan Rosary originated with a particular event. A young priest names Father James, who had entered the Franciscan Order in Assisi was tempted by demons to surrender his vocation. However, the Blessed Virgin Mary visited the young friar and encourage him to persevere in his vocation and to meditate each day upon these seven joyful episodes in her life:
+ The Annunciation
+ The Visitation
+ The Nativity of Jesus
+ The Adoration of the Magi
+ The Finding of Jesus in the Temple
+ The Encounter with the Risen Lord
+ The Crowning of Mary as Queen of Heaven
Over time, the story of Father James and his personal devotion to the Franciscan or “Crown” Rosary spread quickly throughout the worldwide Franciscan family. It was formally approved by Pope Leo X in 1517. For more information about Blessed James of the Rosary, celebrated as a “Blessed Servant of the Lord” by the Franciscan Order, please click here.
One begins the Franciscan Rosary by praying the Lord’s Prayer, followed by praising the Holy Trinity by praying: “Glory to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.” Next, each of the seven mysteries is introduced with the Lord’s Prayer; then ten Hail Marys; and finally praise of the Holy Trinity. After the seventh and last decade, another two Hail Marys are recited in order to achieve a total of seventy-two, the number of years (according to tradition) that the Blessed Mother lived upon this earth.
The Franciscan Rosary concludes with an additional Lord’s Prayer, Hail Mary, and praise of the Holy Trinity for the intentions of the Holy Father; followed by the “Hail Holy Queen” prayer, and a closing prayer (see below). In commemoration of the Franciscan Feast in honor of James of the Rosary, a Blessed Servant of the Lord, and the Holy Father’s consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, let us join with Franciscans throughout the world in praying this Rosary for ourselves and for believers everywhere.
For our families & friends, we pray: Hail Mary…
For our parish communities, we pray: Hail Mary…
For our Holy Father, Pope Francis, we pray: Hail Mary…
For our departed brothers & sisters, we pray: Hail Mary…
For all who have asked us to pray for them, we pray: Hail Mary…
For an increase in faith, hope & love throughout the world, we pray: Hail Mary…
For our divided country, wounded church, and suffering world, we pray: Hail Mary…
Almighty God and Father,
through the glorious resurrection of your Son,
you have given joy to the whole world!
Through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
grant that we may enjoy life everlasting life.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God forever and ever. Amen.
Saint Francis of Assisi, pray for us!
Saint Clare of Assisi, pray for us!
Our Lady of Angels, pray for us!
Saint Michael the Archangel, protect us!
Following Francis & Clare
Our 12th Annual Fall Pilgrimage
November 7th–November 16th
SPACE IS LIMITED! ONLY FIVE SPACES REMAINING!
For the twelfth consecutive year, our spiritual directors, Father Jim and Cliff Garvey will lead the Assisi Project’s week-long, small-group pilgrimage to Italy. From November 7th through November 16th, we will journey again to Assisi and literally walk in the footsteps of Saint Francis and Saint Clare. Each morning of our pilgrimage will begin with Morning Prayer and Mass. Father Jim will celebrate Masses at the Basilica of Saint Francis, the Basilica of Saint Clare, the Basilica of Our Lady of Angels, the Carceri Hermitage, and the Sanctuary at La Verna. Each afternoon, our pilgrims will have free time and guidance to explore Assisi at their own pace. Each evening, we will gather as a community for Evening Prayer, supper, a spiritual reflection, and faith sharing.
As a fellowship of pilgrims, we will explore the Basilicas of Saint Francis and Saint Clare. Each of these blessed shrines contains the tombs of the saints, holy relics, historic frescoes, and other priceless works of art, along with quiet chapels for personal prayer and worship. We will also visit the Cathedral of Saint Rufinus, where Francis and Clare were baptized; the Church of Saint Damian, where Christ spoke to Francis and hastened his conversion; the Carceri Hermitage where Francis and his first followers retreated for solitude and silence; and the little chapel known as the Porziuncola or Little Portion, which is considered the home church of the worldwide Franciscan community.
In addition, we will spend leisurely afternoons in and around the Piazza del Commune, Assisi’s city center, with its sidewalk cafes, unique shops, and ancient Roman temple (now a Catholic Church consecrated to the Blessed Mother). Our more adventurous pilgrims will also have an opportunity to visit the Rocca Maggiore, the great medieval fortress with its stunning views of Assisi, Mount Subasio, and the Spoleto Valley. And finally, we will travel to La Verna, the mountain sanctuary in Tuscany, where Saint Francis received the stigmata. At La Verna, we will celebrate Mass, enjoy a traditional Tuscan lunch, and participate in the daily procession that commemorates how Francis received the five wounds of the Crucified Christ. We are also planning a few surprises for this year!
The cost of this extraordinary pilgrimage is $3,499 per person which includes roundtrip airfare and fees (from Boston Logan Airport); all ground transportation (except personal taxi service); eight nights accommodation (single room and private bathroom) at Casa Santa Brigida; and all meals in the guest house (breakfast, lunch, and supper). Prospective pilgrims should note that this pilgrimage is limited to just fourteen participants; involves some strenuous physical activity; and that access to some pilgrimage sites in Italy is limited for those with physical disabilities. For more information about the Assisi Project’s 12th Annual Fall Pilgrimage, please contact Cliff at firstname.lastname@example.org. Reserve now! Space is limited to just fourteen pilgrims!
Founded in 2007, the Assisi Project is a Fellowship of Franciscans in Spirit with members, friends, and followers in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Africa. We are dedicated to helping Christian believers of all ages to more faithfully live the Gospel of Christ in the spirit of Saints Francis and Clare of Assisi. The Assisi Project is a tax exempt non-profit charitable corporation. All donations support our ministry and our tax deductible. For more information about the Assisi Project and upcoming opportunities for faith formation, prayer, and pilgrimage in the Franciscan spiritual tradition, please contact Cliff Garvey at email@example.com. May the Lord give you peace!
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