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Posted October 6, 2012
Author Kathleen M. Carroll introduces A Mary Christmas with some background on a popular Franciscan tradition. She writes of a fifteenth century legend beginning with a young boy crowning a statue of Mary with fresh flowers every day. Eventually the boy joined the Franciscans, where rules of the novitiate prevented him from continuing the daily flower ritual. The legend ends with Mary’s suggesting an alternative devotion, known today as “The Crown Rosary.”
The Crown Rosary is a seven-decade prayer based on the joys of Mary: (1) the annunciation, (2) the visitation, (3) the nativity of Our Lord, (4) the adoration of the magi, (5) finding the child Jesus in the temple, (6) the appearance of the Risen Christ to his mother, and (7) the assumption and coronation of Mary as queen of heaven. The chapters in Carroll’s pocket-sized book coincide with the seven joys, most of which are included in mysteries of the traditional five-decade rosary. Only the appearance of the Risen Christ to His mother is not in scripture.
The reflection that makes up the Risen Christ chapter explores the seven sorrows of Mary: (1) the prophecy of Simeon, (2) the flight into Egypt (3) the loss of Jesus in the temple, (4) Mary meets Jesus on the way to the cross, (5) Jesus dies on the cross, (6) Mary receives the dead body of her son, and (7) Jesus is laid in the tomb.
Joys and sorrows, scriptural and traditional, Carroll handles all the topics with reflections designed to enlighten and inspire readers. The book is suitable for individuals and groups. It could also be used in full or in part as the basis for a retreat or prayer service.