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Our Lady of Sorrows



Our Lady Who Softens Evil Hearts


Dear Friends,


Our Lady of Sorrows has been with me in a special way for 18 years. My son was born on her feast day, September 15th. Because of this, we often prayed a novena leading up to his birthday and her feast, yet, I didn’t know her well. Now that time has passed, I’ve come to know her quite well. We often console one another.


I’m sharing some history and then the prayers for daily devotions, for the 7 sorrows rosary and also for the novena. I plan to start the novena on this Tuesday November 15th , ending the day before Thanksgiving. Undoubtedly I feel closer to her at Thanksgiving Mass. 😊


It’s been told that Our Lady of Sorrows is also know as Our Lady Star of the Sea – after reading a quote by St. Bernard, this made sense to me. Saint Bernard of Clairvaux captured this moment and how we ought to respond in supplication to Mary in his twelfth century treatise “Homilies on the Gospel ‘Missus est’”:

If the winds of temptation arise; If you are driven upon the rocks of tribulation look to the star, call on Mary; If you are tossed upon the waves of pride, of ambition, of envy, of rivalry, look to the star, call on Mary. Should anger, or avarice, or fleshly desire violently assail the frail vessel of your soul, look at the star, call upon Mary.




Directly below I’ve shared some history and an article by Fr. Rippenger about how our lady will reveal secrets, convert hardened hearts if you ask her.





Our Lady who softens evil hearts, Russian icon, 19th century


This ancient spiritual practice helps us enter into the heart of Our Blessed Mother as we recall her sufferings

“As Christ was the ‘man of sorrows’ (Is 53, 3) through whom it pleased God to have ‘reconciled all things through him and for him, everything in heaven and everything on earth, when he made peace by his death on the cross’ (Col 1, 20), so too, Mary is ‘the woman of sorrows’ whom God associated with his Son as mother and participant in his Passion (socia passionis).” (Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy)


Devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows is very ancient and over time pious customs have been developed to enter into the heart of Mary that was pierced so“thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed” (Luke 2:35).

One such custom owes its origin to the Servite Order founded by a group called the Seven Holy Founders in 1233. From the very beginning they sought to live a life dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows.

Through their spirituality they developed what has been called the “Servite Rosary,” also known as the “Chaplet of the Seven Sorrows of Mary.” It recalls seven events in the life of Mary when she experienced great sorrow.



Our Lady of Sorrows is so powerful!

In an extensive talk about Our Lady of Sorrows, exorcist Fr. Chad Ripperger explains the incredible power of the Seven Sorrows Devotion.

He explains how the Seven Sorrows devotion is powerful in revealing secrets and converting the hearts of sinners.

Our Lady’s power in revealing secrets:

“The first sorrow is the prophesy of Simeon. We read in scripture (Luke 2:34): ‘When Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His Mother, ‘Behold this child is set for the fall and resurrection of many in Israel and for a sign which shall be contradicted. And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed.'”

“Our Lord is revealing that Our Lady is the one to go to for secret knowledge. ‘Your souls shall be pierced so that the thoughts of many shall be laid bare.’

“What Our Lord is revealing to Simeon is that if there is something that you need to know that is hidden, you go to her specifically under the title of Our Lady of Sorrows, and she will reveal it to you.

“It works like clockwork. I do it all the time. You don’t do it to find out what our neighbor is doing. But if you have a son or a daughter and you’re concerned about them and you think that there is something wrong there, you can ask, ‘What are we dealing with?’

“Or even in your own life. It’s very helpful to pray Our Lady of Sorrows to reveal your own defects, because a lot of times, the predominant defect is not the one that is the most seen.”

Our Lady’s power in converting hearts:

Fr. Ripperger continues, “The rise of many. Our Lady is the one to go to for the conversion of family members by blocking demons.

“When you’re trying to get someone to convert, or you’re trying to start leading a better life, there’s two sides. There’s a positive and a negative.

“The negative side is that you’ve got to get the demons out of their lives so that they don’t block the operations of grace and influence the individual. You also have to pray for the grace for them to start leading a moral life. But Our Lady under the title of Our Lady of Sorrows is the one to go to for those kinds of graces.”



Below are prayers and guidance to pray to her under her title of Our Lady of Sorrows. https://americaneedsfatima.org/prayers/novena-to-our-lady-of-sorrows

Here are some suggestions.


Typical daily devotion: One can pray 1 Hail Mary for each of her sorrows.

7 sorrows Rosary: mediating on each of the 7 sorrows praying 7 Hail Mary’s.

9 day novena, focusing on 1 sorrow a day, yet praying the added prayers below as one mediates on each sorrow.


Below are:


The Seven Sorrows of Our Lady

  1. The Prophecy of Simeon

  2. The Flight into Egypt

  3. The Loss of the child Jesus in the Temple

  4. The Meeting of Mary and Jesus on the Way to Calvary

  5. The Crucifixion and Death of Jesus

  6. The Piercing of the Side of Jesus and His Descent from the Cross.

  7. The Burial of Jesus

Novena to Our Lady of Sorrows

These prayers are to be recited each day after the Novena.

Hail Mary

Hail Mary full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed are thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus. Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen

Prayer to our Sorrowful Mother for a particular grace

O, mother most holy and sorrowful, Queen of Martyrs, you who stood by your Son as He agonized on the cross; by the sufferings of your life, by that sword of pain that pierced your heart, by your perfect joy in heaven, look down on me kindly as I kneel before you, sympathizing with your sorrows and offering you my petition with childlike trust.

Dear Mother, since your Son refuses you nothing, ask of His Sacred Heart to mercifully grant what I ask, through the merits of His sacred passion, along with those of your sufferings at the foot of the cross.

Mother most merciful, to whom shall I go in my misery if not to you who pities us poor sinful exiles in this valley of tears? In our name, offer Jesus but one drop of His most precious blood, but one pang of His loving heart. Remind Him that you are our sweetness, our life and our hope, and your prayer will be heard. Amen

The Memorare

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help or sought your intercession, was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto you, O Virgin of Virgins, my Mother. To you do I come, before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in your clemency, hear and answer me. Amen



First Day

Prayer in honor of the First Sorrow of Mary — The Prophecy of Simeon

Most Sorrowful Mother, grief filled was your heart when, on offering your divine Son at the temple, Holy Simeon foretold that a sword would pierce your soul. There and then you knew you would suffer with Jesus.

Queen of Martyrs, let me unite my heart to yours in this pain, and ask you the grace to keep the thought of my death in mind, so I may always avoid sin.

Hail Mary…. Prayer to our Sorrowful Mother for a particular grace... Memorare....


Second Day

Prayer in honor of the Second Sorrow of Mary — The Flight into Egypt

Most sorrowful Mother, Your mother’s heart brimmed over with sorrow at the hate of Herod for your innocent Son. To save Him from the king’s jealousy, you had to flee with Him to Egypt. Your heart also suffered at seeing the suffering of your holy spouse, Saint Joseph, at the prospect of taking the divine babe and you, his delicate spouse, into the wilderness and the unknown.

Queen of Martyrs let me unite my heart to yours in this sorrow, and obtain for me the grace to avoid those who wish me evil, above all evil to my soul. Let me avoid temptations and never leave the difficult but royal road to heaven.

Hail Mary…. Prayer to our Sorrowful Mother for a particular grace... Memorare....


Third Day

Prayer in honor of the Third Sorrow of Mary — The Loss of the child Jesus in the Temple

Most sorrowful Mother, grief, sorrow and anxiety filled your immaculate heart when you found you were separated from your Son on leaving Jerusalem.

For three days He remained lost to you and to your holy spouse. For three days you sought Him who was the light of your life. And for three days you failed to find Him.

Let me join you in this pain, O Queen of Martyrs, and obtain for me the grace to never lose Jesus through sin, but to stay united to Him by the help of His grace. If I have the misfortune of falling, may I never doubt His mercy and always return through the Sacrament of Confession, which He instituted.

Hail Mary…. Prayer to our Sorrowful Mother for a particular grace... Memorare....


Fourth Day

Prayer in honor of the Fourth Sorrow of Mary — The Meeting of Mary and Jesus on the Way to Calvary

Most sorrowful Mother, who can fathom the grief of your heart when you saw your Son fall, wounded and bleeding under the crushing weight of the cross, on the way to Calvary?

Queen of Martyrs, let me unite my heart to yours in this sorrow, and obtain for me the grace to bear patiently whatever cross God may see fit to send me.

Hail Mary…. Prayer to our Sorrowful Mother for a particular grace... Memorare....


Fifth Day

Prayer in honor of the Fifth Sorrow of Mary — The Crucifixion and Death of Jesus

Most sorrowful Mother, standing by the cross of Jesus, your heart was one great knot. And yet, you did not sit, you did not even lean, but stood as you watched Him suffer for the sins of the whole world–for my sins. Like Abraham, you offered the sacrifice standing up, consciously and willingly. In your case, you offered it for me, and for every sinner. Still, unlike Abraham, you stood and watched Him die. In your case, your perfect Son was not spared.

Queen of Martyrs, let me join you in this sorrow, and obtain for me the grace to fight against temptation and sin at the cost of effort, suffering and even life. When my turn comes, grant me, Mother, by your Jesus’ death and your sacrifice, the grace to die in His holy Grace–the grace of a happy death.

Hail Mary…. Prayer to our Sorrowful Mother for a particular grace... Memorare....


Sixth Day

Prayer in honor of the Sixth Sorrow of Mary — The Piercing of the Side of Jesus and His Descent from the Cross

Most Sorrowful Mother, when your Son’s body was lowered from the cross and laid in your arms, sorrow filled your heart.

Though now this sorrow had a note of relief, how painful it was for you to gaze on that body, formerly the seat of perfect life, health and beauty, gruesomely scarred, pale and lifeless.

Mother, Queen of Martyrs, let me join my heart to yours in this grief, and obtain for me to receive Jesus into my soul before I die, so I may join Him in heaven forever.

Hail Mary…. Prayer to our Sorrowful Mother for a particular grace... Memorare....


Seventh Day

Prayer in honor of the Seventh Sorrow of Mary — The Burial of Jesus

Most sorrowful Virgin, sorrow again filled your heart when the sacred body of your Son was taken from your arms, and placed in a cold grave. Yet you did not doubt that He would rise again.

Queen of Martyrs, let me join you in your sorrow, and grant me your own deep, trusting faith in the word of your Son. Let me trust that even in suffering, even when all seems lost, with Jesus there is always a way out.

Obtain for me too, a sincere sorrow for all my sins, a burning love for my God, a tender devotion to you, so that one day, I may die in His grace and, with Him, rise to eternal life.

Hail Mary…. Prayer to our Sorrowful Mother for a particular grace... Memorare....


Eighth Day

Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, September 14

Sweet Mother of Sorrows, Providence wished that Saint Helena, like you the mother of a king, find the cross of your Son and lavish honors on this relic of relics.**

Grant, me Sorrowful Queen and Mother that, like Saint Helena, I always honor the symbol of our salvation, the cross. And like the Church, may I hold it high, display and wear it with gratitude and pride.

Above all, may I unite my sufferings to that of Jesus on the cross, and carry my crosses not in shame but in faith, love and patience as He did.

The Church teaches that suffering thus carried and united to His, is never in vain, but a powerful, redemptive prayer.

May I always believe it, so my life will always have meaning.

Hail Mary…. Prayer to our Sorrowful Mother for a particular grace... Memorare....

**(Saint Helena did this while on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem in the year 326 A.D. To celebrate this fact, the Catholic Church established the feast of The Exaltation of the Holy Cross.)


Ninth Day

Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Sorrows

O most holy Virgin, Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ: by the overwhelming grief you experienced when you witnessed the martyrdom, crucifixion, and death of your divine Son, look upon me kindly, and awaken in my heart a tender sympathy for Our Lord’s sufferings.

Grant me a sincere detestation of my sins, so that free from undue affection for the passing joys of earth, I may set my sights higher on the eternal joys of heaven.

May all my thoughts and all my actions be directed towards this one great goal. Honor, glory, and love to our divine Lord Jesus, and to the holy and immaculate Mother of God. Amen

Hail Mary…. Prayer to our Sorrowful Mother for a particular grace... Memorare....


Petitions to the Sorrowful Heart of Mary

V. Incline unto my aid, O God! R. O Lord, make haste to help me! Glory be....

  1. I compassionate thee, O sorrowful Mother Mary, on account of that grief suffered by thy tender heart at the prophecy of the aged Holy Simeon. O dearest Mother, through this thy afflicted heart, implore for me the virtue of humility and the Gift of the Fear of God. Hail Mary....

  2. I compassionate thee, O sorrowful Mother Mary, on account of those distressing fears which thy affectionate heart endured on the flight to Egypt and during thy sojourn there. O dearest Mother, through this thy anxious heart implore for me the virtue of generosity, particularly for the poor, and the Gift of Piety. Hail Mary....

  3. I compassionate thee, O sorrowful Mother Mary, on account of that anxiety which thy worried heart endured in the loss of thy beloved Child Jesus. O dearest Mother, through this thy exceedingly troubled heart, implore for me the virtue of chastity and the Gift of Knowledge. Hail Mary....

  4. I compassionate thee, O sorrowful Mother Mary, on account of that horror with which thy mother's heart was stricken when meeting Jesus, bearing the Cross. O dearest Mother, through this thy exceedingly oppressed heart, implore for me the virtue of patience and the Gift of Fortitude. Hail Mary....

  5. I compassionate thee, O sorrowful Mother Mary, on account of that martyrdom which tortured thy magnanimous heart at the death-agony of Jesus. O dearest Mother, through this thy martyred heart, implore for me the virtue of temperance and the Gift of Counsel. Hail Mary....

  6. I compassionate thee, O sorrowful Mother Mary, on account of the anguish inflicted upon thy tender heart by the thrust of the lance that opened the side of Jesus and pierced His Most Adorable Heart. O dearest Mother, through this vicarious transfixion of thy own heart, implore for me the virtue of brotherly love and the Gift of Understanding. Hail Mary....

  7. I compassionate thee, O sorrowful Mother Mary, on account of that agony of soul which racked thy most loving heart at the burial of Jesus. O dearest Mother, through this extreme torment that filled thy burdened heart, implore for me the virtue of zeal and the Gift of Wisdom. Hail Mary....

V. Pray for us, O Virgin Most Sorrowful!

R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ

Let us pray

O Lord Jesus Christ, we beseech thee that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, whose soul was pierced by the Sword of Sorrow in the hour of Thy Passion, may be our advocate at the throne of Thy Mercy, now, and at the hour of our death. Through Thee, Jesus Christ, Redeemer of the World, Who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, world without end. Amen


The Seven Graces

The Blessed Virgin Mary grants to souls who honor Her daily by saying seven Hail Marys and meditating on Her tears and Dolors. The devotion was passed to us by Saint Bridget.

  1. I will grant peace to their families.

  2. They will be enlightened about the divine mysteries.

  3. I will console them in their pains and I will accompany them in their work.

  4. I will give them as much as they ask for as long as it does not oppose the Adorable Will of my Divine Son or the sanctification of their souls.

  5. I will defend them in their spiritual battles with the infernal enemy and I will protect them at every instant of their lives.

  6. I will visibly help them at the moment of their death, they will see the face of their mother.

  7. I have obtained (this grace) from my Divine Son, that those who propagate this devotion to my tears and sorrows, will be taken directly from this earthly life to eternal happiness since all their sins will be forgiven and my Son will be their eternal consolation and joy.

The Four Promises

St. Alphonsus Liguori revealed in his book, The Glories of Mary, that Jesus has four promises for those who devote themselves to Mary’s seven sorrows:

1) “That those who invoke the divine mother by her sorrows, before death will merit to obtain true repentance of all their sins.”

2) “That he will protect such in their tribulations, especially at the hour of death.”

3) “That he will impress upon them the memory of his passion, and that they shall have their reward for it in heaven.”

4) “That he will commit such devout servants to the hands of Mary, that she may dispose of them according to her pleasure, and obtain for them all the graces she desires.”

The Virgin Mary also presented her own promises to St. Bridget of Sweden for those who devote themselves to her sorrowful heart. Mary asks that the devotee prays one Hail Mary in honor of each of her sorrows.






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