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Reflections on the Seven Sorrows of Mary

By: Guest blogger on September 9th, 2023

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Reflections on the Seven Sorrows of Mary

family prayer  |  Seven Sorrows of Mary  |  Our Lady of Sorrows

Devotion to Mary, under the title of Our Lady of Sorrows, took root in the Church around the 14th century. It was revealed to St. Bridget of Sweden that devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary's Seven Sorrows would grant seven extraordinary graces. In contemplating the suffering of Mary, one is drawn ever closer to her Son, Jesus, and his suffering which redeemed the world.

The Seven Promises 

  • 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 sorrows, will be taken directly from this earthly life to eternal happiness since all their sins will be forgiven and my Son will be their eternal consolation and joy. 

Our Lady Sorrows Swords Piercing Blessed Mother's Heart


In honor of the Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows, September 15, we present these seven insightful reflections on each of Mary’s Seven Sorrows. We invite you to consider including these reflections while praying the Chaplet of the Seven Sorrows, which you can find as a PDF download, here. 



The Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary 


First Sorrow: The Prophecy of Simeon 

Alex Dee, Saints Alive Podcast 

“And you yourself a sword will pierce.” These prophetic words spoken to Mary by Simeon speak of the future, but they were also a piercing sword to her heart at that moment. Here, Our Lady stood in the temple looking upon the face of the Christ Child. She listened to Simeon’s joyous words that his eyes had finally seen salvation in her Son, Jesus. This was followed by the prophecy that this same Son would be vehemently opposed to the point of suffering. Hearing this was as painful as a sword piercing her very being. Still, she entrusted herself to God’s will for her.” 



Second Sorrow: The Flight into Egypt 

Marge Steinhage Fenelon, Award-winning Author and Internationally Known Speaker 

“Have you ever had to move away from a home that you dearly loved? It can be a bittersweet experience as you anticipate the possibilities of your new home yet miss the qualities and familiarity of your old one. Mary, too, had to leave a home she dearly loved but her destination was not one of new opportunities but rather uncertainty. Everything would be foreign — language, food, customs, surroundings, and people. It would require a completely new way of life. Additionally, she feared for the life of her Son and the safety of her family. Without faith, how would she manage?” 



Third Sorrow: The Loss of the Child Jesus in the Temple 

Oscar Rivera, Inspires youth and young adults through his music, talks, retreats, and personal testimony 

“Have you ever had a nagging feeling that something is missing? Have you ever lost something so important and precious that your stomach drops, your heart races, and your body aches? Our Lady lost the Son of Man and was three days into her journey before she noticed. At the time, men and women did not travel together to and from pilgrimages. There was a big miscommunication between the Holy Family. Regardless, her Son was missing, and with that, the first afflictions of Simeon's prophecy manifested as her heart felt the stabbing pain of losing a precious child.” 



Fourth Sorrow: Mary meets Jesus Carrying the Cross 

Laura Phelps, Catholic Speaker, OSV Author, and Blogger/Content Creator at Walking with Purpose 

“It’s been a year since I have seen my son. While I wrestle with God’s plan, I cling to this truth: Mary knows my sorrow. When Jesus passed by Mary on his way to Calvary, she did not stop him. God’s plan was excruciating; still, she trusted it more than her own. When cooperating with God’s plan for my son feels impossible, this fourth sorrow teaches me how to accompany Jesus with my cross, helping me to persevere in suffering, offering me a Mother who understands. Because of Mary, I too can trust that God knows what He is doing.”   



Fifth Sorrow: Mary at the Foot of the Cross 

Colleen Pressprich, Wife, Mother, and Author—helping families grow their domestic church.   

“Presence is a powerful thing. Mary stood in the pain of the crucifixion alongside her Son. She couldn’t fix it, couldn’t hold Him or hug Him or make any of it better. Still, she stayed; she stood. She didn’t fall apart. She didn’t collapse under the weight of her grief. She focused on Christ and what He needed, not her pain. Mary, at the foot of the cross, challenges me to draw closer to the pain of those I love, not away—to be with them and accompany them, even if I don’t have anything to offer but my presence.” 



Sixth Sorrow:  Jesus Taken Down from the Cross 

Mary Lenaburg, International Speaker and Ave Maria Press Author  

As I reflect on the Sixth Sorrow of Our Lady, the body of Jesus being taken from the Cross, what immediately comes to mind for me is the beautiful sculpture by Michelangelo—Pietà. The first time I saw it in person I wept. To look at Our Lady’s face filled with such resolve; her eyes not on Jesus but looking down at us. Her hands are not grasping or holding him close, but open, offering her Son to the world. The power of her personal sacrifice stays with me daily. May I walk in her footsteps, offering ALL to the Lord.” 



Seventh Sorrow: Mary Witnesses the Burial of Jesus 

David and Mercedes Rizzo, Catholic Mom contributors and parents—who provide encouragement and inspiration for parents of special needs children 

Any mother witnessing the burial of her son is tragic, especially when that child suffered a terrible death. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us, "For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." Mary may not have understood God's plans but relying completely on Him she receives the grace and strength to find hope in God's promises. We can be strengthened by Mary's sorrow and Mary's trust when we face our own sorrows.