Thursday, September 1, 2011


The month of September is dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows, whose feast is kept this month on the 15th, the day after the feast of the Triumph of the Cross.  Wherever our Lord is, His Blessed Mother is not far behind, even in the Church calendar.

The sorrows of Our Lady were foretold by Simeon the Prophet in the Temple of Jerusalem (Luke 2:34-35).  Devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows is a source of strength for us in our own struggles on earth.  She shows us how to unite our crosses with that of Jesus and to derive countless blessings from that union.

Some recommended devotions this month :

A short prayer (short prayers were called ejaculations or aspirations in traditional terminology) which can be prayed daily, many times; or added to our family rosary or personal prayer :

Mary most sorrowful, Mother of Christians, pray for us.

A longer prayer :

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.

The devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows has also been called The Seven Dolors of Mary.  "Dolors" is an old word, hardly used anymore, which means "sorrows."  It comes from the Latin word for sorrow.  We get the Spanish word "Dolores" and "Dolorosa" from that, too.

The Seven Sorrows of Mary were :

1. The Prophecy of Simeon
2. The Flight into Egypt
3. The Loss of the Child Jesus in the Temple
4. Mary meets Jesus carrying the Cross
5. The Crucifixion
6. The Body of Jesus is given to Mary
7. The Body of Jesus is buried in the Tomb

A rosary of the Seven Sorrows can be prayed this way : The Sign of the Cross, three initial Hail Mary's, seven Hail Mary's for each Sorrow, after the seven Sorrows the Act of Contrition and the following final prayer :

V : Pray for us, O Most Sorrowful Virgin;
R : That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray.  Lord Jesus, we humbly implore, both now and at the hour of our death, the powerful intercession of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, Thy Mother, whose immaculate and most holy soul was pierced at the moment of Thy passion with a sword of grief.  Grant us this favor, O Savior of the world, Thou who livest and reignest with the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, forever and ever.  Amen.

Mt. Carmel Church, Agat

Many of our local churches have large, Spanish-style statues of Our Lady of Sorrows (Dolorosa).  Many women, and mothers especially, found comfort in a Mother who also knows the pains of life.

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