Among the many different devotions to the Blessed Virgin Mary, one that is often overlooked is devotion to her seven joys. Many Catholics might be more familiar with the seven sorrows of Mary, especially through the Chaplet of the Seven Sorrows.
However, few know about her seven joys, which are an equally ancient tradition. The Franciscans have helped preserve this tradition over the centuries through their “rosary” called the Franciscan Crown.
According to one story, this crown developed when the Blessed Virgin appeared to a young Franciscan novice in the 15th century and “instructed him how, by reciting daily a Rosary of seven decades in honor of her seven joys, he might weave a crown that would be more pleasing to her than the material wreath of flowers.”
The seven joys that are meditated on during the Franciscan Crown closely resemble the five Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary.
Devotion to the seven joys of Mary is a beautiful counterpart to the seven sorrows and helps balance a person’s spiritual life, recognizing that existence is not just filled with sorrows, but also contains many joys in this life and the life to come.