Apologia: The Fullness of Christian Truth


``Where the Bishop is, there let the multitude of believers be;
even as where Jesus is, there is the Catholic Church'' Ignatius of Antioch, 1st c. A.D


The Little Crown
of the Blessed Virgin

Regina Angelorum, by William Bouguereau




The "Little Crown of the Blessed Virgin" is a chaplet (a "crown" or "chaplet" is a string of beads, like the Rosary, or the accompanying prayers) also known as the "Triple Crown of the Twelve Stars of the Blessed Virgin" because it is based on St. John the Divine's vision of Our Lady in the Apocalypse:

Apocalypse 11:19-12:1
And the temple of God was opened in heaven: and the ark of his testament was seen in his temple, and there were lightnings, and voices, and an earthquake, and great hail. And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars...

This chaplet is prayed to honor each of those twelve stars as they symbolize her motherhood and queenship over all Israel, the twelve stars representing the 12 Tribes and the 12 Apostles. This devotion consists of 12 Aves -- one for each star -- broken up into 3 groups, each group representing an aspect of Mary's virtues: excellence, power, and goodness.

Each group begins with a Pater, and ends with a Glory Be. The entire Crown, then, is the praying of the following arrangement of prayers three times:

1 Pater
4 Aves
1 Glory Be

The above method is the oldest method, but St. Louis-Marie de Montfort (A.D. 31 January 1673 - 28 April 1716), who encouraged consecration to Jesus through Mary, added opening prayers, short praises after each Ave, and concluding prayers. This is the style of the "Little Crown of the Blessed Virgin" below, but one may use either way of praying the "Little Crown."

Note that, like most other chaplets, one can buy or make a special set of beads for use in praying this Crown. The usual configuration is that of a big bead on a chain attached to a circle of 12 smaller beads in groups of 4, each group separated by another large bead. On the large beads, the Pater and Gloria are said; on the small beads, the Aves are said.


Introductory Prayers

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful and enkindle winthin them the fire of Thy love!

V. Send forth Thy Spirit and they shall be created.
R. And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.

Let us pray. O God, Who by the light of the Holy Spirit dost instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant us by this same Spirit to relish what is right and ever to rejoice in His consolation, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.



First Crown: The Crown of Excellence
To honor the Divine Maternity of the Blessed Virgin,
her ineffable Virginity, her purity without stain
and her innumerable virtues

Recite one Pater


Recite One Ave

Blessed art thou, O Virgin Mary, who didst bear the Lord, the Creator of the world; thou didst give birth to Him Who made thee, and remainest a Virgin forever. Rejoice, O Virgin Mary;
Rejoice a thousand times!


Recite One Ave

O holy and immaculate Virgin, I know not with what praise to extol thee, since thou didst bear in thy womb the very One Whom the Heavens cannot contain. Rejoice, O Virgin Mary;
Rejoice a thousand times!


Recite One Ave

Thou are all fair, O Virgin Mary, and there is no stain in thee.
Rejoice, O Virgin Mary;
Rejoice a thousand times!


Recite One Ave

Thy virtues, O Virgin, surpass the stars in number.
Rejoice, O Virgin Mary;
Rejoice a thousand times!


Recite a Glory Be



Second Crown: The Crown of Power
To honor the royalty of the Blessed Virgin,
her magnificence, her universal mediation
and the strength of her rule

Recite one Pater


Recite One Ave

Glory be to thee, O Empress of the world!
Bring us with thee to the joys of Heaven.
Rejoice, O Virgin Mary;
Rejoice a thousand times!


Recite One Ave

Glory be to thee, O treasure house of the Lord's graces!
Grant us a share in thy riches.
Rejoice, O Virgin Mary;
Rejoice a thousand times!


Recite One Ave

Glory be to thee, O Mediatrix between God and man!
Through thee may the Almighty be favorable to us.
Rejoice, O Virgin Mary;
Rejoice a thousand times!


Recite One Ave

Glory be to thee who destroyest heresies and crushest demons!
Be thou our loving guide.
Rejoice, O Virgin Mary;
Rejoice a thousand times!


Recite a Glory Be



Third Crown: The Crown of Goodness
To honor the mercy of the Blessed Virgin
toward sinners, the poor, the just and the dying

Recite one Pater


Recite One Ave

Glory be to thee, O refuge of sinners!
Intercede for us with God.
Rejoice, O Virgin Mary;
Rejoice a thousand times!


Recite One Ave

Glory be to thee, O Mother of orphans!
Render the Almighty favorable to us.
Rejoice, O Virgin Mary;
Rejoice a thousand times!


Recite One Ave

Glory be to thee, O joy of the just!
Lead us with thee to the joys of Heaven.
Rejoice, O Virgin Mary;
Rejoice a thousand times!


Recite One Ave

Glory be to thee who are ever ready to assist us in life and death!
Lead us with thee to the kingdom of Heaven!
Rejoice, O Virgin Mary;
Rejoice a thousand times!


Recite a Glory Be


Concluding Prayer

Let Us Pray. Hail, Mary, Daughter of God the Father; Hail, Mary, Mother of God the Son; Hail, Mary, Spouse of the Holy Ghost; Hail, Mary, Temple of the most Holy Trinity; Hail, Mary, my Mistress, my treasure, my joy, Queen of my heart; my Mother, my life, my sweetness, my dearest hope ---- yea, my heart and my soul! I am all thine and all that I have is Thine, O Virgin blessed above all things! Let thy soul be in me to magnify the Lord; let thy spirit be in me to rejoice in God. Set thyself, O faithful Virgin, as a seal upon my heart, that in thee and through thee I may be found faithful to God. Receive me, O gracious Virgin, among those whom thou lovest and teachest, whom thou leadest, nourishest and protectest as thy children. Grant that for love of thee I may despise all earthly consolations and ever cling to those of Heaven until, through thee, His faithful spouse, Jesus Christ thy Son be formed in me for the glory of the Father. Amen.

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