It was in the Tradition of the Church to honor our Lady of sorrows. The devotion to the seven sorrows of Our Lady has its roots in the Bible. When baby Jesus was taken to the church by Mother Mary and St. Joseph, Simeon said to Mother Mary: “This child will be a sign that will be opposed…..and a sword will pierce your own soul also” (Lk. 2. 34,35). As Mary stood at the foot of the Cross of Jesus, the sword of sorrow which Simeon had foretold did really pierce through her heart. The devotion to Our Lady of Seven Sorrows (dolors) was passed on by St. Bridget (1303- 1373). Pope Pius VII, in 1817 extended this Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows to the universal Church. In 1913, Pope Pius X fixed the date on September 15. The Blessed Virgin Mary grants seven graces to the souls who honor her daily by praying seven Hail Mary’s and meditating on her seven sorrows. The following are the seven swords that pierced her heart.
- The prophecy of Simeon
- The flight into Egypt
- The loss of child Jesus in the temple
- The meeting of Jesus and Mary on the way of the Cross
- The Crucifixion
- The taking down of the Body of Jesus from the Cross
- The burial of Jesus.
The Lady of Seven Sorrows is the Patron of Slovakia.
As we honor our Mother with this devotion, let us also make up in our lives whatever is lacking in the sufferings of Christ for the good of the Church, which is the Body of Christ (Col.1.24). May all the sufferings of the persecuted Church be united with the sufferings of Jesus and of the sorrows of His Mother in producing fruits of Redemption for many.
Let us pray: ‘Holy Mother, pierce me through in my heart, each wound renew of my Saviour Crucified’.