Mater Dolorosa

A blessed memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows to all, a feast begun in the 1233, in that ‘greatest of centuries’, with the founding in Florence of the ‘Servite’ Order, when seven young men left the world, banded together in community to follow a life of prayer, charity and devotion to the Blessed Mother. They now comprise friars (priests and brothers), sisters, contemplative nuns, and lay associates, found throughout the world.   The Servite rosary is said by many, comprising a meditation using one Our Father and seven Hail Mary’s on each of the Seven Sorrows:

The Prophecy of Simeon. (Luke 2:34–35)

The escape and Flight into Egypt, Matthew, 2:13)

The Loss of the Child Jesus in the Temple of Jerusalem. (Luke 2:43–45)

The Meeting of Mary and Jesus on the Via Dolorosa.

The Crucifixion of Jesus on Mount Calvary. (John 19:25)

The Piercing of the Side of Jesus, and His Descent from the Cross. (Matthew 27:57–59)

The Burial of Jesus by Joseph of Arimathea. (John 19:40–42)


Our world could use the intercession of Our Lady right now. There was another terrorist attack in London, a ‘fire bomb’ on the Tube (their term for a subway). No one was killed, thank God, but a number were badly burned, and things could have been much worse. But they could also be far better.

And North Korea has fired a test missile over Japan, with South Korea responding with a test missile over North Korea’s launching site. I keep thinking of the  prophecies of Our Lady of Akita, in which Cardinal Ratzinger showed quite an interest. These things are all quite contingent, and all in the hands of the good and merciful, but also just, God.

On a more hopeful note, I recommend a listen to Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater.  A beautiful piece of religious music.

Mater Dolorosa, ora pro nobis!