The Marian side of the Catholic Church helps us to see the human aspect of the act of faith: do we comfort the sorrowing as they grieve the death of a loved one? Always a mother, the Church directs our attention to the seven sorrows suffered by Mary, who witnessed her Son’s death for us on the cross.
A short prayer that we can offer: Mary most sorrowful, Mother of Christians, pray for us!
The feast day of Our Lady of Sorrows on September 15 which follows feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross is September 14. The Seven Sorrows unites us to Passion of the Lord on Calvary by having a Marian feast that uses the sorrows of to point to the salvific work of the Lord.
The famous Passionist Saint Gabriel of The Sorrowful Mother, said he was never denied any petition that he confided to the Mater Dolorosa (Mother of Sorrows).
In 1815, Pope Pius VII approved of the Seven Dolors of Mary but it was well used and promoted by the Servite Order since 1668 when a feast formally approved. The Servite Order dates back to 1239. The Seven Sorrows of Mary, taken from Scripture, are:
- The prophecy of Simeon. (Luke 2: 34, 35)
- The flight into Egypt. (Matthew 2:13-14)
- The loss of the Child Jesus in the temple. (Luke 3: 43-45)
- The meeting of Jesus and Mary on the Way of the Cross. (John 19:1; Luke 23:26-32)
- The Crucifixion. (Mark 15:22; John 19:18, 25-27; Mark 15:34; Luke 23:46)
- The taking down of the Body of Jesus from the Cross. (John 19:31-34, 38; Lamentations 1:12)
- The burial of Jesus. (Matthew 27:59; John 19:38-42; Mark 15:46; Luke 27:55-56)