This chaplet dates back to the Servites (a religious community) in the 13th century, and is also known as the Servite Rosary. Today there is renewed interest in praying it because of the apparitions of Our Lady of Kibeho, Rwanda (an approved apparition); Our Lady asked one of the eight visionaries to reintroduce this chaplet/rosary to the world.
St. Bridget of Sweden (1303-1373) reported that Our Lady promised to grant seven graces to those who honor her and draw near to her and her Son every day by praying seven Hail Marys while meditating on her tears and sorrows:
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 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 Seven Sorrows of Mary
1. The Prophecy of Simeon
2. The Flight into Egypt
3. The Loss of the Child Jesus in the Temple
4. Mary meets Jesus Carrying the Cross
5. The Crucifixion–Mary Stands at the Foot of the Cross
6. Mary Receives the Dead Body of Jesus
7. The Burial of Jesus and Closing of the Tomb
Chaplet of the Seven Sorrows of Mary
Recognizing the role our sins played in Our Lady’s sufferings, begin with the Act of Contrition.
Pray one Our Father and seven Hail Marys for each sorrow. At the very end, pray three Hail Marys in honor of Our Lady’s tears.
One practice that facilitates meditation on Mary’s sorrows is to announce each sorrow before the Our Father and the seven Hail Marys. Here is the text given by the Church in the 1910 version of the Raccolta:
With this confidence in my heart, I meditate on the First Sorrow, when Mary, Virgin Mother of my God, presented Jesus her only Son in the Temple, laid Him in the arms of the holy and aged Simeon, and heard his prophetic word, “The sword of grief shall pierce thy soul,” foretelling thereby the Passion and Death of her Son Jesus.
The Second Sorrow of the Blessed Virgin was when she was obliged to fly into Egypt by reason of the persecution of cruel Herod, who impiously sought to slay her well-beloved Son.
The Third Sorrow of the Blessed Virgin was when, after having gone up to Jerusalem at the Paschal Feast with Joseph her spouse and Jesus her beloved Son, she lost Him on the way back to her poor house, and for three days bewailed the loss of her only Love.
The Fourth Sorrow of the Blessed Virgin was when she met her dear Son Jesus carrying to Mount Calvary on his tender shoulders the heavy Cross whereon He was to be crucified for our salvation.
The Fifth Sorrow of the Blessed Virgin was when she saw her Son Jesus raised upon the hard tree of the Cross, and blood flowing from every part of his sacred Body, and then beheld Him die after three hours’ agony.
The Sixth Sorrow of the Blessed Virgin was when she saw the lance pierce the sacred Side of Jesus, her beloved Son, the nails withdrawn, and his holy Body laid in her purest bosom.
The Seventh Sorrow of the Blessed Virgin, Queen and Advocate of us, her servants, miserable sinners, was when she saw the holy Body of her Son buried in the grave.
V. Pray for us, Virgin most sorrowful.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray. Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord Jesus Christ, that the most blessed Virgin Mary, thy Mother, may intercede for us before the throne of Thy mercy, now and at the hour of our death, whose most holy soul was transfixed with the sword of sorrow in the hour of Thine own Passion. Through Thee, Jesus Christ, Savior of the world, who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit, forever and ever. Amen.
“Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Look and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow” (cf. Jn. 19:31-34; Lam. 1:12).
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