Month of the Seven Sorrows of Mary

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Month of the Seven Sorrows of Mary

The month of September is dedicated to the Seven Sorrows of Mary. Devotion to the sorrows of the Virgin Mary dates from the twelfth century, when it made its appearance in monastic circles under the influence of St. Anselm and St. Bernard. The Cistercians and then the Servites undertook to propagate it. It became widespread in the fourteenth and especially the fifteenth centuries, particularly in the Rhineland and Flanders, where Confraternities of the Sorrowful Mother sprang up. It was in this context that the first liturgical formularies in her honor were composed. A provincial council of Mainz in 1423 made use of these in establishing a “Feast of the Sorrows of Mary” in reparation for Hussite profanations of her images.

In 1494 the feast appeared in Bruges, where the Precious Blood of Christ was venerated; later on it made its way into France. It did not, however, become widespread in France before Benedict XIII included it in the Roman Calendar in 1727 and assigned it to the Friday before Palm Sunday.

Some Churches had previously celebrated this feast during the Easter season. Others, however, celebrated the Joys of the Blessed Virgin during the Easter season, as is still done today at Braga. In some places it was entitled “Recollection of the Feasts and Joys of the Blessed Virgin Mary.”

Excerpted from The Church at Prayer, Vol. IV A.G. Martimort.

Fr. Faber on the Seven Sorrows

God vouchsafed to select the very things about Him which are most incommunicable, and in a most mysteriously real way communicate them to her. See how He had already mixed her up with the eternal designs of creation, making her almost a partial cause and partial model of it. Our Lady’s co-operation in the redemption of the world gives us a fresh view of her magnificence. Neither the Immaculate Conception nor the Assumption will give us a higher idea of Mary’s exaltation than the title of co-redemptress. Her sorrows were not necessary for the redemption of the world, but in the counsels of God they were inseparable from it. They belong to the integrity of the divine plan. Are not Mary’s mysteries Jesus’ mysteries, and His mysteries hers? The truth appears to be that all the mysteries of Jesus and Mary were in God’s design as one mystery. Jesus Himself was Mary’s sorrow, seven times repeated, aggravated sevenfold. During the hours of the Passion, the offering of Jesus and the offering of Mary were tied in one. They kept pace together; they were made of the same materials; they were perfumed with kindred fragrance; they were lighted with the same fire; they were offered with kindred dispositions. The two things were one simultaneous oblation, interwoven each moment through the thickly crowded mysteries of that dread time, unto the eternal Father, out of two sinless hearts, that were the hearts of Son and Mother, for the sins of a guilty world which fell on them contrary to their merits, but according to their own free will.

— Fr. Frederick Faber, The Foot of the Cross.

Mary, Mother of the Good Shepherd

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Mary, Mother of the Good Shepherd
Triduum, Aug. 31-Sept. 2 Feast, Sept. 3

On Calvary, the Good Shepherd Who gave His life for His sheep, entrusted them to the keeping of His own pure and Immaculate Mother. Like her beloved Son, she too is filled with a burning love for souls. She does all in her power to bring them to His Most Sacred Heart and to save them from eternal death. Let us pray to the Mother of the Good Shepherd for the souls who are still outside His One, True Fold, the Catholic Church, as well as for ourselves, that we may faithfully follow Jesus, the Good Shepherd of our souls. Let us ever recall the respect and obedience due to those faithful Bishops of the Church set over us by Christ, to guide and direct us in the way of eternal salvation.

He said to His Mother, “Woman, behold thy son.” Then He said to the disciple, “Behold thy Mother” (John 29:26).

Thou art blessed by the Lord, O Mary, for through Thee we have partaken in the Fruit of Life. Because of Thee, the gates of Heaven were opened to us, O Thou who dost reign gloriously with the angels! Hail Mary…

Mary speaks:
“Now, therefore, you children, hear me: Blessed are they that keep my ways” (Prov. 8:32).

Let us Pray. O Lord Jesus Christ, Thou Good Shepherd of our souls, Who didst give Thy life for Thy sheep, and Who, when dying on the Cross didst entrust to the Virgin Mary the sheep of Thy pasture, grant that through her intercession we may on earth follow Thee, our Shepherd, through humble obedience to our Bishop, successor of Thy Blessed Apostles, and so be led to the heavenly pastures of life everlasting. Who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, One God, forever, unto ages of ages. Amen.

Saint Pius X

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Saint Pius X

Pope
(1836-1914)

This canonized holy Pope of the twentieth century remains beloved by all as the Pope of Frequent Communion. This is indeed a beautiful and fitting title, but we would like to stress here what is less known of his pontifical works — his battle to conserve the faith against those mining it from within.

Joseph Sarto, born in 1836 into a family poor in earthly goods but very rich in virtue, was the first living son of eight children, including six sisters. He soon found himself orphaned of his profoundly Christian father; Joseph had already announced his desire to become a priest, and his parents had approved. When his widowed mother continued to desire like himself this unique ambition of her son, their parish priest found financial aid for him. Continue reading