The memorial to Our Lady of Sorrows, also known as the Feast of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is observed on September 15th each year. It is a day dedicated to the Virgin Mary and her profound sorrows, particularly those she endured during the life and crucifixion of her son, Jesus Christ.
The feast recalls seven specific sorrows:
1. The Prophecy of Simeon: When Mary and Joseph presented the infant Jesus in the temple, the holy man Simeon prophesied that a sword would pierce Mary’s heart.
2. The Flight into Egypt: Mary and Joseph had to flee to Egypt to protect Jesus from King Herod’s massacre of infants.
3. The Loss of the Child Jesus in the Temple: Mary and Joseph unknowingly left twelve-year-old Jesus behind in Jerusalem, causing them great distress until they found him.
4. Mary Meets Jesus on the Way to Calvary: The painful encounter between Mary and Jesus as he carried his cross to Calvary.
5. The Crucifixion and Death of Jesus: Mary stood at the foot of the cross, witnessing her son’s crucifixion and suffering.
6. Mary Receives the Body of Jesus: After Jesus’ death, his body was placed in Mary’s arms, deepening her sorrow.
7. The Burial of Jesus: Mary had to say her final farewell as Jesus was laid in the tomb.
This memorial serves as an opportunity for Christians to reflect on the role of Mary as the Mother of Sorrows and her unwavering faith in the face of immense suffering. It is a day of prayer, contemplation, and devotion to the compassionate and empathetic presence of Mary in the life of believers.