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 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.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, WDTPRS. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Dad of Six says:

    From the Seven Sorrows of the Mater Dolorosa, courtesy of Miles Christi:

    1. The Prophecy of Holy Simeon.
    2. The Flight of the Holy Family into Egypt.
    3. The Loss of the Child Jesus in the Temple.
    4. The Encounter of Jesus with His Blessed Mother as He Carries the Cross.
    5. The Cruxifiction and Death of our Lord Jesus Christ and Mary at the foot of the Cross.
    6. The Descent from the Cross, and Jesus in the Arms of His Most Blessed Mother.
    7. The Burial of our Lord, and the Loneliness of the Blessed Virgin.

  2. Dad of Six says:

    Mater Dolorosa, Cause of our Joy, pray for us.

  3. Ichabod says:

    Thank you Dad of Six.
    St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows, a Passionist seminarian (dying before becoming a priest) was dedicated to the Seven Sorrows as contemplative prayer.

  4. Matt R says:

    The Litany to Our Lady of Sorrows is beautiful, and it concludes with the Collect as it is found in the 1962 Missal. I was struck by her title “Standard-Bearer of Martyrs.” The consecration to Our Lady of Sorrows, which I made today, is also very beautiful.

    I’m not sure why a different collect is used in the Ordinary Form… :/

Comments are closed.