CARF Foundation

24 September, 20


The 7 sorrows of Our Lady: What are they?

On September 15 we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. Christians remember the 7 sorrows of the Virgin Mary. These are several moments in the life of the Virgin Mary where she was united to Jesus in a particular and unique way. This allowed her to share the depth of her Son's sorrow and the love of his sacrifice.

The feast of Passion week reminds us especially of the participation of the Virgin Mary in the sacrifice of Christ, represented by the 7 sorrows of the Virgin.

The feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, conveys the compassion that Our Lady feels for the Churchalways subjected to trials and persecutions.

Brief historical review

Around the year 1320, the Virgin Mary manifested herself to St. Bridget in a place in Sweden. On this occasion, her heart was wounded by 7 swords. These wounds represented the 7 sorrows of the Virgin Mary experienced at the side of her Son Jesus.

Then the sorrowing Virgin told St. Brigid that those who to pray remembering their pain and sorrow, they would obtain 7 special graces: peace in their families, confidence in God's action, consolation in their sorrows, defense and protection from evil, as well as the favors that they ask of her and that are not contrary to the will of Jesus. Finally, forgiveness of sins and eternal life to the souls who propagate her devotion.

Devotion to the Sorrowful Virgin took root among the Christian people, especially in the Servite Order, who devoted themselves to the meditation of the 7 sorrows of the Virgin Mary. And this same devotion was extended to the whole Church through Pope Pius VII in 1817.

St. Brigid of Sweden. Where the Virgin appeared and explained the devotion of the 7 sorrows of the Virgin.

Representation of the 7 sorrows of the Virgin Mary, antique stamp

The devotion of the 7 sorrows of the Virgin Mary

Meditating on Our Lady's sorrows is a way of sharing the deepest sufferings of Mary's life on earth. She promised that she would grant seven graces to the souls who honor and accompany her by praying 7 Hail Marys and an Our Father while meditating on the 7 sorrows of Our Lady. If you live today some suffering, take the opportunity to put your pain and your duel in the heart of the Virgin Mary.

First Sorrow: The Prophecy of Simeon at the Presentation of the Christ Child

Reading the Gospel of Luke (cf. 2:22-35)

The first of the 7 sorrows of the Virgin Mary was when Simeon announced to her that a sword of sorrow would pierce her soul for the sufferings of Jesus. In a certain way Simon manifested that the participation of the Virgin Mary in the redemption would be based on pain.

Imagine what a great impact she felt in Mary's heart when she heard the words with which Simeon prophesied the bitter Passion and death of her Son, Jesus.

Our Lady listens attentively to what God wants, ponders what she does not understand, and asks what she does not know. Then, she gives herself totally to the fulfillment of the divine will: behold the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me according to your word. Do you see the wonder? St. Mary, teacher of all our conduct, teaches us now that obedience to God is not servility, it does not subjugate the conscience: it moves us intimately to discover the freedom of the children of God. (It is Christ who passes by, 173).

Second Sorrow: The Flight to Egypt with Jesus and Joseph

Read the Gospel of Matthew (2:13-15)

It represents the second of the 7 sorrows of the Virgin, the one she felt when she had to flee with Joseph and Jesus suddenly and at night so far away in order to save her Son from the slaughter decreed by Herod. Mary experienced real sufferings when she saw that Jesus was already being persecuted to death as a baby. How many sufferings she experienced in the land of exile.

The Holy Gospel, briefly, makes it easier for us to understand the example of Our Mother: Mary kept all these things within herself, pondering them in her heart. Let us try to imitate her, dealing with the Lord, in a loving dialogue, with everything that happens to us, even the smallest events. Let us not forget that we must weigh them, evaluate them, see them with eyes of faith, in order to discover the Will of God (Friends of God, 284; Friends of God, 285).

Third Sorrow: The loss of Jesus - The Child lost in the Temple

Read the Gospel of Luke (2,41 -50)

The tears shed by the Virgin Mary and the pain she felt at the loss of your Son are the third of the 7 sorrows of the Virgin. Three days searching for him in anguish until she found him. found in the temple. In order to understand this, we can imagine that Jesus was lost at a very early age, still dependent on the care of Mary and St. Joseph. How distressing was Our Lady's grief when she realized that Jesus was not there.

"The Mother of God, who eagerly sought her son, lost through no fault of hers, who experienced the greatest joy in finding him, will help us to retrace our steps, to rectify what is necessary when, because of our lightness or sins, we fail to distinguish Christ. We will thus attain the joy of embracing Him again, to tell Him that we will not lose Him any more (Friends of God, 278).

Fourth Sorrow: Mary encounters Jesus on the road to Calvary

We read the IV Station of the Cross

In the fourth of the 7 sorrows of the Virgin Mary we think of the deep sorrow that the Virgin Mary felt when she saw Jesus carried with the crosscarrying the instrument of her own martyrdom. Let us imagine Mary meeting her Son in the midst of those who drag him to such a cruel death. Let us live the tremendous pain she felt when their eyes met, the pain of a Mother trying to support her Son.

Hardly has Jesus risen from his first fall, when he meets his Blessed Mother, beside the road through which he is passing.
With immense love Mary looks at Jesus, and Jesus looks at his Mother; their eyes meet, and each heart pours into the other its own sorrow. Mary's soul is flooded with bitterness, in the bitterness of Jesus Christ.
O you who pass by on the way, look and see if there is any sorrow comparable to my sorrow (Lam I, 12).

Fifth Sorrow: The Crucifixion and Agony of Jesus - Jesus dies on the Cross

Reading the Gospel of John (19:17-39)

This sorrow contemplates the two sacrifices on Calvary, that of Jesus' body and that of Mary's heart. The fifth of the 7 sorrows of the Virgin Mary is the suffering she felt when she saw the cruelty of the nails being driven into the hands and feet of her beloved Son. Mary's agony watching Jesus suffering on the cross; to give life to us. Mary stood at the foot of the cross and heard her Son promise heaven to a thief and forgive His enemies.

"Happy fault, sings the Church, happy fault, because she has achieved to have such a great Redeemer. Happy fault, we can also add, that we have merited to receive Holy Mary as our Mother. We are already sure, nothing should worry us anymore: because Our Lady, crowned Queen of heaven and earth, is the omnipotence supplicant before God. Jesus can deny nothing to Mary, nor can He deny anything to us, children of His own Mother (Friends of God, 288).

Sixth Sorrow: La Lanzada - Jesus is taken down from the Cross and handed over to his Mother.

Read the Gospel of Mark (15, 42-46)

We consider the pain Our Lady felt when she saw the spear thrown into the heart of Jesus. In the sixth of Our Lady's 7 sorrows, we relive the suffering Mary's Heart felt when the lifeless body of her beloved Jesus was taken down from the cross and placed in her lap.

Now, as we stand before that moment of Calvary, when Jesus has already died and the glory of his triumph has not yet been manifested, it is a good opportunity to examine our desires for Christian life, for holiness; to react with an act of faith to our weaknesses, and trusting in the power of God, to resolve to put love into the things of our day. The experience of sin should lead us to sorrow, to a more mature and deeper decision to be faithful, to truly identify ourselves with Christ, to persevere, whatever the cost, in that priestly mission that he has entrusted to all his disciples without exception, which urges us to be salt and light of the world. (Christ Is Passing By, 96).

Seventh Sorrow: The Burial of Jesus in the Sepulcher and the Loneliness of Mary

Reading the Gospel of John (19:38-42)

This is the infinite suffering that a Mother feels when burying your Son and although You know that on the third day He will rise again, the trance of death is real for the Virgin. Jesus was taken from her with the most unjust death in the whole world and Mary, who accompanied Him in all His sufferings, now remains alone and full of affliction. This is the last of Our Lady's seven sorrows and the hardest of all.

Scripture also sings of this love in glowing words: the abundant waters could not extinguish charity, nor the rivers sweep it away. This love always filled the Heart of Holy Mary, to the point of enriching her with the bowels of a Mother for all humanity. In the Virgin, love for God is also confused with solicitude for all her children. Her most sweet and attentive Heart must have suffered greatly, down to the smallest details - they have no wine - when she witnessed that collective cruelty, that cruelty which was, on the part of the executioners, the Passion and Death of Jesus. But Mary does not speak. Like her Son, she loves, keeps silent and forgives. That is the power of love (Friends of God, 237).

The 7 sorrows of the Virgin, communicated to Saint Brigida for the devotion of Christians.

Description of what appears in the image here

Prayer for the 7 sorrows of the Virgin Mary.

O Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, abode of purity and holiness, cover my soul with your maternal protection so that being always faithful to the voice of Jesus, I may respond to His love and obey His divine will.

I want, my Mother, to live intimately united to your Heart which is totally united to the Heart of your Divine Son.

Abide with us and give us your help, that we may turn struggles into victories, and sorrows into joys.

Our Lady of Sorrows, strengthen me in the sufferings of life.

Pray for us, O Mother, for you are not only the Mother of Sorrows, but also the Mistress of all graces.


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