The Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary

A Brief Reflection

Today is the Feast of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  On this great and sorrowful Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, let us listen to St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church (1696-1787).  May his words move us to console our Blessed Mother in Her indescribable sufferings; may his words inspire us to grow in our love and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Who, united to Her Son, suffered death on the Cross for our salvation.

St. Bernardine (1380-1444) says that to form an idea of the unspeakable sorrow Mary felt when Jesus went to His death, we must first try to realize how much She loved Him.  [We should try] to imagine how ardent a flame Jesus must have enkindled in the pure heart of His Mother, empty as it was of every earthly affection.  The Blessed Virgin Herself told St. Bridget (1303-1373) that “love had made Her heart and the heart of Her Son one.”  The furnace of love [in Mary’s heart] was later changed into a sea of grief at the time of the Passion when, as St. Bernardine declares: “If all the sorrows of the world were fused into one, they would not equal the sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary.”

All the sufferings of Jesus were also Mary’s sufferings.  St. Jerome (343-420) says, “Every torture inflicted on the body of Jesus was a wound in the heart of His mother.”  St. John Chrysostom (347-407) says, “Anyone who had been present then on Mt. Calvary would have seen two altars on which two great sacrifices were being offered:  the one in the body of Jesus, the other in the heart of Mary.”  In fact we may even say with St. Bonaventure (1221-1274): “There was only one altar – the cross of the Son on which together with the divine Lamb, the Victim, His Mother was also being sacrificed.”

Venerable María de Jesús of Ágreda (1602-1665) writes the following about the sorrows and suffering of the Queen of Heaven:

“She was singular and extraordinary in all Her sufferings; She felt in Her own virginal body all the torments of Christ our Lord, both interior and exterior.  On account of this conformity we can say that also the heavenly Mother was scourged, crowned, spit upon, buffeted, laden with the Cross and nailed upon it; for She felt those pains and all the rest in Her purest body.  Although She felt them in a different manner, yet She felt them with such conformity that the Mother was altogether a faithful likeness of Her Son.”

[Mystical City of God, Vol. 3, “The Transfixion,” No. 670]

Let us pray:
O Mary, through Thy sorrow at the prophecy of Simeon, pray for us.
O Mary, through Thy sad flight into Egypt, pray for us.
O Mary, through Thine anxiety when seeking Thy lost Child, pray for us.
O Mary, through Thy sorrowful meeting with Jesus on the Way of the Cross, pray for us.
O Mary, through Thine unspeakable agony at the death of Thy Divine Son, pray for us.
O Mary, through Thy lamentations over the dead body of Thy Divine Son, pray for us.
O Mary, through Thy deep mourning at Jesus’ tomb, pray for us.