A Prayer to Our Lady of Sorrows

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Background

Our Lady of Sorrows, or Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows, is a name used for the Virgin Mary--a title used out of deference to the many painful events in her life. Practices aimed at the Seven Sorrows of Mary are very popular devotions for Catholics, and many prayers and rituals are dedicated to Mary in this form.

The seven sorrows refer to seven momentous events in the life of Mary: Simeone, the Holy Man, forecasting the pain that Mary would suffer because Jesus was the Savior; Joseph and Mary fleeing with the infant Jesus in order to escape Herod the King's threat to the child; Mary and Joseph losing the 12-year-old Jesus for three days until finding him in the temple; Mary witnessing Jesus carrying the cross to Calvary; Mary witnessing the crucifixion of Jesus; Mary receiving the body of Jesus when it is removed from the cross; and Mary witnessing the burial of Jesus.

 

The various devotional practices and prayers dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows focuses on the example that Mary sets for maintaining steadfast faith and devotion in the face of almost indescribable heartache and pain. The modern church now celebrates the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows every September 15. 

The Prayer

In this prayer to Our Lady of Sorrows, believers call to mind the pain endured both by Christ on the Cross and by Mary as she watched her Son be crucified. In reciting the prayer, we ask for the grace to join in that sorrow, so that we may awaken to what is truly important--not the passing joys of this life, but the lasting joy of eternal life in Heaven.

O most holy Virgin, Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ: by the overwhelming grief you experienced when you witnessed the martyrdom, the crucifixion, and death of your divine Son, look upon me with eyes of compassion, and awaken in my heart a tender commiseration for those sufferings, as well as a sincere detestation of my sins, in order that being disengaged from all undue affection for the passing joys of this earth, I may sigh after the eternal Jerusalem, and that henceforward all my thoughts and all my actions may be directed towards this one most desirable object.

Honor, glory, and love to our divine Lord Jesus, and to the holy and immaculate Mother of God.

Amen.