The Virgin Mary holding the dead body of her Son, whilst praying
Hello there Rosary lovers! In this post I would like to introduce you to a beautiful, short, really simple, and powerful Catholic devotion which is full of blessings. It’s called the Seven Sorrows of Mary devotion. Enjoy!

My experience with this devotion

For a good few months, I prayed this devotion every night just before getting into bed. This was after spending the day praying my usual 4 rosaries a day.

My favourite episode praying this devotion was the evening my second son was born. I prayed this devotion twice in one sitting. I really felt the presence of God with us that night, it was so beautiful.

What attracted me to this devotion was how ridiculously simple it is. I LOVE simplicity in the faith, and I tend to favour devotions that are short and to the point. You can see one of my posts on easy ways to become a saint here.

The Seven Sorrows of Mary Devotion explained

This is surely one of the easiest devotions to Mary out there. All you have to do is memorise the seven sorrows, and then having learned them, you announce them one by one and after each one you pray a Hail Mary.

It’s THAT easy.

So here are the Seven Sorrows of Mary, with a little bit of explanation from myself underneath each Sorrow:

1. The Prophecy of Simeon.

Jesus is presented to Simeon in the Temple. Simeon’s prophecy is very sad, about how a sword will pierce Mary’s soul, that is, her Son will die for the rise of many in Israel.

2. The Flight into Egypt.

When Mary, Joseph and Jesus fled to Egypt to escape from the slaughter of the children under Herod. It must have been a time of great fear and anxiety for them.

3. The Loss of Jesus for 3 days.

When Mary and Joseph were separated from Jesus for 3 days, and found him in the Temple. This sorrow focuses on the actual LOSS of Jesus, and how this must have felt for Mary.

4. The Carrying of the Cross.

Jesus met his beloved Mother on the way as he carried his Cross, and that meeting must have been filled with grief.

5. The Crucifixion and Death of Jesus.

6. Jesus’ Body is Taken Down from the Cross.

When they took Jesus down, tradition dictates that our Lord’s dead body was placed into the arms of his Mother. In total disbelief, shock and overwhelming misery, Mary holds the lifeless and divine Body of her Son and Saviour.

One of the last scenes in ‘The Passion of the Christ’ is of this very scene, with Mary holding her lifeless Son, filled with unspeakable sorrow. This event is called ‘The Pieta’.

Below is the most powerful image of ‘The Pieta’ that I have ever seen. There was a time I spent night after night gazing at Mary in this image, meditating on her hands, feet and face. Truly, she is beautiful beyond all compare.

The Pieta by William Adolphe Bouguereau

7. Jesus’ Body is Laid in the Tomb.

So you simply have to remember those 7 Sorrows, and then you can pray this devotion whenever and wherever you wish.

How to do this Devotion

So, once more, just to make this clear.

To pray the Seven Sorrows devotion, ALL you have to do is announce the first sorrow, and then pray a Hail Mary. Then you announce the second sorrow and pray a Hail Mary. And so on until you’ve said the 7th sorrow and the 7th Hail Mary.

And that’s it.

Now, of course, you can embellish this devotion as you wish to. One approved embellishment is that of Pope Pius VII. You can find that here.

Blessings resulting from this devotion

Apparently, Mary stated the following blessings for those who practice this devotion daily:

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 dolors, will be taken directly from this earthly life to eternal happiness since all their sins will be forgiven and my Son and I will be their eternal consolation and joy.”

Similar Devotions

This simple devotion is similar to the longer devotion of the Rosary of the Seven Sorrows, which many Catholics pray often.

In essence, this is very similar to the normal Rosary, but the mysteries are different and instead of 10 Hail Marys, you pray 7 Hail Marys for each mystery. There are some other differences too.

Personally I have no devotion to the Rosary of the Seven Sorrows. I tried to pray it once, but it didn’t really work for me. I much prefer the normal Rosary.

Another extremely similar devotion is that of the Stations of the Cross. Both of these devotions share a number of mysteries. For instance, the 4th-7th mysteries of the Seven Sorrows devotion are identical to some of the Stations.

Additionally, you can pray the Stations of the Cross on your own, outside of a Church, as you would the Seven Sorrows devotion. You simply announce the first Station (‘Jesus is condemned to death’), then pause, and perhaps pray a Hail Mary. Then you announce the Second Station (‘Jesus carries his cross’), then pause, and perhaps pray a Hail Mary. And so on for the rest of the Stations.

I hope you have found this post helpful.

God bless you!

4 Replies to “Seven Sorrows of Mary Devotion”

  1. Hi there Matthew, your web page provides a thorough and detailed introduction to the Seven Sorrows of Mary devotion in Catholicism. Thank you for sharing your personal experience and attraction to the simplicity of this devotion. You clearly explain that the Seven Sorrows of Mary devotion involves memorizing and reflecting on the seven sorrows that Mary experienced throughout her life, followed by praying a Hail Mary after each sorrow.

    You have also provided a concise explanation of each of the seven sorrows, adding personal reflections and insights, including a powerful image of “The Pieta,” which depicts Mary holding the lifeless body of Jesus, emphasizing the sorrow and grief experienced by Mary. This is quite relevant indeed.

    The Instructions on how to perform the devotion are also clearly outlined, making it accessible for anyone interested in practicing it. Additionally,  you mention some approved embellishments and blessings associated with this devotion as stated by Mary, and furthermore acknowledge similar devotions such as the Rosary of the Seven Sorrows and the Stations of the Cross, highlighting their similarities and differences.

    Overall, your web page offers a thorough exploration of the topic, providing personal insights, instructions, and related devotions. Your passion for this devotion is evident, making it an engaging read for Rosary lovers and those interested in deepening their understanding of Catholic devotions. Well done!

    Regards Jabulani

  2. Hi Matthew
    I have been wanting to pray the Seven Sorrows of Mary for the past three months but I had it confused with the Rosary of Seven Sorrows which was a little difficult. I am glad you clarified the difference. I will pray the Seven Sorrows as it seems the direction I was being drawn to. Thanks

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