St. John the Evangelist saw a woman crowned with twelve stars, clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet. According to the commentators, this woman is the Blessed Virgin Mary, with her virtues and her privileges, especially that of her divine maternity.
Thus originated the Little Crown of the Twelve Stars of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which many saints made it a practice to recite frequently.
St. Louis De Montfort even gave this prayer to his religious families (The Montfort Fathers and the Daughters of Wisdom) as their morning prayer. He also recommended it to all those who embrace the devotion of the holy and loving Jesus through Mary.
Little Crown of the Blessed Virgin Mary
I. Crown of Excellence
(To honor the divine maternity of the Blessed Virgin, her ineffable virginity, her purity without stain and her innumerable virtues.)
1. Our Father. Hail Mary.
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!
2. Hail Mary.
O holy an immaculate Virgin, I know not with what praise to extoll thee, since thou didst bear in thy womb the very One Whom the heavens cannot contain. Rejoice, O Virgin Mary; rejoice a thousand times!
3. Hail Mary.
Thou art all fair, O Virgin Mary; and there is no stain in thee. Rejoice, O Virgin Mary; rejoice a thousand times!
4. Hail Mary.
Thy virtues, O Virgin, surpass the stars in number. Rejoice, O Virgin Mary; rejoice a thousand times! Glory be to the Father.
II. Crown of Power
(To honor the royalty of the Blessed Virgin, her magnificence, her universal mediation and the strength of her rule.)
5. Our Father. Hail Mary.
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!
6. Hail Mary.
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!
7. Hail Mary.
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!
8. Hail Mary.
Glory e to thee who destroys heresies and crushest demons! Be thou our loving guide. Rejoice, O Virgin Mary; rejoice a thousand times! Glory be to the Father.
III. Crown of Goodness
(To honor the mercy of the Blessed Virgin toward sinners, the poor, the just and the dying.)
9. Our Father. Hail Mary.
Glory be to thee, O refuge of sinners! Intercede for us with God. Rejoice, O Virgin Mary; rejoice a thousand times!
10. Hail Mary.
Glory be to thee, O Mother of orphans! Render the Almighty favorable to us. Rejoice, O Virgin Mary; rejoice a thousand times!
11. Hail Mary.
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!
12. Hail Mary.
Glory be to thee who art ever ready to assist us in life and in death! Lead us with thee to the kingdom of Heaven! Rejoice, O Virgin Mary; rejoice a thousand times! Glory be to the Father.
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 they spirit be in me to rejoice in God. Set thy self, 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 loves and teaches, whom thou leanest, nourishes and protectest as they children.
Grant that for love of thee I may despise all earthly consolations and ever cling to those of Heaven until, through the Holy Ghost, thy faithful Spouse, and through thee, His faithful spouse, Jesus Christ thy Son be formed in me for the glory of the Father. Amen.
Traditionally firefighters in Rome put flowers on the statue, as seen in the featured image, in the morning on the occasion of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, and the pope blesses the statue later in the day.
Here is the full translated text of the Pope’s prayer:
“Immaculate Mother, for the fifth time I come to your feet as Bishop of Rome,
to pay you homage on behalf of all the inhabitants of this city.
We want to thank you for the constant care
with which you accompany us on our journey,
the journey of families, parishes, religious communities;
the journey of those who daily, and sometimes with difficulty,
pass through Rome on their way to work;
the journey of the sick, the elderly, the poor,
the journey of so many people who immigrated here from places where there is war and hunger.
Thank you, because as soon as we turn our thoughts,
or a fleeting glance, towards you,
or recite a quick Hail Mary,
we feel your maternal presence, tender and strong.
O Mother, help this city develop the “antibodies” it needs
to combat some of the viruses of our times:
the indifference that says: “It’s not my business”;
the unsociable behavior that despises the common good;
the fear of the foreigner and those who are different from us;
the conformism that disguises itself as transgression;
the hypocrisy that accuses others while doing the same things;
the resignation to environmental and ethical degradation;
the exploitation of so many men and women.
Help us to reject these and other viruses
with the antibodies that come from the Gospel.
Let us make it a good habit
to read a passage from the Gospel every day
and, following your example, to keep the Word of God in our hearts,
so that, like a good seed, it may fruit in our lives.
175 years ago, not far from here,
in the church of Sant’Andrea delle Fratte,
you touched the heart of Alphonse Ratisbonne, who at that moment,
from being an atheist and enemy of the Church, became a Christian.
You revealed yourself to him as a Mother of grace and mercy.
Grant that we too, especially in times of trial and temptation,
may fix our gaze on your open hands,
hands that allow the Lord’s graces to fall upon the earth.
Help us to rid ourselves of all pride and arrogance,
and to recognize ourselves for what we really are:
small and poor sinners, but always your children.
So, let us place our hand in yours
And allow ourselves to be led back to Jesus, our Brother and Savior,
and to our Heavenly Father, who never tires of waiting for us
and forgiving us when we return to Him.
Thank you, Mother, for always listening to us!
Bless the Church that is in Rome.
Bless this City and the whole world.”
hugs n’ blessings to all those devoted to the Blessed Mother Mary and celebrating her Immaculate Conception today, and every day!
*Photograph used in Featured Image by Gregorio Borgia for the AP