Today in the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church, we celebrate the Marian memorial known as Our Lady of Sorrows. This traditional devotion, which helps us understand Mary’s role in the suffering of Our Lord Jesus Christ, began in 1814 by Pope Pius VII. Many of the Church Fathers and other saints wrote on how Mary is united with Christ in his suffering and how we are to suffer with Christ as well. In this Apostolic Letter, Salvific Doloris, Pope St. John Paul II said,
“Suffering is also an invitation to manifest the moral greatness of man, his spiritual maturity. Proof of this has been given, down through the generations, by the martyrs and confessors of Christ, faithful to the words: “And do not fear those who kill the body, but cannot kill the soul.”
If you don’t know or haven’t realized it yet, suffering is very much a part of the Christian lifestyle, and although following Christ brings us happiness and joy, suffering is something that we all must learn to embrace. We are reminded of this every time we walk into a Catholic Church and see the crucifix in the sanctuary. As she is in all things that pertain to the Christian faith, the Blessed Virgin Mary is the perfect example for us when it comes to suffering. Although she was free of all sin because of her Immaculate Conception, she still had to endure great pains and great suffering as she watched Her Son and Our Lord suffer to and on the cross.
So for today’s blog post on the memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows, here are the many blog posts I have written in the past that speak about the Blessed Mother as the Mother of Sorrows –
Our Lady of Sorrows…Pray for Us.