Feast Day: September 15th
Our Lady of Sorrows
to the Seven Sorrows of Our Lady has its roots in Sacred Scripture
and in Christian piety, which always associates the Blessed Mother
with her suffering Son. The memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows was
introduced by the Servites in order to intensify devotion to Our
Lady's Sorrows. In 1817 Pius VII — suffering grievously in exile but
finally liberated by Mary's intercession — extended the feast to the
This memorial dates back to the 12th century. It was especially
promoted by the Cistercians and the Servites, so much so that in the
14th and 15th centuries it was widely celebrated throughout the
Catholic Church. In 1482 the feast was added to the Missal under the
title of "Our Lady of Compassion." Pope Benedict XIII added it to
the Roman Calendar in 1727 on the Friday before Palm Sunday. In
1913, Pope Pius X fixed the date on September 15. The title "Our
Lady of Sorrows" focuses on Mary's intense suffering during the
passion and death of Christ. "The Seven Dolors," the title by which
it was celebrated in the 17th century, referred to the seven swords
that pierced the Heart of Mary. The memorial is like an octave for
the birthday of Our Lady on September 8th. — Excerpted from Our Lady
of Sorrows by Fr. Paul Haffner (Inside the Vatican, September 2004)
This feast is dedicated to the spiritual martyrdom of Mary, Mother
of God, and her compassion with the sufferings of her Divine Son,
Jesus. In her suffering as co-redeemer, she reminds us of the
tremendous evil of sin and shows us the way of true repentance.
Reflecting on this
memorial at Mass yesterday, I shared this thought: How could Mary be
a co-Redeemer with Christ? Remember that redemption was won through
Christ's Sacrifice (and victory) on the Cross. Mary, standing at the
foot of the Cross, connected her suffering to that of her Son. And
because Mary was holy, she was able to love perfectly - which
enabled her to offer and connect her sufferings to Christ in a way
no one else can.
As Mary stood at the foot of the Cross on which Jesus hung, the
sword of sorrow Simeon had foretold pierced her soul. Below are the
seven sorrows of Mary:
Prophecy of Simeon.
Flight into Egypt.
Loss of the Child Jesus in the Temple.
Meeting Jesus along the Way of the Cross.
Crucifixion of Jesus.
Descent from the Cross,
Mary receives the dead body of Jesus in Her arms.
Burial of Jesus.
"May the numerous tears of the Mother of God be conducive to our
with which tears Thou, O God,
art able to wash away the sins of the whole world."
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