1. Forty days after Jesus' birth Mary presented Him in the temple, and the aged Simeon, inspired by the Holy Spirit, exclaimed: "Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted and you yourself a sword will pierce so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed." (St. Luke 2:34) Mother Mary's Heart was filled with dread of the sufferings predicted for her dear Son.
2. Herod sought to kill Jesus, but an angel of the Lord appeared to St. Joseph in a dream and warned: "Arise and take the child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and remain there until I tell thee." (St. Matthew 1:13) Oh, how Mother Mary must have suffered on this painful and perilous trip and in this exile in a foreign country.
3. At the age of twelve Jesus went with Mary and Joseph to Jerusalem, where He was lost from their sight for three days. They found Him in the temple , and Mother Mary said: "Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been looking for you anxiously." And he said to them: "How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?" (St. Luke 2:48)
4. Mother Mary's fourth great sorrow is when, during Our Lord's sacred Passion, she meets Him carrying His Cross to Calvary. Imagine the pain in her Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart to behold her Jesus all bloodied from the scourging and crowning of thorns, groaning and staggering under the cruel Cross.
5. At the crucifixion, the sword will plunge still deeper as she sees her Son shamefully stripped of His garments, rudely thrown upon the cross, and then hearing the sickening strokes of the hammer driving the nails into His hands and feet. Standing near the cross, His death-bed, she listens to His parting words to her: "Woman, behold your son!" Then to the disciple John: "Behold, your Mother!" St. John represented each one of us as Jesus gave His Mother to us as our Mother! Now she takes all our sufferings into her Heart too!
6. Jesus is taken down from the cross. As each nail and each thorn was pulled from His dead body, it was a new blow to the Heart of His Mother. As she held Him once again in her arms, how she must have hugged Him to her Heart. How she must have tried to kiss Him back to life
7. Mother Mary puts her child to bed, but it is the bed of the tomb. What a grief-stricken good-night that was. Mother Mary must have wished that she could bury her heavy Heart with His.
We are recalling the seven principal sorrows of Our Lady and we extend our loving sympathy to her. It also helps us to meditate on these sufferings for our own consolation and inspiration. Mother Mary appreciates our sympathy. She has asked us to "think about the Passion of Jesus." This way we will also remember 'Our Lady of Sorrows'!