Friday after Passion Sunday, The Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin

Our Lady of Sorrows


The Christmas Cycle had celebrated the part taken by the Blessed Virgin in the Mystery of the Incarnation, glorifying both the divinity of Jesus and the divine maternity of Mary. 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 the Passion at the foot of the Cross where Christ is dying (Introit, Sequence, Gospel). “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 prophecy of Simeon is fulfilled: a sword of grief pierces the most gentle soul of the glorious Virgin Mary (Collect), who by her unequalled love becomes the Queen of Martyrs ” (Communion).

As Judith had delivered Israel by killing Holofernes (Epistle), the Virgin is our deliverer with Jesus. Wherefore the Gospel 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).

Stabant juxta crucem Jesu mater ejus, et soror matris ejus Maria Cleophae, et Salome, et Maria Magdalene. *  Mulier, ecce filius tuus: dixit Jesus; ad discipulum autem: Ecce mater tua.
There stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister Mary of Cleophas, and Salome, and Mary Magdalen, * Woman, behold thy son, said Jesus; and to the disciple, Behold thy mother.
(John 19:25-27 from the Introit of Mass)

Deus, in cujus passione, secundum Simeonis prophetiam, dulcissimam animam gloriosae Virginis et Matris Mariae doloris gladius pertransivit: concede propitius; ut, qui transfixionem ejus et passionem venerando recolimus, gloriosis meritis et precibus omnium Sanctorum cruci fideliter astantium intercedentibus, passionis tuae effectum felicem consequamur.
O God, at whose passion, according to the prophecy of Simeon, a sword of sorrow pierced the most sweet soul of the glorious virgin and mother Mary; grant in Thy mercy that we, who call to mind with veneration her soul pierced with sorrow, through the glorious merits and prayers of all the saints faithfully standing by Thy cross, may obtain the blessed result of Thy Passion.

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