The Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The Virgin Mary in the Kingdom of the Divine Will
Lesson of my Celestial Mama: “…My dear child, do not move from my side; follow Me everywhere. Forty days from the birth of little King Jesus are about to sound when the Divine Fiat calls us to the temple in order to fulfill the law of the Presentation of my Son. So, we went to the temple. It was the first time that we went out together with my sweet Baby. A vein of sorrow opened in my Heart: I was going to offer Him as victim for the salvation of all. We entered the temple, and first we adored the Divine Majesty; then we called the priest, and placing Him in his arms, I made the offering of the celestial Baby to the Eternal Father – offering Him in sacrifice for the salvation of all. The priest was Simeon, and as I placed Him in his arms, he recognized that He was the Divine Word and exulted with immense joy; and after the offering, assuming the attitude of prophet, he prophesied all my sorrows. Oh, how the Supreme Fiat sounded over my maternal Heart – thoroughly, with vibrating sound, the cruel tragedy of all the pains of my little Son! But what pierced Me the most were the words that the holy prophet spoke to Me: “This dear Baby will be the salvation and the ruin of many, and will be the target of contradictions.”
If the Divine Will had not sustained Me, I would have died instantly of pure pain. But It gave Me life, and used it to form in Me the Kingdom of sorrows, within the Kingdom of Its Will. Therefore, in addition to the right of Mother which I had over all, I acquired the right of Mother and Queen of all Sorrows. Ah, yes, with my sorrows, I acquired the little coin to pay the debts of my children, and also those of the ungrateful children.
Now, my child, you must know that in the light of the Divine Will I already knew all the sorrows I was to suffer – and even more than that which the holy prophet had told Me. But in that act, so solemn, of offering my own Son, in hearing it being repeated to me, I felt so pierced that my Heart bled, and deep lacerations opened in my soul.
Now, listen to your Mama: in your sufferings, in the painful encounters which are not lacking for you, never lose heart; but with heroic love let the Divine Will take Its royal place in your pains, that It may convert them into little coins of infinite value, with which you will be able to pay the debts of your brothers – to ransom them from the slavery of the human will, and make them enter again, as free children, into the Kingdom of the Divine Fiat.
The soul: Holy Mama, in your pierced Heart do I place all my pains; and You know how they pierce my heart. O please, be my Mama, and pour the balm of your sorrows into my heart, that I may share in your same destiny of using my pains as little coins in order to conquer the Kingdom of the Divine Will.
Ejaculatory Prayer: My Mama, pour your sorrow into my soul, and convert all my pains into Will of God.
Mary, who believed in the word of the Lord, did not lose her faith in God when she saw her Son rejected, abused and crucified. Rather she remained beside Jesus, suffering and praying, until the end. And she saw the radiant dawn of His Resurrection. Let us learn from her to witness to our faith with a life of humble service, ready to personally pay the price of staying faithful to the Gospel of love and truth, certain that nothing that we do will be lost.
— Pope Benedict XVI, Angelus – September 13, 2009
as Your Son was raised on the cross, His mother Mary stood by Him, sharing His sufferings. May Your Church be united with Christ in His suffering and death and so come to share in His rising to new life, where He lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Devotion to the Seven Sorrows of Our Lady has its roots in Sacred Scripture and in Christian piety, which always associates the Blessed Mother with her suffering Son. Today’s feast was introduced by the Servites in order to intensify devotion to Our Lady’s Sorrows. In 1817 Pius VII — suffering grievously in exile but finally liberated by Mary’s intercession — extended the feast to the universal Church.
Our Lady of Sorrows
This feast dates back to the 12th century. It was especially promoted by the Cistercians and the Servites, so much so that in the 14th and 15th centuries it was widely celebrated throughout the Catholic Church. In 1482 the feast was added to the Missal under the title of “Our Lady of Compassion.” Pope Benedict XIII added it to the Roman Calendar in 1727 on the Friday before Palm Sunday. In 1913, Pope Pius X fixed the date on September 15. The title “Our Lady of Sorrows” focuses on Mary’s intense suffering during the passion and death of Christ. “The Seven Dolors,” the title by which it was celebrated in the 17th century, referred to the seven swords that pierced the Heart of Mary. The feast is like an octave for the birthday of Our Lady on September 8th.
—Excerpted from Our Lady of Sorrows by Fr. Paul Haffner (Inside the Vatican, September 2004)
This feast is dedicated to the spiritual martyrdom of Mary, Mother of God, and her compassion with the sufferings of her Divine Son, Jesus. In her suffering as co-redeemer, she reminds us of the tremendous evil of sin and shows us the way of true repentance. May the numerous tears of the Mother of God be conducive to our salvation; with which tears Thou, O God, art able to wash away the sins of the whole world.
As Mary stood at the foot of the Cross on which Jesus hung, the sword of sorrow Simeon had foretold pierced her soul. Below are the seven sorrows of Mary:
- The prophecy of Simeon (Luke 2:25-35)
- The flight into Egypt (Matthew 2:13-15)
- Loss of the Child Jesus for three days (Luke 2:41-50)
- Mary meets Jesus on his way to Calvary (Luke 23:27-31; John 19:17)
- Crucifixion and Death of Jesus (John 19:25-30)
- The body of Jesus being taken from the Cross (Psalm 130; Luke 23:50-54; John 19:31-37)
- The burial of Jesus (Isaiah 53:8; Luke 23:50-56; John 19:38-42; Mark 15:40-47)
Symbols: heart pierced with a sword; heart pierced by seven swords; winged heart pierced with a sword; flowers: red rose, iris (meaning: “sword-lily”), cyclamen.
Patron: people named Dolores, Dolais, Deloris, Dolorita, Maria Dolorosa, Pia, and Pieta.