Seven Sorrows of Mary

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Seven Sorrows of Mary




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Seven Sorrows of Mary Devotion of St. Bridget

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The prophecy of Simeon: "And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary his mother: Behold this child is set for the fall and for the resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be contradicted; And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that out of many hearts thoughts may be revealed" (Luke II: 34-35).

Meditation: Listening carefully to Simeon and Anna, Mary pondered these words in her heart. This Child, her Jesus, was the Desired of Ages, the Messiah longed for throughout Israel’s history—but His would not be a worldly ascent to glory and triumph. No, He would bring strife and conflict, rejection from those He so longed to save. He would be a sign of contradiction to the majority of His people who longed for racial ascendency, a new Davidic King—He would bring a sword, confusion, denial, and suffering to all who stood with Him.

Prayer:

Most tender Mother, let me suffer this sorrow with you, in one holocaust of love for souls, to the glory of the Blessed Trinity. Hail Mary, etc.

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2. The flight into Egypt: "And after they (the wise men) were departed, behold an angel of the Lord appeared in sleep to Joseph, saying: Arise and take the child and His mother and fly into Egypt: and be there until I shall tell thee. For it will come to pass that Herod will seek the child to destroy Him. Joseph arose and took the child and His mother by night, and retired into Egypt: and He was there until the death of Herod" (Matt. II: 13-14).

Meditation: How soon the suffering begins! He is but a baby! Pierced with the sudden threat, and fearful for the divine Child, Mary and Joseph flee to a pagan land taking only the barest essentials. Enduring days, weeks of travel in the harsh elements with a young child, scarce water and food, Mary grieves with her husband in their intense concern to save Jesus from certain death, to provide for their young family, for their own loving parents left behind who have no idea how the refugees will fare or how long they will stay in exile—if they even know anything at all about it. The Angel tells them little: “Flee to Egypt—for Herod seeks to kill the child.”

Prayer:

Most tender Mother, let me suffer this sorrow with you, in one holocaust of love for souls, to the glory of the Blessed Trinity. Hail Mary, etc.

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3. The loss of the Child Jesus in the temple:

"And having fulfilled the days, when they returned, the Child Jesus remained in Jerusalem; and His parents knew it not. And thinking that he was in the company, they came a day's journey, and sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. And not finding Him, they returned into Jerusalem, seeking Him" (Luke II: 43-45).

Meditation:

The unimaginable has happened. Mary cannot see the Holy Face of Jesus anywhere. He is not with family, but must have remained in Jerusalem now crowded with thousands of Passover pilgrims filling the streets as they make their way home. In the confusion and noise, how will Mary and Joseph ever find Him? Mary searches the face of every child who passes them on the way with greater and greater anguish of heart. What heart-rending prayer does she cry to the Father? How she must grieve to know that this Child, the Savior of the world who has been entrusted to her, has been lost while in her care.

Prayer:

Most tender Mother, let me suffer this sorrow with you, in one holocaust of love for souls, to the glory of the Blessed Trinity. Hail Mary, etc.

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4. The meeting of Jesus and Mary on the Way of the Cross

: "And there followed Him a great multitude of people, and of women, who bewailed and lamented Him" (Luke XXIII: 27).

Meditation:

The dread anticipation which has been buried in Mary’s heart for 33 years after Simeon’s prophecy now erupts in piercing pain. The dull dread of years of waiting turns to sharp and biting sorrow. The Beloved of her heart, her Child, her God, will do anything to please the Father. Look what Love has done to Him! Her will lies in perfect accord with the will of her Jesus, but her Mother’s heart bleeds with grief to see and feel His every wound, the stripes from the scourging, the crown of thorns piercing His beautiful brow and face.

Prayer:

Most tender Mother, let me suffer this sorrow with you, in one holocaust of love for souls, to the glory of the Blessed Trinity. Hail Mary, etc.

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5. The Crucifixion

: "They crucified Him. Now there stood by the cross of Jesus, His Mother. When Jesus therefore had seen His Mother and the disciple standing whom he loved, He said to His Mother: Woman: behold thy son. After that he said to the disciple: Behold thy Mother" (John XIX: l8, 25-27).

Meditation:

Mary could not have suffered more if the soldiers had ripped her own garments from her immaculate body, had driven the nails into her tender hands and feet. She thirsted with Him, she entered the humiliating rejection of the crowd’s mockery, the heartless desertion of all the apostles except for St. John and a few faithful women. For the salvation of the world, she abandoned herself with Him into the wrenching desolation of the Father’s absence, into the dark night of Soledad which will fill her soul for the rest of her life.

Prayer:

Most tender Mother, let me suffer this sorrow with you, in one holocaust of love for souls, to the glory of the Blessed Trinity. Hail Mary, etc.

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6. The taking down of the Body of Jesus from the Cross:

"Joseph of Arimathea, a noble counselor, came and went in boldly to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. And Joseph buying fine linen, and taking Him down, wrapped Him up in the fine linen" (Mark XV: 43-46).

Meditation:

Closed and darkened—now shut off from Mary—is the gaze of Jesus’ eyes which has been the joy of her life for 33 years. Her Jesus is

cut off

from the land of the living. What she holds to her broken heart is His dead and ravaged body, torn beyond belief, caked with blood and her silent tears. Who can comfort her? The violence of her sorrow exceeds the reach of friendly arms and compassionate voices.

Prayer:

Most tender Mother, let me suffer this sorrow with you, in one holocaust of love for souls, to the glory of the Blessed Trinity. Hail Mary, etc.

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7. The burial of Jesus:

"Now there was in the place where He was crucified, a garden; and in the garden a new sepulcher, wherein no man yet had been laid. There, therefore, because of the approaching Sabbath of the Jews, they laid Jesus, because the sepulcher was nigh at hand" (John XIX: 41-42).

Meditation:

How unbearable to rush grief. Eternity is not long enough for Mary to vent the sorrows of her pierced heart. Yet she must relinquish Him too soon to a stony tomb. As she had wrapped Him in swaddling clothes under the bright star of His Birth, now she swaddles Him in the winding clothes of death as the darkness encroaches on her love. The great stone is rolled between her and her beloved Child, and she turns away, filled with the darkness of the greatest emptiness of heart the world has ever known.

Prayer:

Most tender Mother, let me suffer this sorrow with you, in one holocaust of love for souls, to the glory of the Blessed Trinity. Hail Mary, etc.

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These are the seven promises Our Lady made, through St. Bridget of Sweden, to those who are devoted to meditating on her Seven Sorrows: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

dolors

, will be taken directly from this earthly life to eternal happiness since all their sins will be forgiven and my Son and I will be their eternal consolation and joy.”

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PROMISES OF OUR LORDAdditionally, as relayed by St. Alphonsus de Liguori in his classic work The Glories of Mary, Our Lord promised four graces to those devoted to the Sorrows of his Blessed Mother:

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.


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