Hard to believe that the turn of today’s calendar brings us to September, but indeed it is upon us! I must say, September is a glorious month here in New England. The warm days and cool nights produce clear air and make for the most beautiful blue skies. The sun sets a bit earlier every day and shadows lengthen. In spite of its beauty, though, September fills me with a bit of sorrow. The children go back to school, and I miss them. The shortening days and the changing color of the leaves foreshadow the winter that lies ahead. Thus, it seems fitting that the Church dedicates this month to the Seven Sorrows of Mary.
What are the Seven Sorrows?
- The prophecy of Simeon
- The flight into Egypt
- The loss of the Child Jesus in the temple
- The meeting of Jesus and Mary on the Way of the Cross
- The Crucifixion
- The taking down of the Body of Jesus from the Cross
- The burial of Jesus
What is this devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows? I had always heard the title of Our Lady of Sorrows, but never knew its origin. This devotion was given to the Church in the fourteenth century by St. Bridget. Through it, the Church invites us to meditate on and grow in compassion for Our Lady’s sorrows, as the mother of Jesus, and use them as a means to grow in understanding of the suffering and Passion of Christ.
One of the things of which I was unaware until today is the set of promises that are attached to the devotion. Here’s a bit more info: (source)
The Blessed Virgin Mary revealed to St. Bridget of Sweden (1303-1373) that seven graces are granted to the souls who honor her daily by saying seven Hail Mary’s and meditating on her tears and dolors.
- I will grant peace to their families.
- They will be enlightened about the divine mysteries.
- I will console them in their pains and I will accompany them in their work.
- 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.
- I will defend them in their spiritual battles with the infernal enemy and I will protect them at every instant of their lives.
- I will visibly help them at the moment of their death, they will see the face of their Mother.
- 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 and I will be their eternal consolation and joy.
St. Alphonsus Liguori testifies to complementary revelations given by Our Lord to St. Elizabeth of Hungary (1207-1231) where Jesus further promises four special graces to those dedicated to the sufferings of the co-redeeming Mother:
- That those who before death invoke the Blessed Mother in the name of her sorrows, should obtain true repentance of all their sins.
- That He would protect in their tribulations all who remember this devotion, and that He would protect them especially at the hour of death.
- That He would impress upon their minds the remembrance of His Passion, and that they should have their reward for it in Heaven.
- That He would commit such devout clients to the hands of Mary, so that she might obtain for these souls all the graces she wanted to lavish upon them.
Wow!!! How come I never knew that???
Well, today is a great day because the Church has given me another gift! An old, but new devotion to draw me closer to Jesus through His Mom!
Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us! Anne