I was running a minute or two late for my Holy Hour yesterday, and as I approached the church driveway I realized I’d left my pocket rosary behind when I changed my clothes.
Worse, I’d tossed my wallet into my “Adoration tote” along with my journal, earbuds and a spiritual book or three–so I didn’t have the rosary I keep in my handbag.
I can count on my fingers in a pinch; after all, God gave me ten of them, but our Adoration chapel has a few rosaries on a hook near the entrance. I decided to use one of those to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet.
Using a chapel rosary (or any rosary belonging to someone else) brings to mind a unique connection that is made through prayer.
What other hands had held that rosary, fingering the beads, counting off prayer intentions, wiping away tears?
What other hearts had prayed the prayers, there in the chapel, laying bare their most secret and fervent desires of the soul?
Was the last person to lift this rosary off that hook a stranger? A friend? A neighbor? My husband?
So many prayers have been prayed on this rosary, in this chapel.
I prayed one extra Memorare for those who have prayed here before me, for those who pray here with me, and for those who will pray here after me.
We are all connected, united, brought together by our prayers on a single string of beads.
In his devotion to the Mother of Christ, the Franciscan, who is united with and transformed into Christ, makes Mary his own Mother. How can it be otherwise, for it was Mary who begot Christ, and hence it is Mary who has given the True Life to the Franciscan. Mary is our Mother because she is the Mother of the Head of the Mystical Body, of which we are members — she is the one Mother of the One Christ. Thus Francis “embraced the Mother of Jesus with an indescribable love, because she made the Lord of Majesty our brother.”
The Franciscan Crown is a 7-decade Rosary. If you don’t have a 7-decade set, use your regular Rosary and just backtrack a bit. Unlike the regular Rosary, you start at the medal and end at the cross.
For each decade, pray 1 Our Father, 10 Hail Marys and 1 Gloria.
Here are the meditations for each decade:
The first Joy in the Crown of Mary is the joy of Our Lady at the Annunciation. “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to Your word.” May I become your humble servant, Lord.
The second Joy in the Crown of Mary is the joy of Our Lady at the Visitation. “Rising up, Mary went into the hill country and saluted her cousin Elizabeth.“Grant us true love of neighbor, Lord.
The third Joy in the Crown of Mary is the joy of Our Lady at the Birth of Jesus and the Adoration of the Magi. “She brought forth her first-born son…and laid him in a manger.” Give us true poverty of spirit, Lord.
The fourth Joy in the Crown of Mary is the joy of Our Lady at the Presentation and Purification. “They carried him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord…as it is written in the law of the Lord.” Help me obey all just laws.
The fifth Joy in the Crown of Mary is the joy of Our Lady at the Finding of Jesus in the Temple. “Not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem seeking him.” May I never lose you through serious sin, Lord.
The sixth Joy in the Crown of Mary is the joy of Our Lady at the Resurrection of Jesus. “The Lord is not here; He is risen.” May we share your glory, Lord.
The seventh Joy in the Crown of Mary is the joy of Our Lady at her Assumption into Heaven and her Coronation. “A woman clothed with the sun; upon her head a crown of twelve stars.” Mary, may we share your crown of eternal life.
After you have prayed the seven decades, pray two more Hail Marys to make a total of 72–honoring the 72 years of Mary’s life (according to legend). Then, for the intentions of the Holy Father, pray one Our Father, one Hail Mary and one Gloria.
Author Stephanie Engelman proves that a story doesn’t have to be edgy to be compelling. In the new YA novel, A Single Bead(Pauline Teen, 2016) teenage Kate finds faith in an unlikely way: through the stories of others who have been touched by the prayers of her grandmother, killed in a plane crash a year ago.
The novel opens with Kate’s extended family gathered around the plane-crash site for a memorial service. Needing a moment to get away from the tension and grief, Kate stumbles toward a wooded area where she finds a shiny bead–one from her grandmother’s custom-made rosary that had silver beads with the initials of her loves ones engraved on each. Kate doesn’t find just any bead. She finds the one with her own initials on it.
Kate and her cousins go on to discover that other beads have been found, and that the people who received them have experienced physical or emotional healing. Could it be that her grandmother’s prayers have such a deep effect?
Thus begins a journey of faith for Kate, whose extended family is deeply Catholic but whose own immediate family is less engaged in the faith. But faith is exactly what’s needed, because Kate’s mom has fallen into a deep depression after the plane crash a year ago. Kate hopes that finding other pieces of the rosary will help heal her mom.
This compelling novel is appropriate for students in grades 5 and up and challenges the reader to lay aside the idea that a prayer or a sacramental can be a “magical” thing. It is refreshing to read about an extended family whose life is centered on faith.
Purchase A Single Bead through my Amazon link and support Franciscanmom.com with your purchase!
My review is based on an advance reader copy of the novel, provided by the publisher. I received no compensation for the opinions expressed here.
A Friar suggested to me that a good way to deal with anger is to say the Rosary. I’ve never been much of a Rosary person but I figured, what can it hurt? I started keeping one in my pocket (and I am rarely without a pocket). The idea is that when I start to get angry I should take a time-out and pray for a decade or more, with the intention of relieving my anger and finding a good way to resolve the situation.
Around the same time, I started to think about the fact that people, myself included, say they will pray for some intention. I don’t want to forget that I have promised a friend that I will pray for their grandmother, or whatever it is. So I began to dedicate my “pocket Rosary” for a certain intention each day. If someone asks me to pray for their intention, I dedicate my day’s “pocket Rosary” for that. Each time I notice the Rosary in my pocket, I saw a quick prayer for the day’s intention. And of course any decades I might complete are also offered for that intention.
It helps me to know that I am following up on the situation somehow. I know some people keep notebooks, or whatever. This is what works for me, right now.
I read somewhere–and if I can remember where, I will credit it properly–that the best response when someone asks you to pray for them is to say something like, “I will pray for you, as the Lord brings you to my mind.” Whenever you think of this person, just say a quick prayer for them. Chances are, the Lord will bring them to your mind often.