this Image of Mary:
A Canadian filmmaker retouched the
image of a Bouguereau painting of the Virgin Mary — using the face on the
Shroud as a guide. The results are, I think, stunning.
His assumption that He would have
born a resemblance to His only human parent. He said this about it: “If
you put the shroud on top of this drawing, you will almost match the face, like
it could be” an accurate portrayal of His mother’s face.
Exquisitely beautiful – and it does
rather make sense that Our Lord would physically resemble his mother!
to the Seven Sorrows of Our Lady
Devotion to the Seven Sorrows of Our
Lady has its roots in Sacred Scripture and in Christian piety, which always
associates the Blessed Mother with her suffering Son. Today’s feast was
introduced by the Servites in order to intensify devotion to Our Lady’s
Sorrows. In 1817 Pius VII — suffering grievously in exile but finally liberated
by Mary’s intercession — extended the feast to the universal Church.
According to the 1962 Missal of St.
John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the feast of St.
Nicomedes, a Roman martyr of unknown date. He was buried not far from the walls
of Rome on the Via Nomentana, and the pious faithful built a “cemetery
basilica” above his tomb. Also it is the feast of St. Catherine of Genoa who
wrote a treatise on Purgatory and a Dialogue between the soul and body—two
outstanding documents of Christian mysticism.
Lady of Sorrows
This feast dates back to the 12th
century. It was especially promoted by the Cistercians and the Servites, so
much so that in the 14th and 15th centuries it was widely celebrated throughout
the Catholic Church. In 1482 the feast was added to the Missal under the title
of “Our Lady of Compassion.” Pope Benedict XIII added it to the Roman Calendar
in 1727 on the Friday before Palm Sunday. In 1913, Pope Pius X fixed the date
on September 15. The title “Our Lady of Sorrows” focuses on Mary’s intense
suffering during the passion and death of Christ. “The Seven Dolors,” the title
by which it was celebrated in the 17th century, referred to the seven swords
that pierced the Heart of Mary. The feast is like an octave for the birthday of
Our Lady on September 8th. -Excerpted from Our Lady of Sorrows by Fr. Paul
Haffner (Inside the Vatican, September 2004)
This feast is dedicated to the
spiritual martyrdom of Mary, Mother of God, and her compassion with the
sufferings of her Divine Son, Jesus. In her suffering as co-redeemer, she
reminds us of the tremendous evil of sin and shows us the way of true
repentance. May the numerous tears of the Mother of God be conducive to our
salvation; with which tears Thou, O God, art able to wash away the sins of the
As Mary stood at the foot of the
Cross on which Jesus hung, the sword of sorrow Simeon had foretold pierced her
soul. Below are the seven sorrows of Mary:
- The prophecy of Simeon (Luke 2:25-35)
- The flight into Egypt (Matthew 2:13-15)
- Loss of the Child Jesus for three days (Luke 2:41-50)
- Mary meets Jesus on his way to Calvary (Luke 23:27-31;
- Crucifixion and Death of Jesus (John 19:25-30)
- The body of Jesus being taken from the Cross (Psalm
130; Luke 23:50-54; John 19:31-37)
- The burial of Jesus (Isaiah 53:8; Luke 23:50-56; John
19:38-42; Mark 15:40-47)
Symbols: heart pierced with a sword;
heart pierced by seven swords; winged heart pierced with a sword; flowers: red
rose, iris (meaning: “sword-lily”), cyclamen.
Patron: people named Dolores,
Dolais, Deloris, Dolorita, Maria Dolorosa, Pia, and Pieta.
ca. 1498-1500 — by Michelangelo
Buonarroti — Image by © Araldo de Luca/CORBIS
Things to Do:
- Teach your children the Seven Sorrows of Mary. Read
more about this devotion. September is traditionally dedicated to Our Lady
- Present different art pieces of Our Lady of Sorrows, or
illustration of one of her sorrows, for meditation and discussion. There
are so many different pieces from all different eras, countries and
mediums. Search words for art titles would be Lamentation, Deposition,
Pieta, Dolorosa, Sorrows, etc.
- Think of ways to make reparation to Mary for the sins
committed against Our Lord.
- Pray the short prayer, Holy Mother, imprint deeply upon
my heart the wounds of the Crucified.
- Read or sing the Stabat Mater, perhaps incorporating it
with the Stations of the Cross.
- In Italy, the title of Our Lady of Sorrows is Maria
Santissima Addolorata. This devotion began in the 1200s. She is the patron
of many Italian cities. In southern Italy there is La Festa della Madonna
dei Sette Dolori (the festival of the Seven Sorrows of the Madonna),
instituted in 1423, also called Madonna dell’Addolorata Festival. The food
connected to this festival is cuccia salata, wheat berries cooked in meat
broth and layered with goat or pork.
(Information from Catholic Culture)
Written by Fr. Richard Heilman