The Seven Sorrows of Mary

For centuries, Mary has been given the title of “Mother of Sorrows” or “Our Lady of Sorrows” because of the pain and suffering she experienced as the mother of Jesus and because her experiences of suffering symbolize and mirror the many types of suffering that have always afflicted human beings, and that continue to afflict us today.

The Devotion of the Seven Sorrows of Mary has a long history, as it grew side-by-side with devotion to the crucified Christ during the Middle Ages. It was officially promulgated by the Church in the early 19th Century. The purpose of the devotion is to promote union with the suffering of Christ through union with the suffering Mary endured as Jesus’ mother. (Devotion to Mary never stands alone; Mary always points to Jesus.)

Today, on this memorial of Our Lady or Sorrows, you might take some time today reflecting on one or more of the Seven Sorrows of Mary to see what they have to say to you about your own experiences of suffering. Here they are, with their scriptural references:

The prophesy of Simeon – Luke 2:27-35
The flight into Egypt – Matthew 2:13-15
The losing of Jesus in the temple – Luke 2:43-51
Mary meets Jesus carrying his cross – Luke 23:27
Mary stands beneath the cross of Jesus – John 19:25-27
Mary receives the dead body of Jeseus – John 19:38
Jesus is laid in the tomb – John 39:42