Devotion to Our Lady of Seven Sorrows

The Devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows is a devotion given to us by St. Bridget of Sweden (1303–1373). During this month devoted to our Lady of Sorrows, we are invited us to console the Sorrowful Heart of Mary and to unite our suffering to hers and by doing so receive beautiful graces of consolation and strength.

Mary is Balm to our Wounds
A mother’s love is like a gentle balm to our wounded hearts.  As we endure so many sufferings these days from the virus and shutdown; the fires, floods, and earthquakes; along with the painfully divided state of our beloved nation, let us take refuge in the comforting Heart of our Mother, Mary.  She understands our sufferings from the depth of her own experience, and she wants to fill our pained hearts with hope in her Son.  We invite you to join us starting tomorrow in pondering the 7 Sorrows of Mary.  We will take one a day.  We do not walk through this vale of tears alone.  Mary is with us and has walked this path before us.  She knows that it is filled with the joy of pure love and ends with the hope of the resurrection for all who cling to her Son in faith.  (St Bridget of Sweden received this devotion, which in it’s entirety, entails praying 7 Hail Mary’s while pondering all of Mary’s Seven Sorrows each day.)

Seven Promises to those who meditate on our Lady's Sorrows

Revealed to St. Bridget of Sweden.

1) I will grant peace to their families.
2) They will be enlightened about the divine Mysteries.
3) I will console them in their pains and I will accompany them in their work.
4) 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.
5) I will defend them in their spiritual battles with the infernal enemy and I will protect them at every instant of their lives.
6) I will visibly help them at the moment of their death — they will see the face of their Mother.
7) I have obtained this grace from My divine Son, that those who propagate this devotion to My tears and sorrows will be taken directly from this earthly life to eternal happiness, since all their sins will be forgiven and My Son will be their eternal consolation and joy.

Four Graces to those devoted to Her Sorrows

According to St. Alphonsus de Liguori in his book The Glories of Mary, it was revealed to Saint Elizabeth at the request of Our Lady, that Our Lord promised four principal graces to those devoted to Her Sorrows:

1) That those who before death invoke the divine Mother in the name of Her Sorrows will obtain true repentance of all their sins;
2) That He will protect all who have this devotion in their tribulations, and will protect them especially at the hour of death;
3) That He will impress on their minds the remembrance of His Passion;
4) That He will place such devout servants in Mother Mary’s hands to do with them as She wishes and to obtain for them all the graces She desires.

Prayer:

Dear Mother Mary, your heart was pained so much on your earthly pilgrimage by the sufferings your family and your nation endured.  A sword of sorrow pierced your loving heart each time you experienced the pain of sin which wounded your innocent Son and all those around you.  We need you, Mary, to be with us in our sorrows, that we may not give up or despair, but keep hoping in God’s love for us, and in the fulfillment of His promises.  We too want to console your tender heart, so pained by our sins, which continue so grievously against your Son today.  Sweet Mother of Sorrows, we love you.  Amen.

First Sorrow: The Prophecy of Simeon (Luke 2:34-35)

Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted, and your own soul a sword will pierce so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” (Luke 2:34-35)

O sweet Mother, how your tender heart was pained to hear, so soon after His birth, that your beloved Son  would suffer as a sign of contradiction to so many evil forces in the world. Mother, please help us have the courage to stand strong with you beside your Son against the evils that hurt so many around us.  Mother, we want to console you.  Fill us with LOVE HIMSELF as you are filled.

Second Sorrow: The Flight into Egypt (Matthew 2:13-21)

When [the wise men] had departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him.” Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for Egypt. (Matthew 2: 13-14)

Mary, you trustingly followed Joseph into an unknown land, fleeing the danger that threatened the very life of your precious child, the little Lord Jesus.  How your tender heart must have been pained to hear, of the little babies whose lives were taken by violence at the massacre of the Holy Innocents.  Mother, please help us to have the courage of Joseph as we protect the littlest ones in the womb, tiny babies and children so dependent on our care.  Mother, we want to console you. Fill us with LOVE HIMSELF as you are filled.

Third Sorrow: The Loss of Jesus for Three Days (Luke 2:41-50)

…As they were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Thinking that he was in the caravan, they journeyed for a day and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances, but not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him. (Luke 2:43-45)

Dearest Mother, Jesus was lost to you for three days.  You and Joseph searched without rest, anguished in mind and heart, until you found Him in the Temple, and light broke through the clouds which hid Him from you. Mother, sometimes we struggle with darkness when we can’t find Jesus, our minds pained by so many worries and troubles. Please help us to keep seeking Him in hope, awaiting His faithful coming, His light piercing through our darkest moments.  Mother, we want to console you. Fill us with LOVE HIMSELF as you are filled.

Fourth Sorrow: The Meeting of Jesus on the Way to Calvary (John 19:17)

And carrying the cross himself, he went out to what is called the Place of the Skull, in Hebrew, Golgotha. (John 19:17)

Oh Mary, you saw Him, Him for whom your heart beat pure love all the days of your life, Him who was the reason for your every breath.  As Jesus carried the heavy cross, you embraced Him, held Him in your arms one last time, comforted Him.  Oh Mother, help us console one another in our sufferings, letting love move us to action as you did.  Thank you for accepting the Father’s Will in your life so that we could have life.  Mary, we want to console you. Fill us with LOVE HIMSELF as you are filled.

Fifth Sorrow: The Crucifixion of Jesus (John 19:18-30)

Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. 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. (John 19: 25-27)

O death, where is your victory!  This was the greatest moment of triumph over sin and evil, the moment when Love conquered all.  Mother, help us to put far behind us the fear of death, knowing you stand beside us to intercede for us with your Son “now and at the hour of our death”.  We can run forward without fear with you at our side and Jesus before us!  Oh Mother of Sorrow, Mother of Hope, no evil can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord!  Mary, we want to console you. Fill us with LOVE HIMSELF as you are filled.

Sixth Sorrow: Jesus Taken Down from the Cross (John 19:39-40)

They took the body of Jesus and bound it with burial cloths along with the spices, according to the Jewish burial custom. (John 19:40)

Sweet Mother of Sorrows, how lovingly you held the Sacred Body of your Son in your arms, the same Body you lavished with tender love and care during His infancy, childhood, and adulthood. Mother, our world is so in need of the pure love found in the home of the Holy Family of Nazareth.  Make our families and our hearts homes of holy love. Mary, we want to console you.  Fill us with LOVE HIMSELF as you are filled.

Seventh Sorrow: Jesus Laid in the Tomb (John 19:39-42)

Now in the place where he had been crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had yet been buried. So they laid Jesus there because of the Jewish preparation day; for the tomb was close by. (John 19: 41-42)

What grief must have filled your pierced heart, dear Mother, as you laid your own Child to rest.  Yet, your grief was balanced by hope.  You believed the promises of God, the words of your Son, that He would rise again.  This hope gave you strength to reach out to those around you who were suffering.  In your own moment of intense pain, you stretched out your hands to the needy. Oh Mother, how beautiful your heart is.  Help us console the sorrowful and comfort the afflicted in our midst – bringing hope to the hopeless by our love for them!  Mary, we want to console you. Fill us with LOVE HIMSELF as you are filled

Other Resources:

Pope Pius VII approved another series of prayers in honor of the Seven Sorrows for daily meditation in 1815:

Prayers in Honor of the Seven Sorrows

O God, come to my assistance; O Lord, make haste to help me. Glory be to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

1. I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in the affliction of your tender heart at the prophecy of the holy and aged Simeon. Dear Mother, by your heart so afflicted, obtain for me the virtue of humility and the gift of the holy fear of God. Hail Mary…

2. I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in the anguish of your most affectionate heart during the flight into Egypt and your sojourn there. Dear Mother, by your heart so troubled, obtain for me the virtue of generosity, especially toward the poor, and the gift of piety. Hail Mary…

3. I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in those anxieties which tried your troubled heart at the loss of your dear Jesus. Dear Mother, by your heart so full of anguish, obtain for me the virtue of chastity and the gift of knowledge. Hail Mary…

4. I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in the consternation of your heart at meeting Jesus as He carried His Cross. Dear Mother, by your heart so troubled, obtain for me the virtue of patience and the gift of fortitude. Hail Mary…

5. I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in the martyrdom which your generous heart endured in standing near Jesus in His agony. Dear Mother, by your afflicted heart obtain for me the virtue of temperance and the gift of counsel. Hail Mary…

6. I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in the wounding of your compassionate heart, when the side of Jesus was struck by the lance before His Body was removed from the Cross. Dear Mother, by your heart thus transfixed, obtain for me the virtue of fraternal charity and the gift of understanding. Hail Mary…

7. I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, for the pangs that wrenched your most loving heart at the burial of Jesus. Dear Mother, by your heart sunk in the bitterness of desolation, obtain for me the virtue of diligence and the gift of wisdom. Hail Mary…

Let Us Pray:

Let intercession be made for us, we beseech You, O Lord Jesus Christ, now and at the hour of our death, before the throne of Your mercy, by the Blessed Virgin Mary, Your Mother, whose most holy soul was pierced by a sword of sorrow in the hour of Your bitter Passion. Through You, O Jesus Christ, Savior of the world, Who with the Father and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns world without end. Amen.

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