Friday is Feast of the Seven Sorrows of the BVM
I would like to include this because it is close to my heart. (I posted this on Sep 15, 2007, Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows).


Taken from: "The Servite Manual: BEHOLD THY MOTHER - a Collection of
Devotions Chiefly in Honor of Our Lady of Sorrows," compiled by The Servite
Fathers; 6th ed; Servite Fathers, Chicago, 1947 (Ed.

In the practice of every devotion it is before all things needful to know
its nature, object, and end; otherwise we are in danger of taking the wrong
path, and thus of losing the fruits attached to that devotion. We have therefore
to examine the nature and precise object of the devotion to our Lady of
Sorrows. It consists of a heartfelt and sincere compassion for the Sorrows
which the most holy Virgin endured through her whole life, especially for her
long martyrdom, which began with the prophecy of holy Simeon, and
was consummated on Calvary.

The sight of a great misfortune always moves us, sometimes even to tears;
but our compassion is increased, when the sufferer is united to us by ties
of affection; above all when it is a beloved mother who weeps, when
we have caused her tears, when she suffers for love of us. Now Mary
is the most tender of mothers; her grief was greater than we can imagine;
we pierced her heart in crucifying her Son by our sins; for us she
sacrificed herself with her divine Son.

As Holy Church sings -

"Is there one who would not weep,
Whelmed in miseries so deep,
Christ's dear Mother to behold?
Can the human heart refrain
From partaking in her pain,
In that Mother's pain untold?"

But in order to compassionate the sorrows of Mary, we must understand and
feel them, and to this end we must meditate deeply on them, considering also
the sufferings of Jesus which caused them. Meditation, therefore, on the
Dolors of Mary and the Passion of Jesus is a necessary condition of this
devotion. But our compassion for Jesus and Mary must not be sterile, nor be
the mere utterance of a few sighs or the shedding of a few tears. Every
true devotion must be practical, solid, and substantial, and therefore a
true devotion to our Lady of Sorrows should tend to excite in us a profound
horror of all sin. For it was for our sins that Jesus died on the cross and
Mary suffered such bitter woe, and every time we sin, as St. Paul expresses
it, we crucify again to ourselves the Son of God, and make him a mockery
(Heb. vi. 6). This hatred of sin should be extended even to venial sins.
It would indeed be a "crown of cruelty," when Jesus is covered with blood
from head to foot, to
inflict on Him new wounds under the pretense that they are not mortal.

Such, in a few words, is the true nature of the devotion to our Lady of
Sorrows, as it was revealed to the Seven Holy Founders, and has been handed
down to their children from age to age. We may here cite the words of one
of the most ancient chroniclers, who lived but a short time after St.
Alexis, the last survivor of the Holy Founders. They express in a language
simple indeed, but striking and precise, what we have endeavored to explain.
Speaking to the Religious of the Order, and we may apply what he says to the
members of the Confraternity also, he says: "The spirit of our Order
consists in mediating often, nay continually, on the Dolors of the most holy
Mother of God, and in striving that all should meditate on them. But our
brethren must make no mistake, as though meditation on, and compassion for,
the most holy Virgin of Sorrows were to end in the meditation itself. Far
different is that which the holy Mother of God expects from us. She desires
that, while we excite our hearts to compassionate her, that, we should far
more move them not to increase the occasion of her Dolors, which is sin.
She wills us to be good religious, fearing God, and free from sins, at least
from grievous and heavy sins, and to make seculars the same, so that through
us all may be holy.

"The Friars of St. Francis have by their poverty to teach us contempt of the
world. The Friars of St. Dominic have to teach and preach the holy faith,
God having chosen that Saint to be the master of Preachers. But we have a
spirit no less worthy and notable, that is, to be holy ourselves and to make
every one else holy, and that easily, namely, by meditating, and causing
others to meditate, on the sufferings of the most holy Mother of God and
those of her most holy Son.

"Such has been the intention of our Lady in instituting our Order; and our
holy father Alexis during his life never ceased to declare this, nor ever
tired of the declaration; and he added that we need not fear the destruction
of the Order, however great the persecutions raised against it, if we were
exact and diligent to fulfill our Lady's holy will, but that woe was laid up
for us, if we had neglected it. And he was wont to say, 'My children, this
I know from the mouth of our Mistress, whose Servants we are; therefore
believe and trust in it; happy are you if you do it.'"

Although the most holy Virgin only asks of us not to increase her sorrows by
committing sin, her devout servants will never rest in that alone. A good
and loving child, if he sees his mother in grief, especially if it be he who
has caused her grief, is not content that he does not cause her to weep
more, but does his best to console her. This we should do in regard to our
well-beloved Mother, the most holy Virgin. We should endeavor to console
her and cause her joy, at least in proportion to the affliction we have
wrought. We should do this, in the first place, by showing ourselves
fervent in the service of God, in loving Jesus above all in His Holy
Eucharist, in being devout to His Passion; we should do this, next, in
working to destroy the reign of sin around us, in leading others to good, in
teaching them to know and to love our Lady of Sorrows. So only can we
worthily repair the evil we have done, and the sorrow we have caused to our
beloved Mother.

Having thus set forth, as briefly as possible, the true idea of the devotion
to our Lady of Sorrows, let a few words be said on its excellence and its
advantages. Its excellence arises in the first place from the object it
sets before us, which is no other than the Dolors of Mary, and consequently
the Passion of our Lord. Now among all the mysteries of the life and death
of our Lord, that which the Saints recommend above all others for our
contemplation is His bitter Passion; nor can we ever so understand His
sufferings, as when we meditate on them in the company of His most holy
Mother. For no one in this world ever entered so deeply into those dolorous
mysteries, no one ever felt them so deeply, no one suffered more from the
ingratitude of men to Jesus crucified, no one desired more ardently to see
His love requited. Therefore, when any soul gives itself to our Lady of
Sorrows, it receives at once from her the most tender devotion to the
Passion of our Lord, and to the Holy Eucharist, which is the memorial

Likewise, among all the mysteries of the life of Mary, none offers to our
meditation an object more noble and sublime than the sorrows which she has
endured for us. There she shone in the brightest light, therein she, as it
were, repaid her God for the ineffable privileges which she received from
Him, therein she most evidently manifested her love for us, and therein
finally we shall find the explanation for her power over the Heart of Jesus.

The excellence of this devotion arises also from the fact that Jesus deigned
to be Himself the first to indicate it, and to urge it on us at the most
solemn time. When He willed to give us the most holy Virgin for our Mother,
He chose, as we have already said, the greatest and saddest moment of her
life, when she was in agony at the foot of His cross, so that the sweet name
of Mother, which we love to give Mary, should be, if we wish to answer to
the desire of the Heart of Jesus, intimately connected with the memory of
her sufferings and her martyrdom. This is the true devotion to Mary which
Jesus has taught us and bequeathed to us as His last will, a thought which
infinitely raises the dignity of the devotion to the Mother of Sorrows.

Again its excellence is shown herein, that when in the fullness of time God
would more widely spread this devotion in the Christian world, Mary herself
chose the Seven Holy Founders, prepared them carefully, and at length
revealed to them their mission, which was that of consecrating their whole
life to the cultus of her Dolors, and founding one of the great Orders of
the Middle Ages, with this object. Thus, after Jesus, devotion to the
Sorrows of Mary has herself for its authoress, and it can have no higher
claim to excellence.

If we now consider the advantages which are attached to it, we shall be
still more eager to embrace it. From what has been said above, it is clear
it inspires and nourishes in us the most tender devotion to the Passion of
Jesus, than which devotion there is no more powerful means of
sanctification. We have seen also that no consideration makes us know and
love Mary better, and gives us more confidence in her power, than that of
her Dolors. It gives us, therefore, a true devotion to Mary, at once tender
and strong. Now devotion to Mary, when true and solid, is eminently
sanctifying, and in the judgment of all the Saints it is a certain sign of
predestination. It is impossible not to hate sin and not to love and tend
to virtue, when we often have before our mind the thought of Jesus crucified
and of His afflicted Mother.

Under another aspect devotion to the Dolors of Mary is the source of most
abundant graces. From the height of His cross Jesus looks down with love on
those who compassionate His sufferings in union with His Mother, as well as
on those who feel compassion for her own Sorrows. Seeing them, He can no
longer say, "I looked for one that would grieve together with Me, but there
was none; and for one that would comfort Me, and I found none." (Psalm
lxviii. 21). And seeing them faithful to Him in misfortune and humiliation,
He opens in their behalf the richest treasures of His Heart, as He did for
St. John and St. Mary Magdalen. When in their turn they are in trouble and
affliction, He will come to console them lovingly, will pour balm into their
wounds, uphold and fortify them, and after their trial give them the purest
joy. So also Mary can no more say as of old: "They have heard that I sigh,
and there is none to comfort me" (Lam. I. 21); and, as her Son, she opens
with love the treasures which are placed in her hands by Him, and in her
turn consoles them that comfort her and gives them her choicest blessings.

One of the most precious of these gifts is the grace of a good and holy
death. In recompense for her fidelity in remaining near Jesus as He died on
the cross, our Lady of Sorrows has received from Him a special power to
assist souls in their last agony, and no doubt she will above all exercise
this power in behalf of those who have wept with her and compassionated her.
The peaceful deaths of the Seven Holy Founders, of St. Philip, St.
Peregrine, and so many Blessed of the Servite Order, are all striking proofs
of this. If she does not always assist her devout servants in a visible
manner, she assists them in an invisible, but not less efficacious, way.
Now there is no grace more precious than that of a good and holy death; it
is, we may say, the grace of graces. It gives the crown to all others, and
without it the most precious gifts are for ever useless.

Our Blessed Lady revealed to St. Mechtilde and St. Bridget that those who
practice a tender devotion to her sorrows will enjoy the following

1. Contrition at the hour of death.

2. Assistance in all their afflictions, and especially at the hour of

3. Jesus Christ will imprint in their hearts compassion for His sufferings
and the sorrows of Mary, that He may
hereafter reward them for it in heaven.

4. Jesus promised His mother, who had suffered so much on His account, that
He would grant whatever grace may be to the advantage of those amongst her
children who are devout to her Sorrows.

Let us then embrace with love a devotion so touching and so excellent, a
devotion so full of advantages. Let us ask it often of the Sacred Heart of
Jesus, which is its source, of St. Joseph and St. John, who were the
witnesses of the Sorrows of Mary and shared them, of the Seven Holy Founders
and St. Philip Benizi, who were the admirable models of this devotion and
its zealous propagators. Oh, that it might be with us as with St. Philip,
of whom it was said that there was nothing else in his heart than the
Passion of Jesus and the great Sorrow of Mary!
I thought the feast of OL Sorrows was 15 Sept?  Is it different on the EF calendar?
(04-17-2011, 02:06 PM)PatienceAndLove Wrote: I thought the feast of OL Sorrows was 15 Sept?  Is it different on the EF calendar?

Yeah it's different in the EF. Lotsa feasts were kept but moved around.

My local French NO parish church is called Notre-Dame-Des-Sept-Douleurs = our lady of seven sorrows. I've only ever been inside once, feast of Saint Faustina Kowalska Laet year where there was eucharistic adoration and they sung the divine mercy chaplet, in French.

Last Thanksgiving they advertised that they were doing a "county music-style" mass = "messe à sauveur country". I didnt go :)
There are two feasts of Our Lady of Sorrows: One on Sept 15, and the other the Friday before Palm Sunday.

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