The Holy Catholic Church celebrates the Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Patience so he can patiently endure the many sorrows in his life and be blessed and by pursuing the Virtue of Piety so he can frequently be comforted by Our Lady of Sorrows. 

Liturgy

Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows – September 15 – Option 1 – Jn 19:25-27

Commentary

From the earliest days of the Incarnation, God prepared the Blessed Virgin Mary for the great sorrows of the Cross. Forty days after the Nativity, St. Joseph led the Blessed Virgin Mary to the Temple in Jerusalem for her purification ritual and to ceremonially consecrate their first born son Jesus to God (Ex 13:11-16). After completing the rituals, Simeon, a devout old man, confirms Christ’s Divinity and saving mission, but reveals the great division Jesus will bring and the Blessed Virgin Mary’s coming sorrow: “A sword will pierce through your own soul.”  

The pinnacle of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s sorrows occurs when she witnesses her Son’s Crucifixion. Her sorrow exceeds the suffering of all women, for not only is she witness to the horrific torture of her only child, she grasps the truth that God’s own children are murdering God. Jesus generously comforts His Blessed Mother by giving her the Apostle John to be her adoptive son and earthly protector, and by revealing her glorious purpose to be the Mother of the Church.  

The Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows began to gain prominence in the 12th century and became a Church-wide feast in the 18th century. Today, the Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows is celebrated the day after the Feast of the Exaltation of the Most Holy Cross. The Memorial also draws attention to a popular devotion called The Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary: 1) The Prophecy of Simeon (Lk 2:34–35); 2) The escape and Flight into Egypt (Mt 2:13); 3) The Loss of the Child Jesus in the Temple of Jerusalem (Lk 2:43–45); 4) The Meeting of Mary and Jesus on the Via Dolorosa; 5) The Crucifixion of Jesus on Mount Calvary (Jn 19:25); 6) The Piercing of the Side of Jesus with a spear, and His Descent from the Cross. (Mt 27:57–59); 7) The Burial of Jesus by Joseph of Arimathea (Jn 19:40–42). 

Be awed by Jesus Christ

Marvel at how Jesus cares for His Mother and gives men throughout the ages their spiritual mother: Son of the Father, Jesus imitates His heavenly Father by spiritually Providing the Church with the Blessed Virgin Mary, a spiritual mother, who intercedes and comforts people throughout the millennia; Son of Joseph, Jesus imitates His earthly father by Protecting Mary (a vulnerable female) and comforting her sorrow by giving her John (a male) to protect and care for her.

Patiently endure sorrows and be blessed

Realize: The Blessed Mother patiently endures great suffering and sorrows and is greatly blessed by God.

Believe: Reflect upon Suffering (CCC 164, 272, 385, 618, 1264, 1500-1502, 1521).

Pray: Our Lady of Sorrows, pray that I build the Virtue of Patience (a part of Fortitude) so I perceive the blessings in suffering, I patiently and heroically endure sorrows, and I cheerfully comfort others in their suffering and sorrows and lead them to your Son.

Be comforted by Our Lady of Sorrows

Realize: Mothers, like fathers, are prone to sin, and sometimes fail to adequately comfort the suffering and sorrows of their children, and all mothers eventually die and can no longer comfort. Jesus gave the Church the Blessed Virgin Mary as a perfect mother who never fails to comfort the suffering and sorrowful. 

Believe: Reflect upon the Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary (CCC 963-975).

Pray: Our Lady of Sorrows, pray that I grow in the Virtue of Piety (a part of Justice) so I honor you as Jesus’ mother and I seek your comfort in suffering and sorrows as my mother.