Okay Ladies, this one I am really excited to share. It’s been over a month since pencil first touched paper (which is why it’s been a month since my last blog post, ahem)… But they’re finally done!
I Painted Mary’s Seven Sorrows!
Our Lady of Sorrows is my absolutely favorite devotion to Mary.This is where she meets us. In her tears. In her sighs. As the New Eve she suffered the passion along with her Son. She willingly became the Queen of Martyrs for the salvation of each and every one of us.
(scroll to down for the list of promises and graces attached to this devotion)
The Prophesy of Saint Simeon
The message from the Angel Gabriel changed Mary’s life in an instant. She was going to be the Mother of God. Chosen from among all women as God’s favorite. Her life was set on a new course. From the second the angel appeared, nothing was the same again.
But just 10 months later Mary’s entire world was changed again. The perfect new mother brought her tiny Baby, her most infinity glorious Baby, to the temple. He was presented to God. This was a joyful event, a celebration. But this celebration quickly turned to sorrow.
The Bible tells us that St Simeon said ”Behold this child is set for the fall, and for the resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be contradicted; And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed.”
Jesus told St Teresa that those were not Simeon’s only words. He went on to tell Mary, in detail, about Christ’s Passion and Death.
In an instant, her joy turned to grief.
Imagine her looking at her perfectly lovable Baby. Her heart saw His future wounds. She kissed his tender head, knowing that it would wear a crown of thorns. His tiny hand wrapped around her finger, and she saw it pierced with a nail. She caressed His soft skin, feeling His coming scourging. She inhaled His sweet baby smell, and smelled instead the dirt, blood and sweat of His future Passion.
From that moment on, she began living the grief of Our Lord’s Crucifixion.
Flight into Egypt
There was no advanced warning. No time to prepare. Her husband woke her up one night and said “We have to go. Now. They want to kill the baby.”
Can you imagine!? This perfectly innocent and lovable Baby, and men were already seeking His life! The sorrow that must have pierced Mary’s heart at knowing someone wanted her Divine Baby dead.
Exiled to another land, hiding like outlaws, how did they survive? It would not have been easy! No friends or family. No knowledge of the language. Only the possessions they could quickly grab and carry. In a land hostile to the Jewish people.
And then, after the death of Herod, what grief would it have been for Mary to return to Israel? She carried her Son in her arms, back to the land where He would be crucified. With every step of that return journey, how it must have weighed on her heart!
Loss of Jesus in Jerusalem
Some theologians believe this, in some ways, was Mary’s most intense sorrow! Ever since the Prophecy of Simeon, Mary had been living the sorrow of her Son’s future Cross. But she had the greatest consolation of all… The constant presence of her Child, Lord and God! But here she was far from Him. This was also the only sorrow that she didn’t understand. His Passion and Death she knew were necessary for the redemption of mankind. But this? Why was He not with her? Where had He gone? She suffered not understanding God’s will.
Because she was without original sin, Mary loved her Son perfectly. More than any other mother could. A hundred times more than even a saintly mother loves her chldren. The Christ Child was her all, her only source of joy. His presence was a constant balm on the wounds of her heart.
But then, he was gone.
Imagine her grief and anxiety as she searched for Him! She wandered the city for 3 days, hardly eating, unable to rest. How many people saw the tears streaming down her face, yet brushed past her and went on their way? How many people turned their face away from Our Mother’s pain, unmoved to pity? She must have felt so alone! Even St Joseph, who searched with her, could not possible understand the depth of her Sorrow.
She was alone.
Meeting on the Road to Calvary
When Christ left for the Garden, after celebrating that final passover and instituting the Eucharist, Mary knew. She knew it was time. While He prayed in agony in the garden, she prayed and cried for Him at the house. She was not surprised when the disciples came and said her Son had been arrested. But still the grief those words must have caused! All night long she followed as best she could. She saw Pilat present Her bloody, scourged Son. She heard the people cry “Crucify Him!”
Then she saw Him face-to-face. Torn flesh. Pierced head. Bleeding. Spit upon. Mocked. Trembling in exhaustion. Condemned to die. What intense grief must have stabbed her heart! Their eyes met, Mother and Son. He saw her anguish, which only increased His own. What could she do?! What unimaginable sorrow, to know that by your grief you are adding to your Son’s pain!
She could do nothing but follow Him, suffer with Him. Her agony increasing His, and His increasing hers.
Standing at the Foot of the Cross
And by the foot of the cross stood His mother.
That is such a simple statement. But what agony it holds! Imagine seeing your child, already scourged and beat beyond recognition, hung on a cross to suffer and die. Imagine watching the executioners laugh and gamble over which one of them got His clothing. Clothing you had lovingly made Him. You cannot ease the pain. You cannot comfort your child.
Could you stand? I would be in a heap on the ground!
But Mary stood there. Completely accepting God’s will. Perfectly uniting her own grief with Christ’s Passion, as her tears fell to the ground and mixed with His Precious Blood.
Receiving the Body of Jesus in Her Arms
After His death, the Body of Christ was placed in the arms of His Mother. His flesh was covered with wounds. He was smeared with blood, sweat and dirt.
In Mary’s mind, the entire Passion played out again. She looked at his body, and saw every blow. Every Fall. Every moment of His suffering.
And in her heart, she said “yes” to it all again. She completely embraced and accepted all that had happened. She reaffirmed her submission to the Will of God, no matter the cost to her.
Burial of Christ
How desolate must Mary have felt when laying the Body of her Son in the tomb! Her Jesus was dead!
Even through her grief, she had perfect faith, and was completely confident that He would rise again… But she knew her time with Him living as her Son was over. Her time making Him breakfast, smiling at His humor, ruffling His hair, sitting near Him… All over. There was nothing more she could do for Him. She would never truly be reunited with Him until heaven.
There are several special promises and graces promised to those who daily say one Hail Mary for each of Mary’s Seven Sorrows. There is something here that I need to say. A devotion is not a magic spell or good luck charm. We can’t just say it out of routine and expect to be granted all the graces. That isn’t devotion. It has to be said with the absolutely best love we can possibly muster. In fact, just practicing one devotion with the whole might of our souls is better than practicing a hundred devotions routinely, without meaning! Something I like to do, when I kneel down to make my Seven Sorrows devotion, is ask Our Lady to please let this be the one thing I do well today.
Our Lady offers these Promises:
1. “I will grant peace to their families.”
2. “They will be enlightened about the Divine Mysteries.”
3. “I will console them in their pains and I will accompany them in their work.”
4. “I will give them as much as they ask for as long as it does not oppose the adorable will of my Divine Son or the sanctification of their souls.”
5. “I will defend them in their spiritual battles with the infernal enemy and I will protect them at every instant of their lives.”
6. “I will visibly help them at the moment of their death—they will see the face of their mother.”
7. “I have obtained this grace from my divine Son, that those who propagate this devotion to my tears and dolors will be taken directly from this earthly life to eternal happiness, since all their sins will be forgiven and my Son will be their eternal consolation and joy.” (Now you know why I’m sharing these! Mother of Sorrows, take pity on me and obtain the forgiveness of my sins!)
Our Lord offers these Promises:
1. That those who before death invoke the Blessed Mother in the name of her sorrows, should obtain true repentance of all their sins.
2. That He would protect in their tribulations all who remember this devotion, and that He would protect them especially at the hour of death.
3. That He would impress upon their minds the remembrance of His Passion, and that they should have their reward for it in Heaven.
4. That He would commit such devout clients to the hands of Mary, so that she might obtain for these souls all the graces she wanted to lavish upon them.
In Corde Maria,
This work is Offered up to the Our Most Sorrowful Mother, in reparation for for the words said against her, especially by those men in Church Leadership and especially against the purity, constancy and integrity with which she bore her sufferings.
Mother, forgive us.
These images are free for personal and Catholic Educational use. Print them for yourself, friends, RE or CDC class etc. You may also use these images on your website, with credit back to me.
please do not:
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