Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Corona of the Immaculate Conception

As we approach the patronal feast day of the United States, it's the perfect time to mention a beautiful devotion to Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception.

The Corona of the Immaculate Conception is a chaplet composed by a Jesuit priest who was one of North America's great explorers: Father Jacques Marquette.

Unfortunately, the Corona is not very well known. There's another, better known devotion called the "Chaplet of the Immaculate Conception" written by St. John Berchmanns. But in terms of authorship and historical context, Marquette's Corona has a special significance for Americans and Canadians.

Let's set the stage with an account of the Corona from Marquette's Jesuit superior Fr. Claude Dablon, writing from Montreal in 1677:

"Some months before his death, he said every day with his two men a little Corona of the Immaculate Conception which he had devised as follows: After the Credo, there is said once the Pater and Ave, and then 4 times these words: Ave filia Dei patris, ave mater filii Dei, ave sponsa Spiritus Sancti, ave templum totius Trinitatis: per sanctam virginitatem et immaculatam conceptionem tuam, purissima Virgo, emunda cor et carnem meam: in nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti, — concluding with the Gloria Patri, the whole repeated three times."
For a long time I never found an actual Corona of the Immaculate Conception for sale anywhere. So I went ahead and made my own with cord/twine, 15 blue oval beads, and a miraculous medal:
But you can also use St. John Berchman's Chaplet of the Immaculate Conception, which has the same arrangement of beads.

And now the Rosary Workshop actually makes a beautiful Chaplet of Fr. Jacques Marquette SJ with Russian trade beads and a sterling or solid bronze medal (image posted here with permission of the Rosary Workshop).

Their arrangement is slightly different than the one I made, but of course there is a good deal of room for individual preference on these devotions. Here's how I say it.

How to Say the Corona of the Immaculate Conception

1. On the medal, say the Apostles' Creed.
2. On the first bead, say 1 Our Father and 1 Hail Mary.
3. On each of the next 4 beads, say a Corona Prayer:

Hail Daughter of God the Father,
Hail Mother of God the Son
Hail Spouse of the Holy Spirit,
Hail Temple of the entire Trinity.
By thy holy virginity and Immaculate Conception,
O Virgin most pure,
cleanse my heart and my flesh.
In the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
4. End with 1 Glory Be.
5. Repeat steps 2-4 two times.

If you'd prefer to say the chaplet in Latin, the text of the Corona prayer can be found italicized in the passage from Fr. Dablon above.

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