The Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Sassoferrato - Mater Dolorosa

Sassoferrato – Mater Dolorosa

The Easter Cycle tells us how the mother of the Saviour co-operated in the Mystery of the Redemption. It shows her in this season of Passion at the foot of the Cross where Christ is dying.

“An ineffable union is established between the oblation of the Incarnate Word and that of Mary; the divine blood and the tears of the Mother flow together and are mixed for the redemption of the human race.” (‘The Liturgical Year’ by Dom Guèranger)

St. Bernard: “The prophecy of Simeon is fulfilled: a sword of grief pierces the most gentle soul of the glorious Virgin Mary, who by her unequalled love becomes the Queen of Martyrs.”

“There stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister Mary of Cleophas, and Salome, and Mary Magdalen. v. Woman, behold they son, said Jesus; and to the disciple, Behold thy mother. v. Glory be to the Father.” (Introit: John xix. 25)

As Judith had delivered Israel, the Virgin is our deliverer with Jesus. Wherefore the Gospel [for today in the Extraordinary From] shows us, at the foot of the tree of Passion in a scene which recalls the tree of prevarication, the maternity of Mary with regard to the Church personified by St. John.

“Let us venerate the Transfixion of the glorious Virgin Mary at the foot of the cross, in order to gather the happy fruit of the Passion of her son.” (Collect)

(The above has been adapted from Saint Andrew Daily Missal for the feast of ‘The Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary’, Friday in Passiontide.)

“But as great as was St. Paul’s devotion to our Lord, much greater was that of the Blessed Virgin: because she was his mother, and because she had him and all his sufferings actually before her eyes, and because she had the long intimacy of thirty years with him, and because she was from her special sanctity so unspeakably near him in spirit. When, then, he was mocked, bruised, scourged, and nailed to the Cross, she felt as keenly as if every indignity and torture inflicted on him was struck at herself. She could have cried out in agony at every pang of his. This is called her compassion, or her suffering with her Son, and it arose from this that she was the ‘Vessel of Devotion’ unlike any other.” – Bl. John Henry Newman


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9 Responses to The Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary

  1. Robert says:

    Goes without saying thank you.
    March is the Month of St Joseph
    This Easter is very rare. Easter is rooted in the Passover set by the lunar cycle. The Lunar cycle figures time and again in the BC era. St Vincent Ferrer preached that the Fathers of The Church saw in the Moon the Life of the Church (that is its waxing and then waning over the centuries! ) as well of course of Our Lady.
    The significance of De Mediatate Lunar should be meditated upon especially since it was followed immediately by De Labore Solis (eclipse of the Sun). De Gloria Olivae points especially to the Mount of Olives and the seizing of the mystical Body to be derided, scorned by a pagan atheist world and Crucified!
    Tradition has the Passion on March 25 (which is exactly 9 months to Christmas). So we have this year a daily correspondence with Holy week! Palm Sunday reminds of the many called and few chosen!
    The church is sacred Tradition and Revelation. Do not deny your Father Creator!

  2. toadspittle says:

    “The Lunar cycle figures time and again in the BC era.”
    That’s because there was a moon back then, Roger. Like today.

  3. Robert says:

    Toad if you are interested the unexpected sequencing within prime numbers is the latest inexplicable finding. The belief prior was that prime numbers were random in sequence but this is not the case.
    The ancients clinical observations of the Heavens is another common finding globally amongst diverse peoples. The mazzaroth features in Job and off course with Magi.
    The lunar cycle goes against run of a 365.25 days year. However there is evidence of a 360 days year at some point.
    Science cannot account for the excess of water on the Earth. The speculation is this came from comets (comprised in the main of water). The geological evidence and the fossil records point to global catastrophes.
    Either way the lunar cycle and the moons random traverse of the heavens (known as houses of the moon) was well known to the ancients.
    Off course if your view of Creation is that of the beast then you will be blind to the things of God.

  4. toadspittle says:

    “Science cannot account for the excess of water on the Earth.”
    1: There is no “excess” of water on Earth. There is just the right amount.
    2: It’s absurd that science should have to account for such a dopey thing. And it doesn’t.
    3: If there were no water on Earth, we’d have to skate on frozen gravel, drink our Scotch neat, and wash our faces in Vodka.
    4: Roger, you are an absolute treat. You make my day.

    “The belief prior was that prime numbers were random in sequence but this is not the case.”
    What a relief. Now we can all get some sleep.

  5. Robert says:

    Up to half of Earth’s water is older than the sun | New Scientist
    25 Sep 2014 – Up to half of Earth’s water is older than the sun …

    Massive ‘ocean’ discovered towards Earth’s core | New …
    12 Jun 2014 – A huge expanse of water trapped in a layer of the Earth’s mantle could help explain the origin of our oceans

    Genesis 7:11
    In the six hundredth year of the life of Noe, in the second month, in the seventeenth day of the month, all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the flood gates of heaven were opened:

    The Flood was FROM THE DEEP AND HEAVEN. That’s both the above 2014 New Scientist.

  6. GC says:

    Dear kathleen, there are countries that still commemorate the Friday of Sorrows (St Mary in Passiontide) on the Friday before Holy Week, and I think you are in one of them, are you not? Did you have any procession in your area? It’s when the men start putting on their pointy masks and hoods and carrying big heavy things through the town, isn’t it? I think the commemoration finally got the chop in the 1969 revision of the Roman calendar, generally speaking anyway.

    Here are some good notes I found on the Stabat Mater (a little lengthy but worth the effort):

    Christians of the twentieth century can truly identify with Our Lady’s experience of Sorrow. The message of the Stabat Mater focuses on the spiritual and emotional bond which unites Mary and all Christians to the death of her Son on the Cross. From this bond, each Christian can recognize the incredible compassion and holiness in Mary’s character. The Blessed Mother demonstrated her maternal compassion to all generations of Christians by her presence and participation with her Son Jesus in the Sacrifice of the Cross.

    There is a mother-son bond that unites Mary with Christ Jesus during his experience of suffering and death. This empathetic bond indicates that Our Lady shared in her Son’s suffering. Mary is Our Lady of Sorrows precisely because her Son Christ Jesus bore the sins of the world during his passion and death. As the faithful disciple, Our Blessed Mother invites us to unite our personal suffering with her own. We can share in Jesus’ burden on the Cross, just as Mary did at Calvary.

    As Our Lady of Sorrows, Mary also reminds us that Christians are called to expiate for his or her own sins and the sins of their neighbors, and the sins of the world. We can share in the bond between the Blessed Mother and Our Lord through fasting, prayer, and contrition for sin. Our Lady of Sorrows teaches us that the Crown of eternal life in Heaven can be reached when we each choose to share with Our Lord in His suffering and death on the Cross at Calvary.

    The compassion of Mary is part of the mystery of the Church community’s sharing in, and offering, the Sacrifice of Jesus for the salvation of the world. Each member of the Church has a role to play in redeeming the world. Our Lady of Sorrows is a guide who inspires and teaches us how to be compassionate.

  7. toadspittle says:

    “Up to half of Earth’s water is older than the sun | New Scientist”
    What if it is?
    …And what about the other half? Older than Mars?
    And since you regard the sun as being fewer than 8,00 years old, what does it matter how old water is? And what has the age of water got to do with Jesus Christ, anyway?
    Roger is presumably “getting” at something here.
    But has anyone else got the foggiest idea what?
    …Not me.

  8. Robert says:

    I think you should now refer back to the Water and the Wine at Cana. The Wine and its history that he just been Created.
    Notice that Genesis prempts these science articles. The evidence is of global catastrophes. Global Catastrophes strip away from geology the erosion and sedimentation over aeons which remember underpins Darwin’s theory.

    Who said the Sun was 8000 years old. Look at the Wine at Cana that had just been Created. That Wine had a history built in by the Creator BUT had just been Created from water. What I pointed out and the scriptures and the sacred Tradition confirm is the genealogy from Our Lord back to Adam (who was Created out of the red Earth) . Toad Creation has a history built into it! What is it that you don’t understand? .

    Our Ladys seven sorrows is much more fruitful than is suggested.
    She is Mother of the Church. The Virgin Birth means exactly that! A Virgin Birth and not that of Eve and her daughters suffering under Original Sin.
    However there is another Birth on Calvary when a sword of sorrow pierced Our Lady’s Heart. Sorrow comes with the Reparation for Sin and the Birth of the Church. Here then we find Our Lady’s sorrows when as Co Redeemer poor sinners are now to be numbered among her children. She without Sin had taken on the punishment due to Sin and offers her Son to the Father in reparation for Sin. She as Mother of the mystical body of Christ suffered a Birth of travail and pain!

  9. kathleen says:

    GC @ 5:41

    Thank you for that wonderful explanation of the true significance of Our Lady’s sorrows through the Stabat Mater.

    I am indeed in a parish in southern Spain that commemorates the Seven Sorrows of Our Lady on Friday in Passiontide (as do many other parts of the country, I believe). This is a great blessing, for Our Blessed Lady will always point us towards her Divine Son. In this secular age, it is uplifting to know there is still such a deep-rooted Catholic spirit in Spain, and such love for the Mother of God.
    Our local Church is always packed out that Friday evening in Passion week, and after Mass, the final blessing given from the lovely statue of Our Lady of Sorrows brought to the front of the altar for this purpose, reduces many of the congregation to tears!

    No, there was no procession that day, although we had celebrated a candlelit Via Crucis round the streets the Friday before – (the other Fridays in Lent the Stations of the Cross are prayed inside the Church.)
    However today, Palm Sunday, the processions started in ernest after the 10 a.m. Mass, with the large statue of Our Lord’s entry into Jerusalem on a donkey being held aloft by about two dozen strong young men. Immense crowds of people and lots of children both taking part (including the “penitentes” of your linked pic) and lining the streets to watch it go by.
    My little blond five-year-old grandson is dying to take part himself in this procession. He wants to be a “drummer boy” in a smart uniform; not a “penitent” hidden under a long veil with only his eyes showing! 😉

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