The First Dolor of Mary,
Simeon's Prophecy


Circumcision/Presentation of Jesus in Temple - by PALMA GIOVANE - from San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice

As Mary hands the Child Jesus to Saint Simeon, the Eyes of the Innocent Child Jesus, are fixed-on the Two Angels carrying the Cross and Crown-of-Thorns, Representations-of His Passion and Death, which were already revealed-to His Soul, at His Conception in Mary's Womb, by the Power of the Holy Spirit.

In the 'Circumcision' of the Divine Child, there was a Dim Suggestion and Hint of Calvary, in the Precious Surrendering of Blood. The Shadow-of the Cross was already Hanging-over an Innocent Child, Eight (8) Days Old. He would have Seven (7) Blood-Sheddings, of which this was the First (1st), the Six (6) Others being:

littlegoldcross.gif (962 bytes) the Agony-in the Garden,

littlegoldcross.gif (962 bytes) the Scourging-at the Pillar,

littlegoldcross.gif (962 bytes) the Crowning-with Thorns,

littlegoldcross.gif (962 bytes) the Way-of the Cross,

littlegoldcross.gif (962 bytes) the Crucifixion-on Calvary, and

littlegoldcross.gif (962 bytes) the Piercing-of His Heart.

The Number Seven (7) usually means 'Fullness' or 'Completeness', as in Seven (7) Days of the Week. God rested-on the Seventh (7th) Day. The Seven (7) Blood-Sheddings-of-Jesus, and the Seven (7) Dolors-of-Mary, Signify the 'Fullness' or 'Completeness' of our Redemption.

 

 

Of Saint Simeon's Prophesy

by Saint Alphonsus Liguori

angelbar.gif (3645 bytes)

In this Valle-of-Tears, every Man is Born-to Weep, and all must Suffer, by-Enduring the Evils, which are-of Daily Occurrence. But how much-Greater, would the Misery-of Life be, did we also Know the Future-Evils which await us! "Unfortunate, indeed, would his Lot be", says Seneca, "who, Knowing the Future, would have to Suffer-all, by Anticipation". Our Lord shows us, this Mercy. He Conceals the Trials which Await us, that, whatever they may be, we may Endure-them, but Once (1). He did not show Mary this Compassion; for she, whom God Willed to-be, the Queen-of-Sorrows, and in all-things, 'Like' His Son, had to See-always before her Eyes, and Continually-to Suffer, all the Torments that awaited her; and these were the Sufferings-of the Passion and Death of her Beloved Jesus; for in the Temple, Saint Simeon, having Received the Divine Child, in his Arms, Foretold-to her that, that-Son would be a 'Mark' for all the Persecutions and Oppositions of Men. "Behold, this Child is Set . . . for a Sign, which shall be Contradicted". And therefore, that a Sword-of-Sorrow should Pierce her Soul: "And thy own Soul, a Sword shall Pierce".

The Blessed Virgin herself, told Saint Matilda, that, on this Announcement-of Saint Simeon, "All her Joy was changed-into Sorrow". For, as it was Revealed-to Saint Teresa, though the Blessed Mother already Knew, that the Life-of her Son would be Sacrificed-for the Salvation-of the World, yet she then Learnt more-Distinctly, and in-Greater Detail, the Sufferings and Cruel Death, that Awaited her Poor Son. She Knew-that He would be Contradicted, and this, in-Everything:

Contradicted in His Doctrines; for, Instead-of being Believed, He would be-Esteemed a Blasphemer, for Teaching-that He was the Son of God; this He was Declared-to-be, by the Impious Caiphas, saying, "He hath Blasphemed, He is Guilty of Death".

Contradicted in His Reputation; for He was of-Noble, even of-Royal Descent, and was Despised-as a Peasant: "Is not this the Carpenter's Son"? "Is not this the Carpenter, the Son-of Mary"?

He was Wisdom Itself, and was Treated-as Ignorant: "How doth this Man know Letters, having never Learned"?

As a False Prophet: "And they Blindfolded Him, and smote His Face . . . saying: Prophesy, who is it that struck Thee"? He was Treated-as a Madman: "He is Mad, why hear you Him"?

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".

As a Sorcerer: "By the Prince-of-Devils, He casteth-out Devils". As a Heretic, and Possessed-by the Evil Spirit: "Do we not say Well-of Thee, that Thou art a Samaritan, and hast a Devil"?

In a Word, 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".

He was Contradicted in His very Soul; for even His Eternal Father, to give place-to Divine Justice, Contradicted Him, by Refusing-to Hear His Prayer, when He said, "Father, if it be Possible, let this Chalice pass-from Me"; and Abandoned Him to Fear, Weariness, and Sadness; so that our Afflicted Lord exclaimed, "My Soul is Sorrowful-unto Death", and His Interior Sufferings, even caused Him to Sweat-Blood.

Contradicted and Persecuted, in Fine', in His Body and in His Life; for He was Tortured in all His Sacred Members, in His Hands, His Feet, His Face, His Head, and in His Whole Body; so that, Drained-of His Blood, and an Object-of Scorn, He Died-of Torments, on an Ignominious Cross.

When David, in the Midst-of all his Pleasures and Regal Grandeur, heard-from the Prophet Nathan, that his son should Die -- "The Child that is Born-to thee, shall surely Die", he could find no Peace, but Wept, Fasted, and Slept-on the Ground. Mary, with the Greatest Calmness, received the Announcement that her Son should Die, and always Peacefully Submitted-to it; but what Grief must she continually-have Suffered, seeing this Amiable Son, always near her, hearing-from Him Words-of Eternal Life, and Witnessing His Holy Demeanor! Abraham Suffered-much, during the Three (3) Days he passed-with his Beloved Isaac, after Knowing-that he was to Lose him. O God, not for Three (3) Days, but for Three-and-Thirty (33) Years, had Mary to-endure, a 'Like'-Sorrow! But do I say, a 'Like'-Sorrow? It was as-much Greater, as the Son of Mary was more- Lovely, than the son-of Abraham. sorrow14_sm.jpg (4703 bytes) The Blessed Virgin herself revealed-to Saint Bridget, that, while on-Earth, there was not an Hour, in-which this Grief did not Pierce her Soul: "As often", she continued, "as I looked at my Son, as often as I wrapped Him in His Swaddling-Clothes, as often as I saw His Hands and Feet, so often was my Soul Absorbed, so-to-say, in Fresh Grief; for I thought how He would be Crucified". The Abbot Rupert, contemplates Mary, Suckling her Son, and thus Addressing Him: "A Bundle of Myrrh, is my Beloved to me; He shall Abide between my Breasts". Ah, Son, I Clasp Thee in my arms, because Thou art so-Dear, to me; but the Dearer Thou art to me, the more dost Thou become a Bundle-of Myrrh and Sorrow to me, when I think-of Thy Sufferings. "Mary", says Saint Bernardine-of-Sienna, "reflected that the Strength-of-the-Saints, was to be Reduced-to Agony; the Beauty-of-Paradise, to be Disfigured; the Lord-of-the-World, to be Bound-as a Criminal; the Creator-of-All-Things, to be made Livid with Blows; the Judge-of-All, to be Condemned; the Glory-of-Heaven, Despised; the King-of-kings, to be Crowned-with Thorns, and Treated-as a Mock King".

Father Engelgrave says, that it was Revealed-to the same Saint Bridget, that the Afflicted Mother, already Knowing-what her Son was to-Suffer, "when Suckling Him, thought-of the Gall-and-Vinegar; when Swathing Him, of the Cords with-which He was to be-Bound; when Bearing Him in her Arms, of the Cross to-which He was to be-Nailed; when Sleeping, of His Death". As often as she put Him-on, His Garment, she Reflected-that it would One Day be Torn-from Him, that He might be Crucified; and when she beheld His Sacred Hands and Feet, she Thought-of the Nails which would One Day Pierce them; and then, as Mary said to Saint Bridget, "my Eyes filled-with Tears, and my Heart was Tortured-with Grief".

 

leave.jpg (44574 bytes)
Christ taking leave of His Mother - by LOTTO, Lorenzo - from Staatliche Museen, Berlin

(Mother Mary, supported by Mary Magdalene and the other Sorrowful Mary's, is Grief Stricken,
Immediately before Jesus and His Disciples Set-off for His Planned Visit to Jerusalem,
during the Jewish Passover, to undergo His Passion and Death, as Willed-by God.)

 

The Evangelist says, that as Jesus Christ advanced-in Years, so also did "He advance in-Wisdom and in-Grace with God and Men". This is to be understood, as Saint Thomas explains it, that He advanced-in Wisdom and Grace, in the Estimation-of Men, and before-God, inasmuch as all His Works would continually have Availed to-Increase His Merit, had not Grace been conferred-upon Him from the beginning, in its Complete Fullness, in Virtue-of the Hypostatic Union. But, since Jesus advanced-in the Love and Esteem of others, how much-more must He have advanced-in that of Mary! But, O God, as Love increased-in her, so much the more did her Grief increase-at the thought-of having-to Lose Him, by so Cruel a Death; and the nearer the Time-of the Passion-of her Son approached, so-much the Deeper, did that Sword-of-Sorrow, foretold-by Saint Simeon, Pierce the Heart-of His Mother. This was Precisely Revealed-by the Angel to Saint Bridget, saying: "That Sword-of-Sorrow, was every Hour, approaching nearer-to the Blessed Virgin, as the Time for the Passion-of her Son, drew near".

Since, then, Jesus, our King, and His most-Holy Mother, did not Refuse, for Love of us, to Suffer such Cruel Pains throughout their Lives, it is Reasonable that we, at least, should not Complain, if we have to Suffer something. Jesus, Crucified, once appeared-to Sister Magdalen-Orsini, a Dominicaness, who had been long-Suffering, under a Great Trial, and Encouraged her to remain, by-means-of that Affliction, with Him on the Cross. Sister Magdalen complainingly answered: "O Lord, Thou were Tortured-on the Cross only for Three Hours, and I have Endured my Pain, for many Years". The Redeemer then replied: "Ah, Ignorant Soul, what dost thou say? From the First Moment-of My Conception (), I Suffered in Heart, all that I afterwards-endured, Dying-on the Cross".

If, then, we also Suffer and Complain, let us Imagine, Jesus and His Mother Mary, addressing the same words to ourselves.

Conception of Jesus' Human Nature (Body + Soul)
littlegoldcross.gif (962 bytes) Jesus Christ is a Divine Person, consisting of both a Divine and Human Nature. The Divine Nature of Jesus Christ, has existed for Eternity (∞), as the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. The Human Nature of Jesus Christ, has existed for Two (2) Thousand Years, and consists of Body and Blood received from the Virgin Mary, and a Finite Human Soul Created-by the Holy Spirit, which Vivifies Jesus' Human Body. Instantly, at the Creation-of His Human Nature by the Power-of the Holy Spirit, within the Womb-of-Mary, the Human Soul of Jesus Christ, which is Finite and separate-from His Divinity, Received the Beatific-Vision-of-God within its Heart/Intellect, during which all the Knowledge and Grace, that was Necessary-for Him to Save Mankind, was Infused-into His Soul. Even as a Single-Cell Human in the Womb of Mary, He was God's Greatest Gift to-Mankind, His only Son, Whose Infinite (∞) Value was the only fitting-Sacrifice to-God, for our Redemption. There was no 'Alternate' Sacrifice.

 

- End of Liguori Sermon -

 

Example

Father Roviglione, of the Society of Jesus, relates, that a Young Man had the Devotion-of every Day, Visiting a Statue-of our Lady-of-Sorrows, in which she was Represented-with Seven (7) Swords piercing her Heart. The Unfortunate Youth, One Night committed a Mortal Sin. The next Morning, going as-usual, to-Visit the Image, he Perceived that there were no-longer only Seven (7), but Eight (8) Swords in the Heart-of Mary. Wondering at this, he heard a Voice telling him, that his Crime had added the Eighth (8th). This 'Moved' his Heart; and, Penetrated-with Sorrow, he immediately went to Confession, and by the Intercession-of his Advocate, recovered Divine Grace. (All Divine Grace is Immediately Lost, upon committing a Mortal Sin, and can only be Recovered-through the Sacrament-of-Penance. The amount-of Grace reinstated-by God, if any, after Confession, is entirely Dependent-on the Mercy-of God.)

 

Prayer

sorrow.jpg (4489 bytes)

Ah, my Blessed Mother, it is not One Sword only, with-which I have Pierced thy Heart, but I have done so with as-many-as are the Sins which I have committed. Ah, Lady, it is not to thee, who art Innocent, that Sufferings are due, but to me, who am Guilty-of so many Crimes.

But since thou hast been Pleased-to Suffer so much for me, ah, by thy Merits, obtain me Great Sorrow-for my Sins, and Patience under the Trials-of this Life, which will always be Light, in comparison-with my Demerits; for I have often-Deserved Hell.

Amen.