The Promises of the Seven Sorrows
Written by Mark Miravalle
So much does the Crucified Lord desire humanity to ponder, along with His own saving Redemption, the co redemption of his Mother, that He has attached to the prayerful meditation of the seven principal historical events of Our Lady’s sufferings promises of grace and mercy that are nothing short of extraordinary and miraculous.
To St. Bridget of Sweden (1303-1373), Our Lady directly reveals the amazing graces granted by her Son for all those who daily pray seven Hail Mary’s while meditating on her seven dolors and tears:
1. “I will grant peace to their families.”
2. “They will be enlightened about the Divine Mysteries.”
3. “I will console them in their pains and I will accompany them in their work.”
4. “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.”
5. “I will defend them in their spiritual battles with the infernal enemy and I will protect them at every instant of their lives.”
6. “I will visibly help them at the moment of their death—they will see the face of their mother.”
7. “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 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).
He further promises four special graces to those dedicated to the sufferings of the co-redeeming Mother:
1. That those who before death invoke the Blessed Mother in the name of her sorrows, should obtain true repentance of all their sins.
2. That He would protect in their tribulations all who remember this devotion, and that He would protect them especially at the hour of death.
3. That He would impress upon their minds the remembrance of His Passion, and that they should have their reward for it in Heaven.
4. 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.
Up until 1961, the liturgy of the Church officially contemplated the Sorrows of Our Lady during Lent in the form of the feast of the Compassion of Mary, which was celebrated on the Friday before Palm Sunday. With the revision of the liturgical calendar, the Compassion feast was removed and the liturgical celebration of the Seven Sorrows was left principally to the September 15 Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, which historically developed from the fourteenth-century devotion to the Seven Dolors as cultivated in large part by the Servites of Mary.
Still, the Lenten season in general, and Good Friday in particular, demand the special veneration of the Sorrowful Mother, as well as the efficacious benefit of daily meditation on Our Lady’s co-sufferings with Jesus throughout the liturgical year. Clearly, Jesus wants his disciples to see His sufferings and those of His Mother as one single, unified sacrifice for the redemption of the world.
As St. Bernard’s renowned student, Arnold of Chartres († 1160), instructs: “Together they accomplished the task of man’s redemption… both offered up one and the same sacrifice to God; She in the blood of her heart, He in the blood of his flesh… so that together with Christ she obtained a common effect in the salvation of the world.
” Our Lord also had revealed to St. Bridget in another part of Revelations: “My Mother and I saved man as with one heart only, I by suffering in my Heart and my flesh, she by the sorrow and love of her heart.”
Our Lord instructed Sr. Lucia that the reason for the Fatima apparitions was precisely to place the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary alongside devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
In sorrow, in Redemption, in veneration, it is the will of God that the Two Hearts be honored together as one.
The Historical Seven Sorrows of Our Lady are:
The Prophecy of Simeon;
The Flight Into Egypt;
The Loss of Jesus in the Temple;
Mary Meets Jesus Carrying the Cross;
Mary Receives the Dead Body of Her Son; and
The Burial of Her Son and Closing of the Tomb.
Pope Pius VII approved another series of prayers in honor of the Seven Sorrows for daily meditation in 1815:
Prayers in Honor of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary
O God, come to my assistance; O Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory be to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.
1. I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in the affliction of your tender heart at the prophecy of the holy and aged Simeon. Dear Mother, by your heart so afflicted, obtain for me the virtue of humility and the gift of the holy fear of God. Hail Mary…
2. I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in the anguish of your most affectionate heart during the flight into Egypt and your sojourn there. Dear Mother, by your heart so troubled, obtain for me the virtue of generosity, especially toward the poor, and the gift of piety. Hail Mary…
3. I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in those anxieties which tried your troubled heart at the loss of your dear Jesus. Dear Mother, by your heart so full of anguish, obtain for me the virtue of chastity and the gift of knowledge. Hail Mary…
4. I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in the consternation of your heart at meeting Jesus as He carried His Cross. Dear Mother, by your heart so troubled, obtain for me the virtue of patience and the gift of fortitude. Hail Mary…
5. I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in the martyrdom which your generous heart endured in standing near Jesus in His agony. Dear Mother, by your afflicted heart obtain for me the virtue of temperance and the gift of counsel. Hail Mary…
6. I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in the wounding of your compassionate heart, when the side of Jesus was struck by the lance before His Body was removed from the Cross. Dear Mother, by your heart thus transfixed, obtain for me the virtue of fraternal charity and the gift of understanding. Hail Mary…
7. I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, for the pangs that wrenched your most loving heart at the burial of Jesus. Dear Mother, by your heart sunk in the bitterness of desolation, obtain for me the virtue of diligence and the gift of wisdom. Hail Mary…
Let Us Pray:
Let intercession be made for us, we beseech You, O Lord Jesus Christ, now and at the hour of our death, before the throne of Your mercy, by the Blessed Virgin Mary, Your Mother, whose most holy soul was pierced by a sword of sorrow in the hour of Your bitter Passion. Through You, O Jesus Christ, Savior of the world, Who with the Father and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns world without end.
Daily meditate upon the Seven Sorrows. Please the Sacred Heart of the Redeemer by pondering the Sorrowful Heart of the Co-redemptrix.
Receive the remarkably generous graces which come from uniting our hearts each day to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of the Mother.