<blockquote><p><em>O most holy and afflicted Virgin! Queen of Martyrs! thou who didst stand motionless beneath the Cross, witnessing the agony of thy expiring Son--through the unceasing sufferings of thy life of sorrow, and the bliss which now more than amply repays thee for thy past trials, look down with a mother&#39;s tenderness and pity on me, who kneel before thee to venerate thy dolors, and place my requests, with filial confidence, in the sanctuary of thy wounded heart; present them, I beseech thee, on my behalf, to Jesus Christ, through the merits of His own most sacred death and passion, together with thy sufferings at the foot of the cross, and through the united efficacy of both obtain the grant of my present petition. To whom shall I resort in my wants and miseries if not to thee, O Mother of Mercy, who, having so deeply drunk of the chalice of thy Son, canst compassionate the woes of those who still sigh in the land of exile? Offer for me to my Savior one drop of the Blood which flowed from His sacred veins, one of the tears which trickled from His divine eyes, one of the sighs which rent His adorable Heart. O refuge of the universe and hope of the whole world, do not reject my humble prayer, but graciously obtain the grant of my petition.</em></p></blockquote><h3>An Explanation of the Prayer in Honor of the Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary</h3><p>In this lengthy but beautiful prayer in honor of the sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we present our own sorrows and ask Mary to intercede for us with her Son, so that our request may be granted.</p><p>The word <em>dolors</em> comes from the Latin, and simply means &#34;sorrows&#34;; and <em>filial</em> (also from the Latin) means &#34;of a son or daughter.&#34; So we, as Christians, approach Our Lady of Sorrows with the confidence that we would approach our own mother.</p><blockquote><p><em>Most holy Virgin and Mother, whose soul was pierced by a sword of sorrow in the Passion of thy divine Son, and who in His glorious Resurrection wast filled with never-ending joy at His triumph; obtain for us who call upon thee, so to be partakers in the adversities of Holy Church and the sorrows of the Sovereign Pontiff, as to be found worthy to rejoice with them in the consolation for which we pray, in the charity and peace of the same Christ our Lord. Amen.</em></p></blockquote><h3>An Explanation of the Prayer to the Mother of Sorrows</h3><p>In this prayer to the Mother of Sorrows, we ask Mary to pray for us, so that we may look forward to the joy that comes from remaining faithful witnesses to Christ.</p><blockquote><p><em>Virgin most sorrowful, pray for us.</em></p></blockquote><h3>An Explanation of Virgin Most Sorrowful</h3><p>In this short prayer or aspiration, we unite our sorrows to those of Our Lady of Sorrows—Mary, the Virgin Most Sorrowful.</p><blockquote><p><em>Mary most sorrowful, Mother of Christians, pray for us.</em></p></blockquote><h3>An Explanation of Mary Most Sorrowful</h3><p>This short prayer or <a href="https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-an-aspiration-542576" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="internalLink" data-ordinal="1">aspiration</a> addresses the Blessed Virgin Mary under two important titles: Our Lady of Sorrows, the mother who saw her own Son derided, tortured, and crucified, and Mary, Mother of Christians, because, as the Mother of Christ, she is our spiritual mother, too.</p><p>In this prayer to Our Lady of Sorrows, we call to mind the pain endured both by Christ on the Cross and Mary, as she watched her Son be crucified. 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.</p><blockquote><p><em>Mary, most holy Virgin and Queen of Martyrs, accept the sincere homage of my filial affection. Into thy heart, pierced by so many swords, do thou welcome my poor soul. Receive it as the companion of thy sorrows at the foot of the Cross, on which Jesus died for the redemption of the world. With thee, O sorrowful Virgin, I will gladly suffer all the trials, contradictions, and infirmities which it shall please our Lord to send me. I offer them all to thee in memory of thy sorrows, so that every thought of my mind, and every beat of my heart may be an act of compassion and of love for thee. And do thou, sweet Mother, have pity on me, reconcile me to thy divine Son Jesus, keep me in His grace, and assist me in my last agony, so that I may be able to meet thee in heaven and sing thy glories. Amen.</em></p></blockquote><h3>An Explanation of the Prayer to Mary, the Queen of Martyrs</h3><p>In this prayer to Mary, the Queen of Martyrs, we recall the sorrow that she endured watching her only Son die on the Cross. We unite all of our sufferings every day to hers, asking for the grace and strength to endure them for the sake of Christ, as Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows, did.</p><p><em>Filial</em> comes from the Latin, and it means &#34;of a son or daughter.&#34; So the &#34;filial affection&#34; we offer Mary is our love for her not only as the Mother of God but as our mother, too.</p>This traditional Sorrowful Mother Novena is both a meditation on the role that Mary played in our salvation and a plea for her intercession so that we may follow her example in following Christ her Son.