Little Rosary (Chaplet) of the
Seven Dolors of Mary


Madonna and Child - by DOSSI, Dosso - from Galleria Borghese, Rome

 

Little Rosary (Chaplet) of the
Seven Dolors of Mary

Act of Contrition

O my Lord, Thou who alone art most worthy of my love, behold me standing before Thy Divine Presence all in confusion at the thought of the many grievous injuries I have done Thee. I ask Thy pardon for them with my whole heart, repenting of them purely for love of Thee, and hating and loathing them above every other evil of this life, when I think of Thy infinite goodness. As I would rather have died a thousand times than have offended Thee, so now I am most firmly resolved to lose my life rather than offend Thee again. My crucified Jesus, I firmly purpose to cleanse my soul as soon as possible by Thy most Precious Blood in the Sacrament of Penance. And thou, most tender Virgin, Mother of Mercy and Refuge of sinners, do thou obtain for me the pardon of sin by virtue of thy bitter pains; whilst praying according to the mind of so many holy Pontiffs in order to obtain the indulgences granted to this thy holy Rosary, I hope thereby to obtain remission of all pains due to my sins.

Amen


First Dolor

I pity thee, O afflicted Mother, on account of the first sword of sorrow which pierced thee, when in the Temple all the outrages which men would inflict on thy beloved Jesus were presented before thee by Saint Simeon, and which thou already knewest by the sacred Scriptures; outrages which were to cause Him to die before thine eyes, on an infamous Cross, exhausted of His blood, abandoned by all, and thyself unable to defend or help Him. By that bitter knowledge, then, which for so many years afflicted thy heart, I beseech the my Queen, to obtain me the grace that during my life and at my death, I may ever keep the Passion of Jesus and thy sorrows impressed on my heart.

Amen

One Pater Noster and seven Ave Maria's.


Second Dolor

I pity thee, O afflicted Mother, for the second sword which pierced thee, when, soon after His birth, thou didst behold thy innocent Son threatened with death by those very men for whose salvation He had come into the world; so that in the darkness of night thy was obliged to fly secretly with Him into Egypt. By the many hardships, then, which thou, a delicate young woman, in company with thine exiled Child, didst endure in so long and fatiguing a journey through rough and desert countries, and during thy residence in Egypt, where, being unknown and a stranger, thou didst live for so many years in poverty and contempt, I beseech thee, my beloved Lady, to obtain me grace to suffer with patience until death, in thy company, the trials of this miserable life; that I may thus in the next, escape the eternal punishments of Hell, which I have deserved.

Amen 

One Pater Noster and seven Ave Maria's.


Third Dolor

I pity thee, my sorrowful Mother, on account of the third sword which pierced thee in the loss of thy dear Son Jesus, Who remained absent from thee in Jerusalem for three days. No longer seeing thy Beloved by thy side, and not knowing the cause of His absence, I can well imagine, my loving Queen, that during those nights thou didst not repose, and didst only sigh for Him, Who was all thy treasure. By the sighs, then, of those three days, for thee too long and bitter, I beseech thee to obtain me the grace, that I may never lose my God; that so, always clinging to Him, I may leave the world united to Him.

Amen

One Pater Noster and seven Ave Maria's.


Fourth Dolor

I pity thee, my sorrowful Mother, for the fourth sword which pierced thee, in seeing thy Son condemned to death, bound with cords and chains, covered with blood and wounds, crowned with a wreath of thorns, falling under the heavy weight of the Cross which He carried on His wounded shoulders, going as an innocent Lamb to die for love of us. Thine eyes met His, and His met thine; and your glances were as so many cruel arrows, which wounded your loving hearts. By this great sorrow, then, I beseech thee to obtain me the grace to live in all things resigned to the will of my God, and to carry my cross cheerfully in company with Jesus, until my last breath.

Amen

One Pater Noster and seven Ave Maria's.


Fifth Dolor

I pity thee, my afflicted Mother, for the fifth sword which pierced thee, when on Mount Calvary thou didst behold thy beloved Son Jesus slowly dying before thy eyes, amid so many torments and insults, on that hard bed of the Cross, where thou couldst not administer Him even the least of those comforts which are granted to the greatest criminals at the hour of death. I beseech thee, by the agony which thou, my most loving Mother, didst endure together with thy dying Son, and by the sadness which thou didst feel, when, for the last time, He spoke to thee from the Cross and bade thee farewell, and left all of us, in the person of Saint John, to thee as thy children; by that constancy with which thou didst then see Him bow down His head and expire, I beseech thee to obtain me the grace, from thy crucified Love, to live and die crucified to all earthly things, that I may spend my life for God alone, and thus one day enter Paradise to enjoy Him face-to-face.

Amen

One Pater Noster and seven Ave Maria's.


Sixth Dolor

I pity thee, my afflicted Mother, for the sixth sword which pierced thee, when thou didst see the sweet heart of thy Son pierced through and through. He was already dead, and had died for those ungrateful creatures, who, even after His Death, were not satisfied with the torments they had inflicted on Him. By this cruel sorrow, then, which was all thine, I beseech thee to obtain me the grace to dwell in the heart of Jesus, wounded and open to me; in that heart, I say, which is the beautiful abode of love, in which all souls who love God repose; and that, living there, I may never think of, or love, anything but God. Most sacred Virgin, thou canst obtain this for me; from thee do I hope for it.

Amen

One Pater Noster and seven Ave Maria's.


Seventh Dolor

I pity thee, my afflicted Mother, for the seventh sword which pierced thee on seeing thy Son in thy arms already dead, no longer fair and beautiful as thou didst receive Him in the stable of Bethlehem, but covered with blood, livid and all lacerated with wounds, so that even His bones were seen; thou didst then say, "My Son, my Son, to what has love reduced Thee?" And when He was borne to the sepulcher, thou wouldst thyself accompany Him, and place Him with thy own hands in the tomb; and bidding Him the last farewell, thou didst leave thy loving heart buried with thy Son. By this martyrdom of thy beautiful soul, do thou obtain me, O Mother of fair love, the forgiveness of the offenses which I have committed against my beloved God, and of which I repent with my whole heart. Do thou defend me in temptations, do thou assist me at the moment of my death, that, saving my soul through the merits of Jesus and thine, I may one day, after this miserable exile, go to Paradise to sing the praises of Jesus and of thee for all eternity.

Amen

One Pater Noster and seven Ave Maria's.


[Then say three Ave Maria's in veneration of the tears which Mary shed in her sorrows, to obtain thereby true sorrow for sins and the holy Indulgences attached to this pious exercise.]


V. Ora pro nobis, Virgo dolorosissima.
R. Ut digni efficiamur promissionibus Christi.

Oremus.
Interveniat pro nobis, quaesumus, Domine Jesu Christe, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae, apud tuam clementiam beata Virgo Maria Mater tua, cujus sacratissimam animam in hora tuae Passionis deloris gladius pertransivit. Per te, Jesu Christe, Salvator mundi, qui cum Patre et Spiritu Sancto vivis et regnas, &c.

R. Amen.

V. Pray for us, Virgin most sorrowful.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray.
Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord Jesus Christ, that the most blessed Virgin Mary, Thy Mother, may intercede for us before the throne of Thy mercy, now and at the hour of our death, whose most holy soul was transfixed with the sword of sorrow in the hour of Thine own Passion. Through Thee, Jesus Christ, Savior of the world, Who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost for ever and ever.

Amen.

 

From the Raccolta
(Book of Indulgences)

It was about the year 1233 that seven holy men of noble birth, by name Bonfiglio, Monaldio, Bonagiunta, Manetto, Amadeo, Uguccio, and Alessio Falconieri, withdrew from the city of Florence into the solitude of Mount Senario, receiving afterwards from the Church the appellation of the "Seven Blessed Founders." For it was in that solitude that, passing their days in the constant exercise of prayer, penitence, and other virtues, they, by a special revelation from the Blessed Virgin, instituted the Order called "Servants of Mary," taking for the object of their institution, meditation on the bitter pains she suffered in the Life, Passion, and Death of her Son Jesus, and, undertaking to promulgate this devotion amongst Christian people. One of the devout practices which they made use of for their purpose was a Chaplet or Rosary of Seven Divisions, in remembrance of the seven principal Dolors of the Blessed Virgin, which were to form the subject of the reciter's meditation according to his ability; the prayers to be said during such meditation being one Pater noster and seven Ave Maria's for each division, with three more Ave Maria's at the end of all, in honor of the tears shed by the same most holy Virgin in her Dolors.

This devout prayer, so acceptable to our most holy Sorrowful Mother, and so useful to Christian souls, was propagated throughout the Christian world by these Servants of Mary and it afterwards received much encouragement from Pope Benedict XIII., who, in order to induce the faithful to adopt it more and more, granted by his Brief Redemptoris, of Sept. 26, 1724 -
i. An indulgence of DAYS for every Pater noster, and the same for every Ave Maria, to every one who, having Confessed and Communicated, or at least made a firm resolution to Confess, should say this Chaplet in the churches of the Order of the Servants of Mary.
ii. The same indulgence of 200 days to be gained by all who shall say it any where on Fridays, during Lent, and on the Feast and Octave of the Seven Dolors of our Blessed Lady, and -
iii. An indulgence of 100 days, on any other day.
Lastly, the same Pope added -
iv. An indulgence of seven years and seven quarantines to any one who says this Chaplet either alone or in company with others.
Afterwards Pope Clement XII., " that the faithful might often recollect and sympathise with the Dolors of Mary," confirmed by his Bull of Unigeniti, Dec. 12, 1734, the before-named Indulgences, adding also the following:
v. A plenary indulgence and remission of all sins to every one who shall say this Chaplet daily for a month together, and shall then, after Confession and Communion, pray for holy Church, &c.
vi. An indulgence of 100 years, every time it is said, to all who say this chaplet, being truly penitent and having confessed, or having at least made a firm resolution to confess their sins.
vii. An indulgence of 150 years, every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Feast of Obligation of the Holy Church, after Confession and Communion.
viii. A plenary indulgence all who say it four times a week, on any one day in the year when, after Confession and Communion, they shall say the said Chaplet of Seven Dolors.
ix. An indulgence of 200 years * also to those who shall say it devoutly after their Confession.
x. An indulgence of ten years to those who keep one of these Chaplets about them, and are in the habit of saying it frequently, every time that, after Confession and Communion, they shall hear Mass, be present at a sermon, accompany the Blessed Sacrament to the sick, make peace between enemies, bring sinners to Confession, &c. &c.; or whenever, saying at the same time seven Pater noster's and seven Ave Maria's, they shall do any spiritual or temporal good work in honor of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Blessed Virgin, or their Patron Saint.

All these Indulgences were confirmed by decrees of the S. Congr. of Indulgences issued at the command of Pope Benedict XIV. on January 10, 1711. and Clement XIII.. March 13, 1763. It is, however, requisite, in order to gain these Indulgences, that these Chaplets should be blessed by the Superiors of the Order of the Servants of Mary, or by other priests of the Order deputed by them; and when blessed, they cannot be sold or lent for the purpose of communicating these Indulgences to others, as in that case they would lose the Indulgences. See the above-named Brief of Benedict XIII.

* In some summaries of these Indulgences, and more particularly in that reprinted in Rome in 1518, we find 150 days and a few lines after, 200 days; but in the Bull above named published at the Office of the Reverend Apostolic Chamber in 1135, we find in both places not days but years.