The Seven Sorrows of Mary





Opening Prayers
V/. O God +, come to my assistance
R/. O Lord, make haste to help me

Goria Patri …

1) The Prophecy of Simeon

Sorrow as sharp as a sword shall pierce Mary’s heart because of her Child. Mary is in the Temple, having come with Joseph to present the Child to God. They meet Simeon, the holy man, and Anna, the prophetess. Simeon takes the Baby in his arms, saying he will now die in peace because he has seen Christ, then he foretells the sorrow to come.

I grieve for thee, O Mary most sorrowful, in the affliction of thy tender heart at the prophecy of the holy and aged Simeon. Dear Mother, by thy heart so afflicted, obtain for me the virtue of humility and the gift of the holy fear of God. Amen.

Ave Maria …



2) The Flight Into Egypt

Soon the sword of sorrow strikes. Herod the King seeks to kill the Child. Warned in sleep by an angel, Joseph takes Jesus and His Mother Mary, setting out for Egypt, where they lived in obscurity and poverty until it was safe to return to Nazareth.

I grieve for thee, O Mary most sorrowful, in the anguish of thy most affectionate heart during the flight into Egypt and thy sojourn there. Dear Mother, by thy heart so troubled, obtain for me the virtue of generosity, especially toward the poor, and the gift of piety.

Ave Maria …



3) The Loss of the Child Jesus in the Temple

When Jesus is twelve, He is taken to Jerusalem for the Feast of Passover. On the return journey Joseph and Mary find at the end of the first day that Jesus is not with them. Racked with anxiety, they search for Him. Nobody in the streets, not even the beggars, can tell them where He is. Not till the third day do they find Him, in the Temple.

I grieve for thee, O Mary most sorrowful, in those anxieties which tried thy troubled heart at the loss of thy dear Jesus. Dear Mother, by thy heart so full of anguish, obtain for me the virtue of chastity and the gift of knowledge.

Ave Maria …



4) Mary Meets Jesus on the Way to Calvary

Mary has known fear and sorrow, but none so great as seeing her beloved Son stumbling under the weight of the Cross. She hears the jeering shouts from the crowd and has no power to help Him. Pity and love are in her eyes as she gazes at His blood-stained face. To many around her He is no better than a criminal, and her heart is breaking as she follows Him to Calvary or Golgotha.

I grieve for thee, O Mary most sorrowful in the consternation of thy heart at meeting Jesus as he carried His Cross. Dear Mother, by thy heart so troubled, obtain for me the virtue of patience and the gift of fortitude.

Ave Maria …



5) Jesus Dies on the Cross

With John, Mary stands at the foot of the Cross. “A sword shall pierce thy soul,” Simeon told her. Truly her heart is pierced with sorrow. Her beloved Son is dying and she shares in His suffering. She does not ask God to take away this agony. She is His Mother, so close to Him that His pain is hers, too. And now He speaks from the Cross: “Woman, behold thy son.” Jesus give His Mother to John, and to us. For all eternity she is our Mother.

I grieve for thee O Mary, most sorrowful, in the martyrdom which thy generous heart endured in standing near Jesus in His agony. Dear Mother, by thy afflicted heart, obtain for me the virtue of temperance and the gift of counsel.

Ave Maria …



6) Mary Receives Jesus

It is over. Dark clouds have appeared in the sky and upon the world. Jesus is dead. Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus take down the Body from the Cross. and Mary receives It in her arms. She is filled with a sadness that no human heart has known. This is her Son. Once she had cradled Him in her arms. listened to His voice, watched Him working at the carpenter’s bench. Now He is dead. She does not weep, her grief is too great for tears. 

I grieve for thee, O Mary most sorrowful, in the wounding of thy compassionate heart, when the side of Jesus was struck by the lance and His Heart was pierced before His body was removed from the Cross. Dear Mother, by thy heart thus transfixed, obtain for me the virtue of fraternal charity and the gift of understanding.

Ave Maria …



7) Jesus is Placed in the Tomb

Hastily the Body is wrapped in a clean linen cloth. Nicodemus has brought myrrh and aloes, and the Body is bound in the Shroud with them. nearby is a new tomb, belonging to Joseph of Arimathea, and there they lay Jesus. Mary and John and the holy women follow them and watch as the great stone to the sepulchre is rolled. it is the end. 

I grieve for thee, O Mary most sorrowful, for the pangs that wrenched thy most loving heart at the burial of Jesus. Dear Mother, by thy heart sunk in the bitterness of desolation, obtain for me virtue of diligence and the gift of wisdom.

Ave Maria …



Closing Prayers
V/. Pray for us, O Virgin most sorrowful
R/. That we may be made be worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us Pray.
Let intercession be made for us, we beseech Thee, O Lord Jesus Christ, now and at the hour of our death, before the throne of Thy mercy, by the Blessed Virgin Mary, Thy Mother, whose most holy soul was pierced by a sword of sorrow in the hour of Thy bitter Passion. Through Thee, Jesus Christ, Saviour of the world, Who with the Father and the Holy Ghost liveth and reigneth, world without end. Amen.



Additional (Optional) Prayers

Prayer of St. Alphonsus de Liguori
O afflicted Virgin, O soul great in virtues, as in sorrows, both the one and the other spring from that great fire burning in thy heart for God, the only love of thy heart!

Mother, have pity on me, who has not loved God, and who has so greatly offended Him. Thy sorrows, it is true, assure me of pardon, but that is not sufficient. I wish to love God. Who could obtain for me that grace if not thee, who art the Mother of holy love! 

O Mary, Thou consolest everyone; favour me also, with thy consolations. Amen.

Prayer of St. Bonaventure to the other of Sorrows
O sorrowful Virgin, unite me at least to the humiliations and wounds of thy Son, so that both He and thee may find comfort in having someone sharing thy sufferings. Oh, how happy I would be if I could do this! For is there perhaps anything greater, sweeter, or more advantageous for a person? Why dost thou not grant me what I ask? If I have offended thee, be just and pierce my heart. If I have been faithful to thee, leave me not without a reward: give me thy sorrows. Amen.


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Act of Consecration to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary

O Lord Jesus, Who on Calvary and in the Holy Eucharist hast shown Thyself to us as the God of love and mercy, kneeling humbly at Thy feet, we adore Thee and beg once more for Thy forgiveness and for Thy divine pity.

And, remembering that by Thine own act on Calvary, the human race, represented by Thy beloved disciple John, gained a Mother in the Virgin of Sorrows, we desire to honour the sufferings and woes of our Mother’s Heart by devoting ourselves to it in solemn consecration.

It is but just, O Mary, that our souls should strive henceforth to venerate thee with special homage under the title of thy Sorrowful Heart, a title won by sharing in the whole Passion of thy divine Son and thus co-operating in the work of our redemption, a title due to thee in justice, and dear, we believe, to Jesus and to thine own Heart wounded by the wound in His.

We consecrate, therefore, O Mary, to thy Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, ourselves, our families, and our country. Have pity upon us. See our tribulations and the anguish of our hearts in the midst of the mourning and calamities that lay waste the world. Deign, O Mother of God, to obtain mercy for us that, being converted and purified by sorrow and made strong in faith, we may henceforth be devoted servants of Jesus Christ and of His Church, for whose triumph we pray. O Mary Immaculate, we promise to be faithful clients of thy Sorrowful Heart. Intercede for us, we beseech thee, with thy Son that, at the very cry of thy Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, His divine Power may speedily bring to pass the triumph of right and justice. Amen.

Sacred Heart of Jesus, have pity upon us.
Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us and save us.


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Litany of Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows

Lord, have mercy on us, (Christ, have mercy on us.)
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us, (Christ, graciously hear us.)

God the Father of Heaven, (have mercy on us.)
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, (have mercy on us.)
God the Holy Ghost, (have mercy on us.)
Holy Trinity, One God, (have mercy on us.)

Holy Mary, (* pray for us)
Holy Mother of God, (*)
Holy Virgin of virgins, (*)
Mother crucified, (*)
Sorrowful Mother, (*)
Tearful Mother, (*)
Afflicted Mother, (*)
Forsaken Mother, (*)
Desolate Mother, (*)
Mother bereft of thy Child, (*)
Mother transfixed with the sword, (*)
Mother overwhelmed with grief, (*)
Mother filled with anguish, (*)
Mother crucified in heart, (*)
Mother most sad, (*)
Fountain of tears, (*)
Vial of suffering, (*)
Mirror of patience, (*)
Rock of constancy, (*)
Anchor of confidence, (*)
Refuge of the forsaken, (*)
Shield of the oppressed, (*)
Subduer of the unbelieving, (*)
Comfort of the afflicted, (*)
Medicine of the sick, (*)
Strength of the weak, (*)
Harbour of the wretched, (*)
Calmer of the tempests, (*)
Resource of mourners, (*)
Terror of the treacherous, (*)
Treasure of the faithful, (*)
Eye of the Prophets, (*)
Staff of Apostles, (*)
Crown of Martyrs, (*)
Light of Confessors, (*)
Pearl of Virgins, (*)
Consolation of Widows, (*)
Joy of all Saints, (*)

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, (spare us, O Jesus!)
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, (graciously hear us, O Jesus!)
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, (have mercy on us, O Jesus!)

Look down upon us, deliver us, and save us from all trouble, in the power of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Imprint, O Lady! Thy wounds upon my heart, that I may read therein sorrow and love – sorrow to endure every sorrow for Thee; love to despise every love for Thine. Amen.

Apostles Creed … Hail Holy Queen … (3x) Hail Mary ...
In honour of the most holy, Immaculate and Sorrowful Heart of Mary.


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Stabat Mater Dolorosa (Traditional Hymn)

At the Cross her station keeping,
Stood the mournful Mother weeping,
Close to Jesus at the last.

Though her soul, of joy bereaved,
Bowed with anguish, deeply grieved,
Now at length the sword hath passed.

Oh how sad and sore distressed
Was that Mother, highly blest,
Of the sole begotten One! 

Oh that silent, ceaseless mourning,
Oh those dim eyes, never turning
From that wondrous, suffering Son!

Who on Christ’s dear Mother gazing,
In her trouble so amazing,
Born of woman would not weep?

Who on Christ’s dear Mother thinking,
Such a cup of sorrow drinking,
Would not share her sorrow deep?

For the sins of His own nation,
Saw Him hang in desolation
Till His Spirit forth He sent;

Bruised, derided, cursed, defiled,
She beheld her tender Child,
All with bloody scourges rent.

O, thou Mother, fount of love!
Touch my spirit from above,
Make my heart with thine accord.

Make me feel as thou hast felt;
Make my soul to glow and melt
With the love of Christ my Lord.

Holy Mother, pierce me through.
In my heart each wound renew
Of my Saviour crucified;

Let me share with thee His pain,
Who for all my sins was slain,
Who for me in torment died.

Let me mingle tears with thee,
Mourning Him who mourned for me,
All the days that I may live.

By the cross with thee to stay,
There with thee to weep and pray,
Is all I ask of thee to give.

Virgin of all virgins blest,
Listen to my fond request;
Let me share thy grief divine.

Let me to my latest breath,
In my body bear the death
Of that dying Son of thine.

Wounded with His every wound,
Steep my soul till it hath swooned
In His very blood away.

Be to me, O Virgin, nigh,
Lest in flames I burn and die
In His awful judgment day.

Christ, when Thou shalt call me hence,
Be Thy Mother my defence,
Be Thy Cross my victory.

While my body here decays
May my soul Thy goodness praise
Safe in Paradise with Thee.



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