15 September 2008

Our Lady of Sorrows

Today is the feast of the Seven Sorrows of Our Lady.  The following is from the Women for Faith and Family site, borrowing from Catholic Encyclopedia:

History of the Devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows

The seven founders of the Servite Order, in 1239, five years after they established themselves on Monte Senario, took up the sorrows of Mary, standing under the Cross, as the principal devotion of their order. The feast originate by a provincial synod of Cologne (1413) to expiate the crimes of the iconoclast Hussites; it was to be kept on the Friday after the third Sunday after Easter under the title: "Commemoratio angustix et doloris B. Marix V". Its object was exclusively the sorrow of Mary during the Crucifixion and Death of Christ. Before the sixteenth century this feast was limited to the dioceses of North Germany, Scandinavia, and Scotland. Being termed "Compassio" or "Transfixio", Commendatio, Lamentatio B.M.V.", it was kept at a great variety of dates, mostly during Eastertide or shortly after Pentecost, or on some fixed day of a month. Dreves and Blume (Analecta hymnica) have published a large number of rhythmical offices, sequences and hymns for the feast of the Compassion, which show that from the end of the fifteenth century in several dioceses the scope of this feast was widened to commemorate either five dolours (sorrows), from the imprisonment to the burial of Christ, or seven dolours, extending over the entire life of Mary.

Towards the end of the end of the sixteenth century the feast spread over part of the south of Europe; in 1506 it was granted to the nuns of the Annunciation under the title "Spasmi B.M.V.", Monday after Passion Sunday; in 1600 to the Servite nuns of Valencia, "B.M.V. sub pede Crucis", Friday before Palm Sunday. After 1600 it became popular in France and was termed "Dominx N. de Pietate", Friday before Palm Sunday. To this latter date the feast was assigned for the whole German Empire (1674). By a Decree of April 22, 1727, Benedict XIII extended it to the entire Latin Church, under the title "Septem dolorum B.M.V.", although the Office and Mass retain the original character of the feast, the Compassion of Mary at the foot of the Cross. At both Mass and Office the "Stabat Mater" of Giacopone da Todi (1306) is sung (see words in Latin and English below). 

A second feast was granted to the Servites, June 9 and September 15, 1668. Its object of the seven dolours of Mary (according to the responsories of Matins). 

The sorrows:

* at the prophecy of Simeon; 
* at the flight into Egypt; 
* having lost the Holy Child at Jerusalem; 
* meeting Jesus on his way to Calvary; 
* standing at the foot of the Cross; 
* Jesus being taken from the Cross; 
* at the burial of Christ.

This feast was extended to Spain (1735); to Tuscany (1807). After his return from his exile in France Pius VII extended the feast to the Latin Church (September 18, 1814). A feast, "B.M.V. de pietate", with a beautiful medieval office, is kept in honor of the sorrowful mother at Goa in India and Braga in Portugal, on the third Sunday of October; in the ecclesiastical province of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, last Sunday of May, etc. A special form of devotion is practiced in Spanish-speaking countries under the term of "N.S. de la Soledad", to commemorate the solitude of Mary on Holy Saturday. Its origin goes back to Queen Juana, lamenting the early death of her husband Philip I, King of Spain (1506). 


Long-Skirts said...

"Jesus being taken from the cross."


Have you received
Christ's body dead
Like the sorrowful Mother
Who cradled His head?

Christ's body dead
Is the gift of a child
Deformed or sickly
Did you feel beguiled?

Christ's body dead
Is the gift of disease
Physical mental
Can't do as you please.

That's because Christ
Wants to be close
To you who accepts
The sixth sorrow's dose.

He chose you of hope
To cradle His head
For you know what is life
And what really is dead.

Climb Golgotha hill
For you can handle
So others can see
Your light like a candle,

That Christ is with you,
Before and behind,
And they'll follow your path
To the tomb quite resigned,

Where quietly gently,
All suffering will rest,
And your head will be cradled
At our Lady's breast.

Oh sons of sorrow
The gift - your breath,
You'll breathe at your birth
Due to Christ's body's death.

Anonymous said...

There is a beautiful 120 year old shrine to Our Lady of Sorrows in Starkenburg, MO, near Herman that my family went on a little pilgrimage to a couple of weeks ago. It has a grotto in honor of Lourdes, with a well that they fill with Lourdes water once a year. It has stations of the cross out doors.

There have been miracles and favors attributed to people having visited the shrine, praying to Our Lady of Sorrows for her intercession.

We were even able to take home some Lourdes water to bless our unborn baby with.

It is rugged and a great retreat for people who appreciate the out doors.

Anonymous said...

Since 1999 the SSPX has held its annual Starkenburg Pilgrimage where Catholics come from all over the mid-west and walk the 13 miles from a small town along the KATY Trail and then to the Shrine of Our Lady where a magnificent outdoor's Latin Mass is confected with hundreds of pilgrims. This year it will be held Sat., Oct. 18th.
The Holy Mass, that cannot die,
Was said amidst the oaks,
While pin-oak leaves came floating down
Around the simple folks,

Who knelt upon the acorn floor,
All dotted nutty brown.
The acorns cracked and old knees snapped,
Yet still there was no sound...

But the tinkling of the golden bells
As the White Host Son rose high,
On priestly limbs, like mighty oaks,
They branched up to the sky.

And in that wood, I laughed with joy,
Amongst the souls bowed down,
For the mighty oak was once a nut
That merely held it's ground.

So Christian souls, like acorn nuts,
Must burrow all around
And be the seed that sprouts new oaks
On consecrated ground...

Where the Holy Mass, that cannot die,
Is said around the oaks,
While pin-oak leaves come floating down
Amidst a mighty folk!