We are a few days away from September and the official beginning of fall.
In the Liturgical calendar, September is dedicated to the Seven Sorrows of Mary. The highlight is the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows on September 15th.
Merriam-Webster defines sorrow as
Deep distress, sadness, or regret especially for the loss of someone or something loved. Resultant unhappy or unpleasant state.
Unfortunately, we can all relate. Sorrow is a natural part of human existence.
Given the pandemic that began 5+ months ago, it’s likely you’ve experienced some new sorrows recently. Unfortunately, these may not be ending soon. The so-called experts are predicting our post-pandemic world will struggle for quite some time with high unemployment rates, business closings, and a struggling economy.
So it seems appropriate at this time to reflect on and honor Our Lady of Sorrows.
This week’s issue of Genuflect looks at how Mary got the title Our Lady of Sorrows, the history of the feast day, what her 7 sorrows are, why we focus on her sorrows, their healing powers, the devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows, the 11 promises for grace, ways to celebrate Our Lady of Sorrows in September, and an amazing apparition of Our Lady of Sorrows in Italy.
September 1 may not bring us cooler weather, but it does bring us a nicely timed devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows.
Founding Editor, Genuflect
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Origins of the Title
The Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows began in the 14th Century, but there are references to Mary’s sorrows in the Gospel and mentions of her compassion as far back as the early centuries. There have been a couple of lists of her sorrows, with the final list comprising 7 sorrows. Here’s a brief history of Our Lady of Sorrows’ evolution.
Our Lady of Sorrows, Title Origins | University of Dayton
Our Lady of Sorrows Feast Day
September 15th is the feast day for Our Lady of Sorrows. Here’s a nice overview of the feast, including the 7 sorrows, its symbols, it’s patrons, and some things you can do to honor Our Lady on her feast day.
Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows | Catholic Culture
Mary’s 7 Sorrows
We’re well acquainted with the sorrows the Blessed Mother experienced during her son’s Passion. But there are others too … 7 in total. Here’s a good overview of Our Lady’s sorrows.
What Are The Seven Sorrows of Mary? | National Catholic Register
Why Focus on Sorrows?
With Our Lady of Sorrows, we are called to focus on our Blessed Mother’s sufferings. Why on earth would we want to spend so much time … any time … focusing on sorrow? It’s a great question and Grace Bellon provides a compelling answer.
Our Lady of Sorrows: How to Comfort The Blessed Mother | Blessed is She
Healing Your Sorrows
Amanda Evinger shares her heartbreaking loss and how an unexpected statement from a priest about Our Lady of Sorrows reset her perspective on her own sorrow and changed the course of her life. If your crucified heart is in need of healing, these words may be just what you need too.
In This Crisis, Unite Your Heart to Our Lady of Sorrows | National Catholic Register
11 Promises of Grace
You know about Mary’s 7 sorrows, but did you know that Our Lady of Sorrows has promised to bestow 7 graces on those who pray a special devotion to her sorrows? And Jesus even adds 4 more for a total of 11 graces. Joseph Pronechen lays them all out here.
Our Lady’s Seven Sorrows, Seven Promises, And Fatima’s Connection | National Catholic Register
7 Hail Marys a Day
7 Hail Marys a day keeps the devil away. According to Saint Bridget, Mary will bestow 7 graces on anyone who prays 7 Hail Mary’s a day and reflects on her 7 sorrows. And warding off the devil is just one of those graces. Here’s everything you need to know about completing this devotion to earn your 7 graces.
The Seven Sorrows Devotion | The Most Holy Rosary
September Mothers Challenge
Here’s a new twist on an Our Lady of Sorrows devotion. Melissa Guerrero suggests that rather than the traditional devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows that we pray for mothers who struggle in their vocation. She even offers 7 different groups of mothers to choose from. I love the idea of praying for Our Lady’s intercession to strengthen other mothers.
10 Ways To Celebrate
In the Catholic Church we have the whole month of September to honor Mary as Our Lady of Sorrows. Here are 10 different ways you can integrate this special devotion into your daily life.
Our Lady of Sorrows Apparition
In 1888 in Castelpetroso, Italy, a peasant woman who was tending her sheep saw a bright light coming from between two rocks. And in that light appeared Mary as Our Lady of Sorrows. Read the fascinating story of the various apparitions and miracles that occurred at this spot over the years, causing the once doubting local Bishop to recognize the apparition after he personally experienced it.
Our Lady of Sorrows: Castelpetroso, Italy, 1888 | Divine Mysteries
Our Lady of Sorrows Novena
September is the ideal time to pray the Novena to Our Lady of Sorrows. You can begin on September 6th to complete it in time for the feast day on September 15th. Or you can begin now. You’ll find all the Novena to Our Lady of Sorrows instructions here.
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