Franciscan Saints
16th October

The Servant of God James of the Rosary

Confessor, First Order

In about the year 1422 a young man called James entered the Franciscan Order in Assisi, he became a priest of extraordinary sanctity with a great devotion to Our Lady, Fr Marion Habig OFM refers to him as  �a fervent client of our Blessed mother� Both his sermons and his everyday conversations abounded with praises of Mary.

James took special delight in reciting the rosary of the Seven Joys of our Lady in her honour, generally called the Franciscan Crown; he used to encourage the faithful to venerate Mary in the same way as he said it was so pleasing to her. In this way he came to be known as Father James of the Rosary. Actually Fr. James is considered the originator of this particular Rosary and St. John Capistran commends him for it.

James found this beautiful prayer to be a powerful prayer for example:

The convent of Borgo San Sepolcro , in the domain of Florence, was marked for destruction in the face of the advancing armies of Naples to prevent them from using it as a vantage point. James influenced the Florentine commanding officer to wait a little longer before destroying the convent, meanwhile James went away to pray his rosary that the convent might be spared. As he did was it was revealed to him that the enemy would not appear but would be forced to retreat and so it happened that no harm came to the convent.

James spent the remainder of his life in the convent in peace until God took him to eternal rest at the age of seventy.

Adapted from Marion Habig OFM The Franciscan Book of Saints

On the Franciscan Crown

The Blessed Virgin herself pointed out that the Franciscan Crown, like the usual Dominican rosary, is a devotion pleasing to her. The annals of the order state that a young man�it is generally believed that it was James of the Rosary�who entered the order had been a fervent client of the Blessed Lady and decked her statue daily with a wreath of flowers. Since he was not permitted to continue this practice in the novitiate, he thought of leaving the order. But first he knelt before the statue of our Lady to say a prayer. There the Blessed Virgin appeared to him and said; �Remain here, and do not grieve because you can no longer weave a wreath of flowers for me. I will teach you how you can daily weave a crown of roses that will no wither, and will more pleasing to me and more meritorious for yourself. � And she taught him the rosary of seven decades.�From this incident we can learn not to be selfishly attached to pious practices, and that prayer is of greater value than perishable decorations.

It was not till the seventeenth century apparently that the children of St. Francis began to recite the seven decades of the crown also in honor of the seven joys of our Lady.

The seven joys are as follows:
The Annunciation, the Visitation, the Nativity, the Adoration of the Magi, the Finding of Jesus in the Temple, the Resurrection of our Lord, and the Assumption and Coronation of our Lady. At each decade it is well to reflect on the sweet joy our Lady experienced on the occasions indicated. Said in this way, the rosary will be very pleasing to Mary, and you will learn to love it more and more.

Prayer of the church
(Vespers of the Little Office of Our Lady)

Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that we Thy servants may
enjoy health of body and soul, and through the glorious
intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary be saved from present evil
and have a share in the joys of eternity. Through the same Christ
Our Lord  Who liveth �and reigneth

with Thee
 and the Holy Spirit,  One God, now and forever.  Amen

On the Franciscan Crown:   Secular Franciscan Order of the Five Martyrs Region, Florida, South Georgia and Lower Alabama, Father Solanus Casey ,Modified: Oct. 2012, from OFS Newsletter, Fraternity, Venice, Florida, Accessed 4 September 2013 < >

Habig, Marion A., O.F.M., 1959, ed., The Franciscan book of Saints, Franciscan Herald press, Chicago, Illinois


Last edited 13/09/2017 15:33 
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