“I grieve for Thee, O Mary most sorrowful, for the pangs that wrenched Thy most loving heart at the burial of Jesus.”
History of the Devotion
The history of the devotion to the Seven Sorrows of Mary begins with the Servants of Mary, known as the Servites, in Monte Senario, Italy about 1233. The order was started on the Feast of the Assumption. Seven professional men from Florence were inspired by the repenting spirit of the Brothers of Penance with whom they were in close contact. Belief is that Our Lady came to them requesting that they devote themselves to her service. In 1240, the men withdrew from their worldly lives to pray and serve Our Lord, leading a life of penance, prayer, and service to Mary. Florence was a commercial center with many visitors and much busyness. Because of this, they retreated to Monte Senario and the Servite Order was formed. By the year, 1244, with the guidance of Saint Peter of Verona, they began to wear religious habits, similar to those worn by the Dominicans and began living under the rule of Saint Augustine. The Servites focused their devotion on the rosary of the Seven Sorrows of Mary, which today
Apparition in Kibeho Revives the Devotion
Although the devotion began during the Middle Ages, it has become increasingly more popular following the Church-approved Marian apparitions in Kibeho, Rwanda in the 1980s. In her apparitions, Our Lady of Kibeho asked that people pray the Chaplet of the Seven Sorrows to obtain the favor of repentance. In an interview with Father Leszek Czelusniak, MIC, who is in charge of this apparition, Nathalie, one of the visionaries, said, “She also taught us the Rosary of the Seven Sorrows. She asked us to pray it every Tuesday and Friday.”
Seven Promises Revealed to Saint Bridget of Sweden
In the 14th century, Our Lady revealed to Saint Bridget of Sweden, seven promises that she would bestow upon souls who honor her daily by praying seven Hail Marys as they meditate upon her sorrows. The seven promises are:
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 will be their eternal consolation and joy.”
The Seven Sorrows of Mary
1. Prophecy of Simeon ~ Reading: Luke 2: 25-35.
2. Flight into Egypt ~ Reading: Matthew 2: 13-15.
3. Loss of the Child Jesus in the temple ~ Reading: Luke 2: 41-50.
4. Meeting of Jesus and Mary on the Way of the Cross ~ Reading: Luke 23: 27-29.
5. Crucifixion ~ John 19: 25-30.
6. Taking down of the Body of Jesus from the Cross ~ Reading: Psalm 130.
7. Burial of Jesus ~ Reading: Luke 23: 50-56.
Praying the Seven Sorrows Chaplet
To free us of any blemish before God and Our Lady, we begin with an Act of Contrition.
After meditating upon each sorrow, we pray one Our Father and seven Hail Marys.
The final prayers are:
Three more “Hail Marys to honor the tears of the Sorrowful Virgin; One Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory Be for the intentions
Invocation to the Sorrowful Virgin
Mary, Mother of God, Mother of Sorrows, lift me up when I am feeling sad and in times of trouble. Be my inspiration, my strength and my comfort throughout my life. Help me to accept the will of God with complete faith as you did. Help me to embrace the Gospel of Life and not a culture of death and to live accordingly. Embrace me with your motherly love and affection drawing me safely into the protection of your pierced and immaculate heart. Amen
Saint Alphonsus Liguori’s Meditations on the Seven Sorrows
1. Prophecy of Simeon
I grieve for Thee, O Mary most sorrowful, in the affliction of
Thy tender heart at the prophecy of the holy and aged Simeon.
Dear Mother, by Thy heart so afflicted, obtain for me the
2. Flight into Egypt
I grieve for Thee, O Mary most sorrowful, in the anguish
of Thy most affectionate heart during the flight into Egypt and
Thy sojourn there. Dear Mother, by Thy heart so troubled,
and the Gift of Piety.
3. Loss of the Child Jesus in the T
Mother, by Thy heart so full of anguish, obtain for me the
4. Meeting of Jesus and Mary on the Way of the Cross.
I grieve for Thee, O Mary most sorrowful, in the consternation of
Thy heart at meeting Jesus as He carried His Cross. Dear
Mother, by Thy heart so troubled, obtain for me the virtue of
patience and the Gift of Fortitude.
I grieve for Thee, O Mary most sorrowful, in the
martyrdom which Thy generous heart endured in standing
near Jesus in His agony. Dear Mother, by Thy heart afflicted in
such wise, obtain for me the virtue of temperance and the Gift
6. Taking down of the Body of Jesus from the Cross.
I grieve for Thee, O Mary most sorrowful, in the
wounding of Thy compassionate heart, when the side of Jesus
was struck by the lance and His Heart was pierced. Dear
Mother, by Thy heart thus transfixed, obtain for me the virtue
of fraternal charity and the Gift of Understanding.
7. Burial of Jesus
I grieve for Thee, O Mary most sorrowful, for the pangs
that wrenched Thy most loving heart at the burial of Jesus.
Dear Mother, by Thy heart sunk in the bitterness of desolation,
obtain for me the virtue of diligence and the Gift of Wisdom.