Woman Saint of the Week: Our Lady of Sorrows

Is there a mother who has not been caught in this position? Really, has there been any human being who has not been there? Face full of tears, looking toward anything, anyone to come an put all the pieces back together.

This is one of the titles of Mary that are directly related to Scripture. When Joseph and Mary take Jesus to the Temple to present him, Simeon and Anna are there to witness this miracle. Simeon prophesized, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted (and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the hearts of many may be revealed.” (Luke 2:34b-35)


Hence the traditional iconography of Mary’s Immaculate Heart with swords through it.

Or, as St. Alphonsus Liguori paraphrased:

let us consider the reasons, for which Mary’s martyrdom was greater than that of all martyrs. In the first place, we must remember that the martyrs endured their torments, which were the effect of fire and other material agencies, in their bodies; Mary suffered hers in her soul, as Saint Simeon foretold: “And my own Soul, a sword shall pierce”. As if the holy old man had said: “O most Sacred Virgin, the bodies of other martyrs, will be torn with Iron, but thou wilt be transfixed, and martyred in thy soul, by the passion of thine own Son”. Now, as the soul is more noble than the Body, so much greater were Mary’s sufferings, than those of all of the martyrs, as Jesus Christ Himself said to Saint Catherine of Sienna: “Between the sufferings of the soul, and those of the body, there is no comparison”. Whence the Holy Abbot Arnold of Chartres says, “that whoever had been present on Mount Calvary, to witness the great sacrifice of the Immaculate Lamb, would there have beheld two great altars, the one in the Body of Jesus, the other in the heart of Mary; for, on that mount, at the same time that the Son sacrificed His body by death, Mary sacrificed her soul by compassion.”

Mother Mary, pray for us!

As I was writing this blog, this song came up on Spotify. Although the lyrics are problematic (don’t look too closely at them), I thought the tone was appropriate for our Lady of Sorrows:

Ellie Goulding- Explosions


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