Today, September 15th, is the day each year when we remember Mary under the title Our Lady of Sorrows. Our Lady of Sorrows is the patroness of the Congregation of Holy Cross, so this seems like a good day to share a little bit of Holy Cross spirituality with all of you.
This title for our Blessed Mother recalls her Seven Sorrows:
The Prophecy of Simeon
- The Flight to Egypt
- The Losing of the Child Jesus in the Temple
- Mary Meeting Jesus on the Road to Calvary
- The Crucifixion
- Jesus Is Taken Down from the Cross
- Jesus Is Laid in the Tomb
It may sound strange to name a feast after a title that sounds so sad, but we in Holy Cross see it differently. After all, we profess the Cross of Christ to be our only hope, and Our Lady of Sorrows helps to show us how. Our Constitutions say it this way: “There stood by the cross of Jesus his mother Mary, who knew grief and was a Lady of Sorrows. She is our special patroness, a woman who bore much, she could not understand and who stood fast. To her many sons and daughters, whose devotions ought to bring them often to Her side, she tells much of this daily cross and its daily hope.”
We are reminded that Mary, even though she was conceived without original sin, didn’t have a perfect life. She still suffered much, through no fault of her own. She knew what it was like to have to flee your homeland, to worry about your child, and to watch Him suffer. And yet through all of these sufferings, her faith never waivered. And because her faith was so strong, she persevered through them to the perfect joy of being the Queen of Heaven. She is a special mother to all of us when we suffer because she knows what it’s like. She’s been there. And she gives us proof that we always have a reason to hope, no matter how bad things might seem.
And so, even if it sounds strange to say, Happy Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows! May she be a source of comfort and strength for all of us when we share in the trials of her Son.