Our Sorrowful Mother, Queen of Martyrs

Today is the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Can you name them?

Here the entry from the Roman Martyrology:

Memoria beatae Mariae Virginis perdolentis, quae, iuxta crucem Iesu adstans, Filii salutiferae passioni intime fideliterque sociata est et nova exstitit Eva, ut, quemadmodum primae mulieris inoboedientia ad mortem contulit, ita mira eius oboedientia ad vitam conferret.

In the older, pre-Conciliar Missale Romanum we find this wonderful Collect for today’s Holy Mass.

Deus, in cuius passione,
secundum Simeonis prophetiam
dulcissimam animam gloriosae Virginis Matris Mariae
doloris gladius pertransivit:
concede propitius;
ut qui dolores eius venerando recolimus,
passionis tuae effectum felicem consequamur.

O God, at whose Passion,
according to the Simeon’s prophecy,
the most sweet soul of the glorious Virgin, Mary our Mother,
was pierced by a sword of sorrow:
mercifully grant
that we who observe her sorrows by veneration
may attain to the happy result of Your Passion

Also, in the old Communion Antiphon we have a connection between the great sorrow of Mary at the Cross and how she merits to be called Queen of Martyrs:

Felices sensus beatae Mariae Virginis,
qui sine morte meruerunt martyrii palmam
sub Cruce Domini

Sensus is an incredibly complicated word. It means, among other things, the faculties of sensing and perceiving, but also of the sentiments of the heart and mind. In a collective “sense” sensus stands for “the common feelings of humanity, the moral sense”. Sensus is also our disposition of mind or humor and inclination. It signifies understanding of the thinking faculty, in the sphere of reason.

Blissful the sentiments of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
which beneath the Cross of the Lord,
without death merited the martyr’s palm

This antiphon underscores how the totality of Mary’s being, “magnified” by God at every point of her life, was united with her Son as He endured the sufferings of the Cross.

This feast reminds us that there is a path to holiness through the sufferings and sorrows we endure.  We must learn to unite them to the sufferings of our Lord.  Mary teaches us to do this.  The martyrs teach us to do this.

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9 Responses to Our Sorrowful Mother, Queen of Martyrs

  1. It can be argued that in some ways the 2002 OF Roman Missal is richer than the 1962 EF Roman Missal. For instance, in that the OF missal contains a complete set of proper prayers for all memorials, whereas the EF missal relies more on “generic” commons prayers. But today’s collect illustrates the fact that the proper prayers of the EF missal are sometimes meatier and more vivid. Today’s OF collect in the 2011 English translation:

    O God, who willed that
    when your Son was lifted high on the Cross,
    his Mother should stand close by and share his suffering,
    grant that your Church,
    participating with the Virgin Mary in the Passion of Christ,
    may merit a share in his Resurrection.

    And today’s OF communion antiphon:

    Rejoice when you share in the sufferings of Christ,
    that you may also rejoice exultantly when his glory is revealed.

  2. jlong says:

    Fr, do you think there is enough development of Doctrine to declare Mary as Coredemptrix. I read Ratzinger was not to keen on the terminology, what do you think?

  3. Tom in NY says:

    “The memorial of the sorrowing Virgin Mary. Standing at the foot of the Cross, she is faithfully and very closely aligned with the life-bringing passion of the Son. She shows herself as the new Eve, in that, just as the disobedience of the first woman brought death, Mary’s wondrous obedience would bring life.”
    Readers may note the Latin using prepositions to reinforce the verbs, as in perdolere, adstans, exstitit, conferre (2x). They may also notice the contrasts between death and life in the last Latin clause. Cf. also jlong comments above, following sociata.
    Ut dicitur, lingua latina una sententia, anglica tres loquitur.
    Salutationes omnibus.

  4. Pingback: Our Sorrowful Mother, Queen of Martyrs | Fr. Z’s Blog | Deaconjohn1987's Blog

  5. pjsandstrom says:

    I am disappointed that you do not answer your own question — the identification of the Seven
    Sorrows chosen by the Servites who started and popularized this devotion.

  6. Tom in NY says:

    responditur,cf. http://www.newadvent.com, “Feasts of the Seven 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.
    Salutationes tibi et omnibus.

  7. lana says:

    I -love- Our Lady of Sorrows! Thank you for the collect tranlations!!!!

  8. Suburbanbanshee says:

    One of the lesser known English folksong traditions is a group of songs centered around “The Seven Joys of Mary” and “The Seven Woes of Mary.” The Seven Joys are more popular for singing, though, and several well-known folk groups have covered them. Great Big Sea is pretty far on the rattling-off-quickly scale and sings it as part of their Christmas repertoire; Maddy Prior and June Tabor are much more lyrical (and traditional).

    Anyway, the amusing part is that the Protestant-friendly versions of the song have the chorus, “And blessed may He be” (referring to Jesus), whereas the older Catholic versions are “And blessed may she be” (referring to Mary, the angel’s prophecy, and Jesus’ praise of Mary as following God’s commands).

  9. JonPatrick says:

    Hmm do the Protestants still have the Gospel of Luke in their Bible (esp. 1:28, 1:42, 1:48) or did they take that out too?