Wednesday, September 15
Our Lady of Sorrows – Memorial
Roman Ordinary calendar
Letter to the Hebrews 5,7-9.
In the days when Christ Jesus was in the flesh, he offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.
Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered;
and when he was made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.
In you, O LORD, I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
In your justice rescue me,
Make haste to deliver me!
Be my rock of refuge,
a stronghold to give me safety.
You are my rock and my fortress;
for your name’s sake you will lead and guide me.
You will free me from the snare they set for me,
for you are my refuge.
Into your hands I commend my spirit;
You will redeem me, O LORD, O faithful God.
But my trust is in you, O LORD;
I say, “You are my God.
In your hands is my destiny; rescue me
from the clutches of my enemies and my persecutors.”
How great is the goodness, O LORD,
which you have in store for those who fear you,
and which, toward those who take refuge in you,
You show in the sight of the children of men.
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 19,25-27.
Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.”
Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.
Rupert of Deutz (c.1075-1130)
Commentary on Saint Johns Gospel, 13 ; PL 169, 789
“Behold, your mother.”
“Woman, this is your son. This is your mother.” By what right is the disciple whom Jesus loved the son of the Lord’s mother? By what right is she his mother? By the fact that, without pain, she brought into the world the salvation of us all when she gave birth in the flesh to the God-man. But now she is in labor with great pain as she stands at the foot of the cross.
At the hour of his Passion, the Lord himself rightly compared the apostles to a woman in childbirth when he said: “When a woman is in labor she is in anguish because a child is born into the world” (cf. Jn 16:21). How much more, then, might such a son compare such a mother, the mother standing at the foot of his cross, to a woman in labor? What am I saying? “Compare”? She is indeed truly a woman and truly a mother and, at this hour, she is truly experiencing the pains of childbirth. When her son was born she did not experience the anguish of giving birth in pain as other women do; it is now that she is suffering, that she is crucified, that she experiences sorrow like a woman in labor, because her hour has come ( Jn 16:21; cf.13:1; 17:1). (…)
When this hour has passed, when the sword of sorrow has completely pierced her soul in labor (Lk 2:35), then no more shall she “remember the pain because a child has been born into the world” – the new man who renews the entire human race and reigns for ever over the whole world, truly born, beyond all suffering, immortal, the firstborn from the dead. If the Virgin has thus brought the salvation of us all into the world, in her son’s Passion, then she is indeed the mother of us all.
The First Sorrow of Our Lady
THE PROPHECY OF SIMEON
The Second Sorrow of Our Lady
THE FLIGHT INTO EGYPT
The Third Sorrow of Our Lady
LOSING THE CHILD JESUS
The Fourth Sorrow of Our Lady
MEETING JESUS ON THE ROAD TO CALVARY
The Fifth Sorrow of Our Lady
SEEING JESUS CRUCIFIED AND DIE ON THE CROSS
The Sixth Sorrow of Our Lady
RECEIVING THE DEAD BODY OF JESUS IN HER ARMS
The Seventh Sorrow of Our Lady
THE BURIAL OF JESUS
An Age Old Devotion
Devotion to the Sorrows of Mary has always been a favorite devotion among Catholics. It has been sanctioned by the Church and introduced into the Missal and Breviary. In order to keep before our minds the inexpressible sufferings endured for us by the Mother of God, while she lived here on earth with her Divine Son, the Church observes two feasts in honor of the Seven Sorrows of Mary: one on the Friday before Good Friday and the other on September 15th. The Church has enriched, with numerous indulgences, the Rosary of the Seven Sorrows, as well as a number of other devotions to the Mother of Sorrows. How touching is the beautiful hymn, Stabat Mater Dolorosa, which the Church intertwines with the public recitation of the Way of the Cross. The Church spares no pains to induce her children to venerate the sufferings of their Heavenly Mother.
Seven Sorrows from Countless Sorrows
Seven of her countless Sorrows have been chosen for our special veneration. These are the ones selected for the mysteries of the Rosary of the Seven Sorrows. They are:
1. The prophecy of Simeon.
2. The flight into Egypt.
3. The loss of the Child Jesus in the temple.
4. The meeting of Jesus and Mary on the Way of the Cross.
5. The Crucifixion.
6. The taking down of the Body of Jesus from the Cross.
7. The burial of Jesus.
Because of these Seven Sorrows, which pierced her maternal heart, the Mother of God is often represented either as standing beneath the Cross, or as holding the lifeless Body of Jesus on her lap, her heart transfixed by seven swords, according to the prophecy of holy Simeon: “Thine own soul a sword shall pierce” (Luke 2:35).
Holy Church recalls to our mind only seven of Our Lady’s sorrows, but who could form an estimate of their real number! The sufferings of the Mother of God cannot be comprehended; they are inconceivable. But although her whole life was, like that of her Divine Son, a continuous series of sufferings and tribulations, the greatest woes and trials came to her during the week of the bitter Passion and Death of Jesus, when the storm of hatred and fury burst forth with all violence against Him.
During our Savior’s Passion, every glance at her suffering Son forced the sword deeper into Mary’s soul. Every sound of His voice brought special bitterness to her Heart. Every increase of her love for Him—and it increased with every moment of His Passion—augmented her sorrows. The dearer and more precious Our Lord became to her, the more keenly she felt the heart-rending woe of His cruel and ignominious Passion! In her spirit as well as in her senses, she felt every blow that was inflicted upon her Divine Son, every insult that was offered to His sacred Person. Yet no complaint or cry escaped her blanched lips. With heroic fortitude she suppressed her violent grief, and, wholly conformed to the Divine will, generously offered the sacrifice of her Son for the sins of the world.