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Category:Our Lady of Sorrows

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Our Lady of Sorrows

The Blessed Virgin Mary is also known as Our Lady of Sorrows (Latin: Beata Maria Virgo Perdolens), the Sorrowful Mother or Mother of Sorrows (Latin: Mater Dolorosa, at times just Dolorosa), and Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows or Our Lady of the Seven Dolors (Sorrows).

The Seven Sorrows refer to the following events in the history of salvation:

It is a popular Catholic devotion to pray one Our Father and 7 Hail Marys while meditating on each of the Sorrows.


Our Father / The Lord's Prayer / Pater Noster

Matthew 6:9-13
Luke 11:2-4

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done
on earth
as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Hail Mary / Ave Maria

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners now
and at the our of death. Amen.

Graces and promises

Graces and promises attached to the practice of the devotion in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary Sorrowing:

There are seven promises attached to the practice of daily praying seven Hail Mary’s while meditating on Our Lady’s Tears and Sorrows. These seven promises were revealed to St. Bridget of Sweden:
1. “I will grant peace to their families.”
2. “They will be enlightened about the divine Mysteries.”
3. “I will console them in their pains and I will accompany them in their work.”
4. “I will give them as much as they ask for as long as it does not oppose the adorable will of My divine Son or the sanctification of their souls.”
5. “I will defend them in their spiritual battles with the infernal enemy and I will protect them at every instant of their lives.”
6. “I will visibly help them at the moment of their death — they will see the face of their Mother.”
7. “I have obtained this grace from My divine Son, that those who propagate this devotion to My tears and sorrows will be taken directly from this earthly life to eternal happiness, since all their sins will be forgiven and My Son will be their eternal consolation and joy.”

According to St. Alphonsus de Liguori (The Glories of Mary) it was revealed to Saint Elizabeth that at the request of Our Lady, Our Lord promised four principal graces to those devoted to Her Sorrows:
1. That those who before death invoke the divine Mother in the name of Her Sorrows will obtain true repentance of all their sins;
2. That He will protect all who have this devotion in their tribulations, and will protect them especially at the hour of death;
3. That He will impress on their minds the remembrance of His Passion;
4. That He will place such devout servants in Mother Mary’s hands to do with them as She wishes and to obtain for them all the graces She desires.

Short Seven Day Prayer to Our Lady of Sorrows

(Novena to Our Lady of Sorrows (from the Raccolta))
May be said as a seven day prayer and/or as a companion to the daily recitation of 7 Hail Marys offered in honor of Our Lady’s Sorrows.
Each day begin with:
V. O God, come to my assistance;
R. O Lord, make haste to help me.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit
R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.


Day I. I grieve for Thee, O Mary most sorrowful, in the affliction of Thy tender heart at the prophecy of the holy and aged Simeon.
Dear Mother, by Thy heart so afflicted, obtain for me the virtue of humility and the Gift of the holy Fear of God. Pray one Hail Mary.
Day II. I grieve for Thee, O Mary most sorrowful, in the anguish of Thy most affectionate heart during the flight into Egypt and Thy sojourn there.
Dear Mother, by Thy heart so troubled, obtain for me the virtue of generosity, especially towards the poor, and the Gift of Piety. Pray one Hail Mary.
Day III. I grieve for Thee, O Mary most sorrowful, in those anxieties which tried Thy troubled heart at the loss of Thy dear Jesus.
Dear Mother, by Thy heart so full of anguish, obtain for me the virtue of chastity and the Gift of Knowledge. Pray one Hail Mary.
Day IV. I grieve for Thee, O Mary most sorrowful, in the consternation of Thy heart at meeting Jesus as He carried His Cross.
Dear Mother, by Thy heart so troubled, obtain for me the virtue of patience and the Gift of Fortitude. Pray one Hail Mary.
Day V. I grieve for Thee, O Mary most sorrowful, in the martyrdom which Thy generous heart endured in standing near Jesus in His agony.
Dear Mother, by Thy heart afflicted in such wise, obtain for me the virtue of temperance and the Gift of Counsel. Pray one Hail Mary.
Day VI. I grieve for Thee, O Mary most sorrowful, in the wounding of Thy compassionate heart, when the side of Jesus was struck by the lance and His Heart was pierced.
Dear Mother, by Thy heart thus transfixed, obtain for me the virtue of fraternal charity and the Gift of Understanding. Pray one Hail Mary.
Day VII. I grieve for Thee, O Mary most sorrowful, for the pangs that wrenched Thy most loving heart at the burial of Jesus.
Dear Mother, by Thy heart sunk in the bitterness of desolation, obtain for me the virtue of diligence and the Gift of Wisdom. Pray one Hail Mary.
Pray this part each day also:
V. Pray for us, O Virgin most sorrowful,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray.
Let intercession be made for us, we beseech Thee, O Lord Jesus Christ, now and at the hour of our death, before the throne of Thy mercy, by the Blessed Virgin Mary, Thy Mother, whose most holy soul was pierced by a sword of sorrow in the hour of Thy bitter Passion. We ask this through Thee, Jesus Christ, Savior of the world, who with the Father and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns world without end. Amen.


Holy Mother, pierce me through;
In my heart each wound renew,
Of my Savior crucified. (Roman Missal). An indulgence of 500 days. A plenary indulgence under the usual conditions, if prayed devoutly every day for a month (S.P. Ap., Aug. 1, 1934). Mary most sorrowful, Mother of Christians, pray for us. An indulgence of 300 days. (Pius X, Audience, June 4, 1906)
Virgin most sorrowful, pray for us. (or) Virgo dolorosissima, ora pro nobis. An indulgence of 300 days. An indulgence of 5 years, if, in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary Sorrowing, the Hail Mary is devoutly recited 7 times followed by the above invocation once (S.P. Ap., Nov. 22, 1934).

Prayers to the Sorrowful Mother (from the Raccolta)

Mary, most holy Virgin and Queen of Martyrs, accept the sincere homage of my filial affection. Into Thy heart, pierced by so many swords, do Thou welcome my poor soul. Receive it as the companion of Thy sorrows at the foot of the Cross, on which Jesus died for the redemption of the world. With Thee, O sorrowful Virgin, I will gladly suffer all the trials, contradictions, and infirmities which it shall please Our Lord to send me. I offer them all to Thee in memory of Thy sorrows, so that every thought of my mind, and every beat of my heart may be an act of compassion and of love for Thee. And do Thou, sweet Mother, have pity on me, reconcile me to Thy divine Son Jesus, keep me in His grace and assist me in my last agony, so that I may be able to meet Thee in Heaven and sing Thy glories. Amen.
An indulgence of 500 days — (S.C. Ind., Mar. 20, 1887).

Most holy Virgin and Mother, whose soul was pierced by a sword of sorrow in the Passion of Thy divine Son, and Who in His glorious Resurrection wast filled with never-ending joy at His triumph; obtain for us who call upon Thee, so to be partakers in the adversities of Holy Church and the sorrows of the Sovereign Pontiff, as to be found worthy to rejoice with them in the consolations for which we pray, in the charity and peace of the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
An indulgence of 500 days (Pius X, Rescript in his own hand, Jan. 25, 1906).

The Chaplet of the Seven Sorrows

One of the devotions practiced and promoted by the seven founders of the Servants of Mary was The Chaplet of the Seven Sorrows. This chaplet consists of seven segments, one segment for each of the seven principal Sorrows or Dolors of the Blessed Virgin. Each segment of the chaplet consists of praying one Our Father and seven Hail Marys while meditating on the particular sorrow for that segment, and followed by a special verse to be said at the end of each segment. After the prayers of the seventh segment, or seventh sorrow of Our Lady, the Salve Regina (Hail, Holy Queen) and another prayer are prayed followed by three more Hail Marys at the very end in honor of the tears Our Lady shed in Her Sorrows.

The Chaplet (Little Rosary) of the Seven Sorrows
The Chaplet may be prayed taking one sorrow per day for a week, or reciting the entire chaplet all at one time (or in one day). When the entire chaplet is recited all at one time, the Act of Contrition and the introductory prayers of “O God come to my assistance” etc. is said only at the beginning of the chaplet.
Included in the Chaplet below is a brief overview of each sorrow for meditation purpose while praying the Chaplet. These meditations are extracts taken from The Glories of Mary by St. Alphonsus de Liguori.

Make an Act of Contrition

O my God I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of hell; but most of all because they offend Thee my God, Who art all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve with the help of Thy grace to confess my sins, to do penance and to amend my life. Amen.


V. O God, come to my assistance.
R. O Lord, make haste to help me.

The First Sorrow of Mary - Saint Simeon of the Presentation's Prophecy

In the Temple, Simeon of the Presentation had received the Divine Child in his arms and predicted that this Child would be a sign (of God) which shall be contradicted by men. “Behold this Child is set … for a sign which shall be contradicted. And Thy own soul a sword shall pierce.” (Luke 2:22-35).
The Blessed Virgin told St. Matilda that when Simeon of the Presentation pronounced these words “all Her joy was changed into sorrow.” For, as was revealed to St. Teresa, although the Blessed Mother already knew that the life of Her Son would be sacrificed for the salvation of the world, She then learned more distinctly and in greater detail what sufferings and what a cruel death awaited Him. She knew that He would be persecuted and opposed in every way. He would be opposed in His teaching: instead of being believed,
He would be called a blasphemer for claiming to be the Son of God. The reprobate Caiphas was to say: “He hath blasphemed … He is guilty of death” ((Matthew 26:65-66).
He would be opposed in His reputation: for though He was of noble, even of royal descent, He was despised as a peasant: “Is not this the carpenter’s son?” ((Matthew 13:55). “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary?” ((Mark 6:3).
He was Wisdom itself, and was treated as ignorant: “How doth this man know letters, having never learned?” ((John 7:15).
As a false prophet: “And they blindfolded Him, and smote His face … saying: Prophesy, who is it that struck Thee?” ((Luke 22:64).
He was treated as a madman: “He is mad, why hear you Him?” ((John 10:20).
As a drunkard, a glutton, and a friend of sinners: “Behold a man that is a glutton, and a drinker of wine, a friend of publicans and sinners” ((Luke 7:34).
As a sorcerer: “By the prince of devils He casteth out devils” (Matthew 9:34).
As a heretic and one possessed by the evil spirit: “Do not we say well that Thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil?” (John 8:48).
In short, Jesus was considered so notoriously wicked that, as the Jews said to Pilate, no trial was necessary to condemn Him. “If He were not a malefactor, we would not have delivered Him up to thee” (John 18:30).
One Our Father … Seven Hail Marys ...


V. O God, come to my assistance.
R. O Lord, make haste to help me.

The Second Sorrow of Mary - The Flight into Egypt - (Matthew 2:13-23)
“Let us now consider the second sword of sorrow which wounded Mary, the flight of Her Infant Jesus into Egypt to escape the persecution by Herod.”

Having heard that the long-awaited Messiah had been born, Herod foolishly feared that He would deprive him of his kingdom. Herod waited to hear from the holy Magi where the young King was born, and planned to take His life. When he found he had been deceived, he ordered all the infants in the neighborhood of Bethlehem to be put to death. It was at that time that the angel appeared in a dream to Saint Joseph and told him: “Arise, and take the Child and His Mother, and flee into Egypt”(Matthew 2:13). No sooner is Jesus born than He is persecuted. Mary began to realize that Simeon’s prophecy regarding Her Son was beginning to be fulfilled. What anguish the realization of the impending exile must have caused Mary. It is easy to imagine that Mary must have suffered on the journey. The distance to Egypt was considerable: three hundred miles, requiring a journey of up to thirty days. The road was rough, unknown and little travelled. It was winter time, so that they had to make their way through snow, rain and wind, over rough and dirty roads. Where could they have slept on such a journey, especially on the two hundred miles of desert? They lived in Egypt seven years. They were strangers — unknown, without money, and barely able to support themselves by the work of their hands. Landolph of Saxony has written (and let this be a consolation to the poor) that Mary lived there in such poverty that there were times when She did not have even a crust of bread to give Her Son when He was hungry. The thought of Jesus and Mary wandering as fugitives through a strange land teaches us that we must also live as pilgrims here below, detached from the material things that the world offers, and which we must soon leave to enter eternity. It also teaches us to embrace crosses, for we cannot live in this world without them. Let us make Mary happy by welcoming Her Son into our hearts, the Son whom men still continue to persecute by their sins.
One Our Father … Seven Hail Marys ...


V. O God, come to my assistance.
R. O Lord, make haste to help me.

The Third Sorrow of Mary - The Loss of the Child Jesus in the Temple. (Luke 2:41-52)
The third sorrow was one of the greatest that Mary had to endure in Her life, the loss of Her Son in the temple. Having lost Her Son for three days, She was deprived of His most sweet presence.
Meditation What anxiety this broken-hearted Mother must have felt during those three days when She searched everywhere for Her Son, and asked for Him as the spouse did in the Canticles: Have you seen him, whom my soul loveth? (Song of Songs 3:3). This third sorrow of Mary ought to serve in the first place as a consolation to souls who are desolate, and who no longer enjoy, as they once enjoyed, the sweet presence of the Lord. They may weep, but they should weep confidently, just as Mary wept over the loss of Her Son. But whoever wants to find Jesus must look for Him as Mary did, not amid the pleasures and delights of the world, but amid crosses and mortifications. “We sought Thee sorrowing,” Mary said to Her Son. Let us learn then from Mary, to seek Jesus. Moreover, we should look for no other good in this world than Jesus. St. Augustine says that Job “had lost what God had given him, but not God Himself.” If Mary wept over the loss of Her Son for three days, how much more should sinners weep who have lost sanctifying grace. To them God says: “You are not My people, and I will not be yours” (Hosea 1:9). For this is the effect of sin: it separates the soul from God. “Your iniquities have divided between you and your God” (Isaiah 59:2). Sinners may possess all the wealth in the world, but inasmuch as they have lost God, everything in this world becomes a source of affliction to them, as Solomon confessed: “Behold all is vanity, and vexation of spirit” (Ecclesiastes 1:14).
One Our Father … Seven Hail Marys ...


V. O God, come to my assistance.
R. O Lord, make haste to help me.

The Fourth Sorrow of Mary - Mary Meets Jesus on the Way to Calvary. (Luke 23:26)
The greater Her love for Him, the greater Her grief at the sight of His sufferings, especially when She met Him on that dolorous way, dragging His cross to the place of execution. This is the fourth sorrow on which we are to meditate.
“O sorrowful Mother,” exclaimed Saint John, “Your Son has now been condemned to death; He has already set out on the road to Calvary, carrying His own cross. Come, if You desire to see Him and say farewell to Him, as He passes through the streets.” Mary goes along with Saint John. While She waited for Her Son to come along, how much must She have heard said by the Pharisees (and their associates) against Her beloved Son, and perhaps even mockery against Herself. What a frightening picture as the nails, the hammers, the ropes and all the fatal instruments that were to put an end to Her Son’s life were paraded by. But now the implements, the executioners, have all passed by. Mary raised Her eyes, and saw, O God!, a young man all covered with blood and wounds from head to foot, a wreath of thorns on His head, and carrying two heavy beams on His shoulders. She gazed at Him, but hardly recognized Him. The wounds, the bruises, and the clotted blood gave Him the appearance of a leper, so that He could no longer be recognized. According to St. Bridget, Jesus wiped away the clotted blood which prevented Him from seeing Mary. The Mother and the Son looked at each other. And Their looks became as so many arrows to pierce those hearts which loved each other so tenderly. Even though the sight of Her dying Son was to cost Her such bitter sorrow, Mary would not leave Him. The Mother also took up Her cross and followed Him, to be crucified along with Him. Let us pity Her, and accompany Her and Her Son by patiently carrying the cross Our Lord imposes on us.
One Our Father … Seven Hail Marys ...


V. O God, come to my assistance.
R. O Lord, make haste to help me.

The Fifth Sorrow of Mary - Jesus Dies on the Cross - Crucifixion: Jesus is nailed to the Cross - Jesus dies on the Cross - (John 19:25-30)
“There stood by the cross of Jesus, His Mother” (John 19:25-30). Saint John did not feel it necessary to say more than these words with reference to the martyrdom of Mary. Picture Her now at the foot of the cross beside Her dying Son, and then ask yourself if there can ever be sorrow like Her sorrow. Remain for a while on Calvary and consider the fifth sword which transfixed the heart of Mary — the death of Jesus.
As soon as our agonized Redeemer had reached Mount Calvary, the executioners stripped Him of His clothes, and piercing His hands and feet with nails, they fastened Him on the cross. They raised the cross and left Him to die. The executioners left Him, but not Mary. She came up close to the cross to be near Him in death. “I did not leave Him,” She revealed to Saint Bridget, “but stood nearer the cross.” Ah, true Mother, most loving Mother, Whom not even the fear of death could separate Thee from Thy beloved Son. But, O God, what a spectacle of sorrow must have confronted those who could see Jesus hanging in agony on the cross, and His Mother there at the foot of the cross suffering all His torments with Him. All these sufferings of Jesus were also Mary’s sufferings. Saint Jerome says, “Every torture inflicted on the body of Jesus, was a wound in the heart of His Mother.” “Anyone who had been present then on Mount Calvary, would have seen two altars on which two great sacrifices were being offered: the one in the body of Jesus — the other in the heart of Mary.” (Saint John Chrysostom)
One Our Father … Seven Hail Marys ...


V. O God, come to my assistance.
R. O Lord, make haste to help me.

The Sixth Sorrow of Mary - The Piercing of the Side of Jesus and His Descent from the Cross - Mary Receives the Body of Jesus in Her Arms - Jesus is taken down from the Cross - (Matthew 27:57-59)
We must now consider the sixth sorrow which weighed upon the heart of Our Blessed Lady. On this day, You will be wounded with another sword of sorrow. A cruel lance will pierce the side of Your dead Son, and You will receive Him in Your arms after He has been taken down from the cross.
Meditation It is enough to tell a mother that her son is dead to arouse in her heart all her love for the dead child. “One of the soldiers with a spear opened His side, and immediately there came out blood and water” (John 19:34). “Christ,” says the devout Lanspergius, “shared this wound with His Mother. He received the hurt; His Mother endured the pain.” Mary’s sufferings were so great that it was only through the miraculous intervention of God that She did not die. When She suffered before, She at least had Her Son to pity Her; but now She had no Son to commiserate with Her. Jesus was taken down from the cross, the afflicted Mother waiting with outstretched arms to take Her beloved Son. She embraced Him]] and then sat down at the foot of the cross. Her Son died for men, men still continue to torture and crucify Him by their sins. Let us resolve not to torment our sorrowful Mother any longer. And if we have saddened Her in the past by our sins, let us now do what She wants us to do.
One Our Father … Seven Hail Marys ...


V. O God, come to my assistance.
R. O Lord, make haste to help me.

The Seventh Sorrow of Mary - The Burial of Jesus - Jesus is laid in the tomb - (Luke 23:50-56) - (John 19:40-42)
Let us meditate now on Mary’s last sword of sorrow. She has witnessed the death of Her Son on the Cross. She has embraced His lifeless body for the last time. Now She has to leave Him in the tomb.
In order to grasp the meaning of this last sorrow more fully, let us return to Calvary and picture our afflicted Mother there, still holding the lifeless body of Her Son clasped in Her arms. The disciples, afraid that Mary may die of grief, approach and take the body of Jesus from Her arms to bury it. With reverence they lift Him from Her arms, embalm Him with aromatic herbs, and wrap Him in a shroud they have already prepared. The mournful procession sets out for the tomb. The afflicted Mother follows Her Son to His last resting place. When it was time to move the stone to close the entrance, the grief-stricken disciples approached Our Blessed Lady and said to Her: “It is time now, O Lady, to close the tomb. Forgive us; look at Thy Son once more, and say goodbye to Him for the last time.” Finally, they took the stone and sealed off the Sacred Body of Jesus in the sepulchre, that Body which is the greatest treasure there can possibly be on earth or in Heaven. Mary left Her heart in the tomb of Jesus, because Jesus was Her whole treasure: “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Luke 12:34). After speaking Her last farewell to Her Son, She left and returned to Her home. Mary was so desolate and so sad that, according to Saint Bernard, She “moved many to tears.” In fact, wherever She passed, those who saw Her could not help weeping with Her. Saint Bernard also says that the holy disciples and women who accompanied Her “mourned even more for Her than for their Lord.”
One Our Father … Seven Hail Marys ...

Let us pray
O God, at whose Passion, according to the prophecy of Simeon, a sword of sorrow did pierce through the most sweet soul of the glorious Virgin and Mother Mary; grant that we, who commemorate and reverence Her sorrows, may experience the blessed effect of Thy Passion, who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.

Three Hail Marys in honor of the tears shed by Our Lady in Her Sorrows.

Hail, Holy Queen

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, Hail our life, our sweetness and our hope. To Thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To Thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears. Turn then, Most gracious Advocate, Thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this our exile show unto us the blessed Fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary. V. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God. R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

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