“Mondays with Mary” – Holy Week with the Mater Dolorosa

Yesterday, beginning with Palm Sunday, the Catholic Church entered Holy Week also known as the Great Week. In my personal opinion, these are the best days in the entire liturgical cycle because we celebrate the High Holy Days of Catholicism.

Holy Week begins with the great imagery of palms and olive branches, which were symbolic for victory and triumphant in the ancient world. We also witness Jesus riding a colt into Jerusalem, just as Solomon rode David’s mule into Jerusalem centuries before declaring him as king. We now see the New Davidic King, Jesus Christ, enter to the words – “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the kingdom of our Father David that is to come! Hosanna in the highest!” (Mk 11:9-10; cf. Ps 118:26).

As we begin this week of suffering with Our Lord, I want you to remember the one person who was there with him, most united with him, and always prepared to lead us closer to him, yes, even into his suffering – the person is of course the Blessed Virgin Mary. As the Mater Dolorosa, the Sorrowful Mother, Mary leads us into a more complete union with Jesus, not only during the joyful and blessed times of our lives, but also during the times of suffering and pain. During this week, as we walk with Our Lord to Calvary, we must keep in mind that we also walk with Our Mother.

Mary’s role is so important during the week of Holy Week that in the Roman Missal and Calendar prior to 1970, the Church commemorated the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary on the Friday preceding Palm Sunday. Today, this commemoration is still celebrated in Catholic parishes where the Extraordinary Form of the Latin Rite is celebrated as well as in the Anglican Ordinariate parishes. This special day is a day where we remember what the Mother of God witnessed and underwent as she watched her Son brutally tortured and executed.

To better prepare for this Holy Week with the Mater Dolorosa, I encourage you to read and pray with the Seven Sorrows (Dolors) of Mary. Often prayed as part of the Mater Dolorosa Rosary, these seven sorrows will lead us into the suffering Our Lady endured not only during Holy Week, but also in the childhood of Jesus.

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

Mater Dolorosa…Pray for Us. 

How Important is the Holy Rosary? Well, I Have Written on it 13 Times

Today, in the Latin rite of the Catholic Church, we celebrate the memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary. The Holy Rosary is important and should be prayed by all the faithful as it has been told to do so by Our Lady in apparitions. There are two important components to the Holy Rosary – one is meditation on the mysteries of the Rosary, and two, vocal prayer. The most important aspect of the Holy Rosary is that it focuses on the life of Jesus Christ. Through the intercessory prayer of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we meditate and pray the life of Jesus Christ.

So how important is the Holy Rosary? Well, I have written on it 10 times. Below is the collection of blog posts, mostly from my series “Mondays with Mary”, I have written on the Holy Rosary beginning in 2012. Please feel free to share this post or any of these others with family and friends.

1. “Mondays with Mary” – The Holy Rosary (May 7, 2012)

2. “Mondays with Mary” – The Holy Rosary, Part Deux and St. Therese of the Child Jesus (September 30, 2012)

3. Our Lady of the Rosary (October 7, 2012)

4. “Mondays with Mary” – The Holy Rosary Through the Words of Blessed John Paul II (October 8, 2012)

5. “Mondays with Mary” – 37th Annual Arizona Rosary Celebration in Phoenix, Arizona (October 22, 2012)

6. “Mondays with Mary” – The Saints and Popes on the Holy Rosary (October 29, 2012)

7. “Mondays with Mary” – 7 Benefits of Praying the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary (August 19, 2013)

8. “Mondays with Mary” – The Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary (October 7, 2013)

9. “Mondays with Mary” – Pope St. John Paul II on Our Lady of the Rosary (October 6, 2014)

10. “Mondays with Mary” – The Method of Praying the Rosary of the Mater Dolorosa (June 29, 2015) – This rosary is different than the Loretto Rosary, but still an important prayer to be prayed.

11. “Mondays with Mary” – Venerable Fulton J. Sheen on Mary and the Rosary (October 7, 2015)

12. “Mondays with Mary” – 40th Annual Arizona Rosary Celebration in Phoenix, Arizona (October 26, 2015)

Our Lady of the Rosary…Pray for Us.

Nuestra Señora del Santisimo - Damián Domingo

Nuestra Señora del Santisimo – Damián Domingo

With today’s blog post, that would be now 13 times.

Updated 1/17/2016.