Monday, September 15, 2008

Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Stemus juxta crucem cum Maria Matre Jesu,
Cujus animam doloris gladius pertransivit.

Thus sings the Church at the head of her Divine Office for the Seven Sorrows, calling all her children to hear and heed:

"Let us stand beside the Cross with Mary the Mother of Jesus,
Whose soul was pierced through with the sword of sorrow."

Some texts to ponder regarding Our Lady of Sorrows:

Venerable John Henry Newman's translation of the portion (ll. 1-24) of the Stabat mater dolorosa formerly used at the Passiontide Office of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Friday after Passion Sunday):

Cheerlessly and tearfully
Stood the dolorous Mother nigh 
To the Cross that bore her Son; 
And her soul was sore bestead 
Sank with Him, and with Him bled 
For a sword through it had gone. 

O how sad and melancholy 
Seemed she then, that Mother holy 
Of the Father's Onlyborn; 
Who was sighing and was tearful 
And did tremble at the fearful 
Pains with which her Son was torn. 

Who could see her and not weep 
Christ's own Mother in so deep 
And so bitter punishment? 
Whose the heart but could condole 
With that Mother's tender soul 
In her Son's afflictions rent? 

For She* saw Him tortured 
By the scourge and cross, instead 
Of His people sunk and lost; 
For She* saw her sweet firstborn 
In the throes of death forlorn 
Giving up at length the ghost. 

[*sic; so capitalized in original]

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