Q: What is the seven-decade Rosary?
A: The seven-decade rosary corresponds to the Franciscan Crown or the rosary of the seven joys of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The following are the seven mysteries (joys) of the Franciscan Crown:
First Mystery: Immaculate Virgin Mary joyfully conceived Jesus by the Holy Spirit.
Second Mystery: The Immaculate Virgin Mary joyfully carried Jesus when she went to visit Elizabeth.
Third Mystery: The Immaculate Virgin Mary brought Jesus into the world.
Fourth Mystery: The Immaculate Virgin Mary joyfully exhibited Jesus to the adoration of the Magi.
Fifth Mystery: The Immaculate Virgin Mary joyfully found Jesus in the temple.
Sixth Mystery: The Immaculate Virgin Mary joyfully beheld Jesus after His Resurrection.
Seventh Mystery: The Immaculate Virgin Mary was joyfully received by Jesus into heaven, and crowned Queen of heaven and earth.
After the seven decades, two Hail Marys are added. The Crown concludes with the Our Father and Hail Mary for the intention of the Holy Father and in order to gain indulgence.
This is how the rosary began (Quintiliani, p. 82):
The use of this rosary was begun in the order of St. Francis in 1422. It is said that a certain novice, before joining the Order, was accustomed to place a crown of roses on a statue of the Blessed Virgin. When he was not allowed to continue this practice, he resolved to leave the Order. Then Mary appeared to him and dissuaded him, telling him that he could offer a much more pleasing crown by reciting a rosary of seven decades in honor of her Seven Joys.
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