St. Francis In Ecstasy, circa 1595 by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio
The Franciscan rosary, also known as the Seven Joys of the Blessed Virgin Mary is composed of seven decades consisting of one Our Father and ten Hail Marys each. At the end two Hail Marys are added, and is concluded with the Our Father and Hail Mary. The last Our Father and Hail Mary are said for the intention of the Pope in order to gain the indulgence. The 72 Hail Marys commemorate the seventy-two years the Blessed Virgin Mary is supposed to have lived on earth.
The seven decades need not be recited at once, but the single decades may be recited provided that the whole rosary is said on the same day. It is not necessary to meditate on the mysteries of this rosary; it suffices to say the single decades in honor of the respective mystery.
The following are the mysteries of the Franciscan Crown:
1. The Immaculate Virgin Mary joyfully conceived Jesus by the Holy Ghost.
2. The immaculate Virgin Mary joyfully carried Jesus when she visited Elizabeth.
3. The Immaculate Virgin Mary joyfully brought Jesus into the world.
4. The Immaculate Virgin Mary exhibited Jesus to the adoration of the Magi.
5. The Immaculate Virgin Mary joyfully found Jesus in the Temple.
6. The Immaculate Virgin Mary joyfully beheld Jesus after His resurrection.
7. The Immaculate Virgin Mary was joyfully received by Jesus into heaven, and crowned Queen of heaven and earth.
The use of this rosary was begun in the order of St. Francis in 1422. It is said that a certain novice, before joining the Order, was accustomed to place a crown on a statue of the Blessed Virgin. When he was not allowed to continue this practice, he resolved to leave the Order. Mary appeared to him and dissuaded him, telling him that he could offer a much more pleasing crown by reciting a rosary of seven decades in honor of Her Seven Joys. This is the most highly indulgenced of all the types of rosaries.
Source: My Treasury of Chaplets; Patricia S. Quintiliani