Becoming Holy

Seven Sorrows of Mary

on May 25, 2014

Jordan Hawaii 2012! 109Have you heard about the Seven Sorrows of Mary Rosary?  I hadn’t until I read the book, “Left to Tell” by Immaculee Ilabagiza.  This incredible autobiography chronicles the life of Immaculee and her family, most of whom were killed in the Rwandan genocide in 1994.  Immaculee survives, hiding in a cramped bathroom with seven other women for over 90 days.  Her story of survival and of ultimate forgiveness is powerful.  Her website, http://www.immaculee.com shares a bit more about her and other books she has written.  I ordered “Our Lady of Kibeho” and the Seven sorrows Rosary both available on her site.  

At the time I ordered the rosary and book, we were in the midst of packing up our household in order to move. The books and rosary were tucked away and I did not begin to pray this new found devotion. These remained stored away for the months it took to sell our home, the time spent in our rental as our home was being built and finally in the storage room waiting to be unpacked. In the mean time, Christmas was upon us. I bought tickets from our last parish for the annual Christmas raffle.  I sent money for a friend to buy tickets to win one of Eleanor’s beautiful afghans and for one of John’s rosaries.  The year before, I’d been blessed to win both an afghan AND a rosary and thought, “Why not try again?” Each of my friends are skilled craftsmen and I love to support the Christmas raffle.  I was pleasantly surprised in January to hear from our dear friend, Joe.  I hadn’t won the afghan, but I HAD won the rosary.  It turns out, it was a set of three rosaries:  one to hang in the car, one traditional rosary and one Seven Sorrows of Mary Rosary~each made of gorgeous black hematite. I was so excited and couldn’t help but think that Mary was drawing me to this devotion.  

The Seven Sorrows of Mary are:

  • The Prophecy of Simeon
  • The flight into Egypt
  • Jesus is lost in the Temple
  • Mary meets Jesus on the road to Calvary
  • The Crucifixion and Death of Jesus
  • Jesus is taken down from the Cross
  • Jesus is laid in the Tomb

A bit of meditation on any one of these sorrows and one can imagine the pain in Mary’s heart.  These sorrows connect Mary with each of us.  A “Sorrows list” in today’s society might read like this:

  • Prenatal Diagnosis of Disabiity
  • Christians forced to flee Holy Land
  • Missing Child
  • Son/Daughter facing terminal illness
  • Child on Death Row
  • Funerals
  • Burials

When Jesus took on our humanity, He took it ALL on.  The joys.  The sorrows.  The sufferings.  The heartache.  Mary walked this road with Jesus from start to finish.  She did it beautifully with complete acceptance.  We read in the Bible of the trials and struggles of the Apostles~Peter’s Denial, Thomas’ doubt, James’ and John’s desire for positioning.  I find it interesting that nowhere do we find a similar “fault or failing” in the Blessed Mother. This is a testimony to her complete “fiat.”  When she answered the Angel Gabriel, “Be it done to me according to thy Word,” she meant it. The Seven Sorrows Devotion is a window into the life of Jesus and Mary.  

The Seven Sorrows Devotion consists of an opening prayer, Act of Contrition and then seven sorrows “mysteries” of one Our Father and seven Hail Mary’s.  Our Lady promises that those who practice this devotion will be made aware of their sins and be given the grace to overcome them.  Tuesdays and Fridays are the days suggested for praying this devotion. My friend, Mike, has offered to make Seven Sorrows Rosaries for me and for those interested in this devotion.  Please let me know if you are interested or would like to learn more about this.  Walking through sorrow with Jesus and Mary provides a gentle healing grace~grace that so many need to be comforted.

 

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