Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows
Celebrated 15 September

The Seven Sorrows of Mary
(Via Matris)

The Seven Sorrows of the Virgin - by DÜRER, Albrecht - from Alte Pinakothek, Munchen and Gemäldegalerie, Dresden


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The Seven Sorrows of Mary
(Via Matris)

First Sorrow:
The Prophecy of Simeon

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vela-c2.gif (2466 bytes)Sorrow as sharp as a sword shall pierce Mary's heart because of her Child. Mary is in the Temple, having come with Joseph to present the Child to God. They meet Simeon, the holy man, and Anna, the prophetess. Simeon takes the Baby in his arms, saying he will now die in peace because he has seen Christ, then he foretells the sorrow to come.


Second Sorrow:
The Flight into Egypt

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vela-c2.gif (2466 bytes)Soon the sword of sorrow strikes. Herod the King seeks to kill the Child. Warned in sleep by an angel, Joseph takes Jesus and His Mother Mary, setting out for Egypt, where they lived in obscurity and poverty until it was safe to return to Nazareth.


Third Sorrow:
The Loss of Jesus for 3 Days

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vela-c2.gif (2466 bytes)When Jesus is twelve, He is taken to Jerusalem for the Feast of Passover. On the return journey, Joseph and Mary find at the end of the first day that Jesus is not with them. Racked with anxiety, they search for Him. Nobody in the streets, not even the beggars, can tell them where He is. Not til the third day do they find Him, in the Temple.


Fourth Sorrow:
Mary Meets Jesus on the
Via Dolorosa

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vela-c2.gif (2466 bytes)Mary has known fear and sorrow, but none so great as seeing her beloved Son stumbling under the weight of the Cross. She hears the jeering shouts from the crowd and has no power to help Him. Pity and love are in her eyes as she gazes at His blood-stained face. To many around her He is no better than a criminal, and her heart is breaking as she follows Him to Calvary or Golgotha.


Fifth Sorrow:
The Crucifixion

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vela-c2.gif (2466 bytes)With John, Mary stands at the foot of the Cross. "A sword shall pierce thy soul," Simeon told her. Truly her heart is pierced with sorrow. Her beloved Son is dying and she shares in his suffering. She does not ask God to take away this agony. She is His Mother, so close to Him that His pain is hers, too. And now He speaks from the Cross: "Woman, behold thy son." Jesus gives His Mother to John, and to us. For all eternity she is our Mother.


Sixth Sorrow:
Jesus is Taken Down
From The Cross

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vela-c2.gif (2466 bytes)It is over. Dark clouds have appeared in the sky and upon the world. Jesus is dead. Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus take down the Body from the Cross, and Mary receives It in her arms. She is filled with a sadness that no human heart has known. This is her Son. Once she had cradled Him in her arms, listened to His voice, watched Him working at the carpenter's bench. Now He is dead. She does not weep, her grief is too great for tears.


Seventh Sorrow:
Jesus' Burial

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vela-c2.gif (2466 bytes)Hastily the Body is wrapped in a clean linen cloth. Nicodemus has brought myrrh and aloes, and the Body is bound in the Shroud with them. Nearby is a new tomb, belonging to Joseph of Arimathea, and there they lay Jesus. Mary and John and the holy women follow them, and watch as the great stone to the sepulchre is rolled. It is the end.


The Seven Graces

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The Blessed Virgin Mary grants seven graces to the souls who honor her daily by saying seven Hail Mary's and meditating on her tears and dolors (sorrows). This devotion was passed on by Saint Bridget.

vela-c2.gif (2466 bytes) I will grant peace to their families.

vela-c2.gif (2466 bytes) They will be enlightened about the divine mysteries.

vela-c2.gif (2466 bytes) I will console them in their pains and I will accompany them in their work.

vela-c2.gif (2466 bytes) 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.

vela-c2.gif (2466 bytes) I will defend them in their spiritual battles with the infernal enemy, and I will protect them at every instant of their lives.

vela-c2.gif (2466 bytes) I will visibly help them at the moment of their death; they will see the face of their Mother.

vela-c2.gif (2466 bytes) I have obtained (This Grace) from my divine Son, that those who propagate this devotion to my tears and dolors (sorrows), will be taken directly from this earthly life to eternal happiness, since all their sins will be forgiven and my Son and I will be their eternal consolation and joy.


Novena To Our Lady Of Sorrows

Of the Dolors of Mary - by Saint Alphonsus Ligouri

Litany of Our Lady of Sorrows - by Pope Pius VII


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