Do you know how many types of rosaries there are?
We all know the five-decade rosaries... but do you know about chaplets, finger rosaries, auto rosaries, wedding rosaries, bracelet rosaries, one-decade rosaries and seven-decade rosaries, fifteen-decade and twenty-decade rosaries...
I was intrigued especially by the Franciscan rosaries: the Franciscan Crown and the Three Hail Mary's chaplet. The seven-decade rosary is used by the Franciscan order, and there is a much larger fifteen-decade and twenty-decade rosary known as The Dominican rosary.
The Franciscan Crown, aka Seraphic Rosary, is a seven-decade rosary with meditations on the seven joys of Mary: Annunciation, Visitation, Nativity, Epiphany, Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, Resurrection of Jesus, and the Assumption & Coronation of Mary. There are an additional two HailMary's on this rosary in honor of the tradition of Mary's living 72 years. The Franciscan Crown Rosary dates to the 1400's and was promoted by a young novice friar.
The fifteen-decade rosary is a complete rosary of three sets of mysteries all on one loop (Joyful, Sorrowful, and Glorious) as is typically worn by Dominicans as a habit rosary - aka Dominican Rosary. In 2002 St. Pope John Paul II added the Luminous mysteries, thereby some religious orders now wear 20-decade rosaries. Tradition says that Mary gave the rosary to St. Dominic in 1221 as the poor man's psalter to accomodate those who were illiterate and could not read the 150 psalms in prayer. It was encouraged by the clergy because it contained the central mysteries of the Faith.
Another rosary recognized as Franciscan is the standard five-decade rosary with a Tau cross in place of a crucifix as the one shown above.
The Three Hail Mary's devotion began with two Franciscan saints, Anthony of Padua and Leonard of Port-Maruice and was adopted by St. Alphonsus Liguori and I also learned that there is an Archconfraternity of the Three Hail Mary's as well. Here is a version of the prayer for the Little Chaplet of the Three Hail Mary's.