Our Lady of Sorrows, also known as “the Seven Sorrows of Mary” or “Our Lady of Piety,” is a popular devotion among Catholics. It is the name the faithful use to refer to the Blessed Virgin Mary and the sorrows that she had to endure in her life.
Mary’s sorrows are believed to be mentioned in two passages in the bible. In Luke 2:35, Simeon predicted about a sword piercing Mary’s soul; while in John 19:26-27, Jesus’ words from the cross were put in relation to the sorrows of Mary and His beloved disciples.
In most Catholic representations, the Virgin Mary is portrayed as a sorrowful, crying mother who endures one or seven long knives that pierce her bleeding heart. Religious interpreters believe that this representation is based on the two biblical passages—the swords are Mary’s sorrows, especially as she herself saw how Jesus died on the cross.
Saint Ambrose sees the Our Lady of Sorrows as a powerful portrayal of the Blessed Virgin’s sorrowful yet strong persona. While others fled after Jesus was nailed to the cross, Mary stood before Him fearlessly—she looked at her Son’s wound with pity but also with the hope that they would mean the salvation of humanity. (Read: Four fun facts that prove Pope Francis’ love for Mama Mary)
The feast of Our Lady of Sorrows is celebrated annually every 15th of September. A feast of Friday of Sorrows is also observed in some Catholic countries.
Prayer to Our Lady of Sorrows
Our mother of sorrows, with strength from above you stood by the cross, sharing in the sufferings of Jesus, and with tender care, you bore him in your arms, mourning and weeping.
We praise you for your faith, which accepted the life God planned for you. We praise you for your hope, which trusted that God would do great things in you. We praise you for your love in bearing with Jesus the sorrows of his passion.
Holy Mary, may we follow your example, and stand by all your children who need comfort and love.
Mother of God, stand by us in our trials and care for us in our many needs. Pray for us now and at the hour of our death.
Prayer from amm.org.