“Mondays with Mary” – The Method of Praying the Rosary of the Mater Dolorosa

Over this past weekend, I experienced for my first time a silent retreat focused on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola led by Miles Christi. The retreat came at the perfect time, which has renewed and reformed my prayer life. It also gave me some rather excellent insights and resolutions on how to minister to the parish.

As I viewed the retreat schedule on Saturday morning, I noticed that there was a Rosary set for a particular time, but it was something I had never heard of before – the Rosary of the Mater Dolorosa. I knew that Mater Dolorosa meant Sorrowful Mother, but I never heard of this rosary nor had I prayed it before. I should note that Miles Christi has a particular devotion to Mary under this title and considers her one of their Heavenly Guardians.

The devotion to the Mother of Sorrows has its origins in the beginning of the Church. At the foot of the cross, we see St. John the Apostle with Mary in Sorrow as she weeps for the death of her Son on the cross.

It was always part of the traditions of the Church, however, it was on Good Friday 1239 where Our Lady appeared to the founder of the Order of Servites and requested that a religious community be founded upon this devotion. Their lives should be of prayer and penance. The first seven men all had dynamic devotions to the Blessed Virgin Mary. On request of Our Lady, the seven men of the Servites began to meditate on the seven sorrowful accounts of Our Lady’s life in relation to Jesus Christ’s Passion and Death. It is here where the Chaplet (or Little Rosary) of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary developed.

Countless saints and Doctors of the Church have praised this Rosary, among them St. Albert the Great, St. Bridget, St. Bernard of Clairvaux, and St. Alphonsus Ligouri. In 1724, Pope Benedict XIII, promulgated and fortified the practice of this devotion when he conferred many indulgences when this rosary is recited by the faithful.

Our Lady of Sorrows.Carlo Dolci

The Seven Sorrows of Our Lady are the following:

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 Crucifixion 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

The Method of Praying the Rosary of the Mater Dolorosa –

V. In the name of the Father…I believe in God… R. I believe in the Holy Spirit…

V. Our Father… R. Give us this day…

V. Hail Mary… R. Holy Mary… (Recited 3 times)

V. Glory be to the Father… R. As it was…

Today we will meditate on the Sorrows of our Lady.

In the first sorrow let us contemplate The Prophecy of Holy Simeon.

V. Our Father… R. Give us this day…

V. Hail Mary… R. Holy Mary… (Recited 7 times)

V. Glory be to the Father… R. As it was…

Fatima Prayer: O my Jesus, forgive us our sins. Save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of Thy mercy!

In the second sorrow let us contemplate…

At the end of the seventh sorrow say:

Let us pray for the intentions of the Holy Father, in order to obtain the holy indulgences (Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be)

V. Hail Holy Queen… R. Mother of Mercy…

The Holy See has granted to the members and to all the faithful in some way linked to Miles Christi, the same indulgences granted to the standard Rosary (Loreto).

The Litany of the Mater Dolorosa may be recited at the end of the Rosary.

This Rosary may be prayed on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

There are rosary beads that accompany this prayer, but at this time I can’t locate any online. If you know where we can purchase them, let me know in the comment box and I will update this blog post.

Update: Here are a two sites you can purchase the Mater Dolorosa Rosary. Thank you to my readers who suggested these sites. Immaculee’s Website and Gifts Catholic Inc.

Update #2: One of our awesome parishioners, and also a friend of mine, dropped off a Seven Sorrows Rosary to me at the parish office. Thank you Maggie!

Our Mother of Sorrows…Pray For Us.


Prayers. Miles Christi, 2013. Third Edition.

The Devotion of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

9 replies »

  1. Good morning Tom!!!

    Sounds like you experienced a great weekend. 🙂

    We have a book entitled “My Treasury of Chaplets” by Patricia S. Quintiliani that includes the Rosary of the Seven Sorrows. Robin and I have a large rosary making kit and supplies as Robin made rosaries at St Mary’s school for the kids and others. We would be willing to make some if you would like.

    God bless,


  2. I was trying to catch up with my emails and saw this post.
    We were blessed this past weekend to have had a beautiful day retreat with Imaculee, and they do sell them on her website. The Chaplet prayer is also in the back of her book on the apparitions of Our Lady of Kibeho.
    You’ll also find it in Fr. Michael Gaitley’s book “33 days to Morning Glory”
    I’m in Houston, Texas at the Catholic Charismatic Center and we sell the rosaries in the bookstore for $18.95.

  3. Hi my hobby is to make a rosary for my friend, can you tell me the way to recite the rosary for Mother Dolorosa. If you could send me a replica of the rosary, it will be fully appreciated, God Bless.

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