Thursday, September 15, 2005

Mother of Sorrows

In the late 15th century, today's feast was placed in the Roman Missal under the name "Our Lady of Compassion," to meditate on the enormous love Our Lady showed in suffering with her Son. ("Compassion" comes from the Latin words cum and patior, meaning "to suffer with.")

The date following the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross was set by Pope Pius X. At that time, the day was called the "Feast of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary." While the name is now shortened, it is a good thing, I think, to reflect on these Seven Sorrows:

Simeon's prophecy at the Presentation

The flight into Egypt

The loss of the Child Jesus for three days

Mary meets her Son on the road to Calvary

Jesus dies on the Cross

Mary receives the dead Body of Jesus

Jesus is laid in the tomb

At the Cross her station keeping,
Stood the mournful mother weeping,
Close to Jesus to the last.

(A chaplet devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows can be found here.)