The Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Opening Hymn. Rosary-like Prayer for All Seven Sorrows, continuous. (Scriptural Rosary Verses.) Or, the Prayer divided between the Fifth and Sixth Swords of Sorrow, with an intervening Hymn dedicated to the Crucifixion. (Resume Sorrows Six and Seven.) Closing hymn.

I. The Prophecy of Simeon.
(And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed. – Luke 2:35)
II. The Flight into Egypt.
III. The Loss of the Child Jesus at the Temple.
IV. The Meeting on the Via Dolorosa.
V. The Agony of the Crucifixion.
VI. The taking down of the Body of Jesus from the Cross.
VII. The Burial of Jesus

Opening Hymn

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1. O Mother! Most afflicted, Stan-
ding beneath that tree, Where
Jesus hangs rejected, On the
hill of Calvary!
O Mary! sweetest Mother, We
compassionate thee; Oh!
for the sake of Jesus, Let
us_ thy_ children be.
2. Thy heart is well-nigh breaking, Thy
Jesus thus to see, De-
rided, wounded, dy_-ing, In
greatest agony.
3. His livid Form is bleeding, His
Soul with sorrow wrung, Whilst
thou, afflicted Mother, Shar’st the
torments of thy Son.
4. O Mary! Queen of Martyrs, The
sword has pierced thy heart, Ob-
tain for us of Jesus, In thy
grief to bear a part.
5. O dear and loving Mother! En-
treat that we may be, Near thee and thy dear
Je_-sus, Now
and eternally.


St. Gregory Hymnal, 1920. #91, “O Mother! Most Afflicted


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1-5  Click the Button to pray the First Five of the Seven Dolors Chaplet (to be interrupted by the Hymn “Oh Come and Mourn with Me Awhile”, followed by resumption of the remainder of the Prayer), or play that portion of the Chaplet in a New Window

First Sword of Sorrow–The Prophecy of Simeon.

Scriptural rosary verses may be scanned silently on each bead while the enunciation of the Ave Maria proceeds uninterrupted.

  1. And after eight days were accomplished, that the child should be circumcised, his name was called JESUS, which was called by the angel, before he was conceived in the womb. – Luke 2:21
  2. And after the days of her purification, according to the law of Moses, were accomplished, they carried him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord: As it is written in the law of the Lord: Every male opening the womb shall be called holy to the Lord: And to offer a sacrifice, according as it is written in the law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons: – Luke 2:22-24
  3. And behold there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Ghost was in him. And he had received an answer from the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Christ of the Lord. And he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when his parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law, He also took him into his arms, and blessed God, and said: – Luke 2:25-28
  4. Now thou dost dismiss thy servant, O Lord, according to thy word in peace. – Luke 2:29
  5. Because my eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples: A light to the revelation of the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel. – Luke 2:30-32
  6. And his father and mother were wondering at those things which were spoken concerning him. And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary his mother: Behold this child is set for the fall, and for the resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be contradicted. – Luke2: 33-34
  7. And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed. – Luke 2:35

Second Sword of Sorrow–The Flight into Egypt.

  1. When Jesus therefore was born in Bethlehem of Juda, in the days of king Herod, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, where is he that is born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to adore him. – Matthew 2:1-2
  2. Then Herod, privately calling the wise men, learned diligently of them the time of the star which appeared to them; And sending them into Bethlehem, said, go and diligently inquire after the child, and when you have found him, bring me word again, that I also may come to adore him. – Matthew 2:7-8
  3. And entering into the house, they found the child with Mary his mother, and falling down they adored him; and opening their treasures, they offered him gifts; gold, frankincense, and myrrh. – Matthew 2:11
  4. And having received an answer in sleep that they should not return to Herod, they went back another way into their country. – Matthew 2:12
  5. And after they were departed, behold an angel of the Lord appeared in sleep to Joseph, saying: Arise, and take the child and his mother, and fly into Egypt: and be there until I shall tell thee. For it will come to pass that Herod will seek the child to destroy him. – Matthew 2:13
  6. Then Herod perceiving that he was deluded by the wise men, was exceeding angry; and sending killed all the men children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the borders thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men. – Matthew 2:16
  7. Thus saith the Lord: A voice was heard on high of lamentation, of mourning, and weeping, of Rachel weeping for her children, and refusing to be comforted for them, because they are not. – Jeremiah 31:15

Third Sword of Sorrow–The Loss of the Child Jesus at the Temple

  1. And his parents went every year to Jerusalem, at the solemn day of the pasch. And when he was twelve years old, they going up into Jerusalem, according to the custom of the feast…. – Luke 2:41-42
  2. And having fulfilled the days, when they returned, the child Jesus remained in Jerusalem; and his parents knew it not. – Luke 2:43
  3. And thinking that he was in the company, they came a day’s journey, and sought him among their kinsfolks and acquaintance. And not finding him, they returned into Jerusalem, seeking him. – Luke 2:44-45
  4. And it came to pass, that, after three days, they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his wisdom and his answers. – Luke 2:46-47
  5. And seeing him, they wondered. And his mother said to him: Son, why hast thou done so to us? behold thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. – Luke 2:46-47
  6. And he said to them: How is it that you sought me? did you not know, that I must be about my father’s business? – Luke 2:49
  7. And they understood not the word that he spoke unto them. And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them. And his mother kept all these words in her heart. – Luke2:50-51

Fourth Sword of Sorrow–Mary Meets Jesus on the Via Dolorosa.

  1. And bearing his own cross, he went forth to that place which is called Calvary, but in Hebrew Golgotha. – John 19:17
  2. Surely he hath borne our infirmities and carried our sorrows: and we have thought him as it were a leper, and as one struck by God and afflicted. – Isaiah 53:4
  3. And there followed him a great multitude of people, and of women, who bewailed and lamented him. But Jesus turning to them, said: Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not over me; but weep for yourselves, and for your children. – Luke 23:27-28
  4. And as they led him away, they laid hold of one Simon of Cyrene, coming from the country; and they laid the cross on him to carry after Jesus. – Luke 23:26
  5. And he that taketh not up his cross, and followeth me, is not worthy of me. – Matthew 10:38
  6. He was offered because it was his own will, and he opened not his mouth: he shall be led as a sheep to the slaughter, and shall be dumb as a lamb before his shearer, and he shall not open his mouth. – Isaiah 53:7
  7. And they bring him into the place called Golgotha, which being interpreted is, The place of Calvary. – Mark 15:22

Fifth Sword of Sorrow–The Agony of the Crucifixion.

  1. And Jesus said: Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. But they, dividing his garments, cast lots. – Luke 23:34
  2. And he said to Jesus: Lord, remember me when thou shalt come into thy kingdom. And Jesus said to him: Amen I say to thee, this day thou shalt be with me in paradise. – Luke 23:42-43
  3. When Jesus therefore had seen his mother and the disciple standing whom he loved, he saith to his mother: Woman, behold thy son. After that, he saith to the disciple: Behold thy mother. And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own. – John 19:26-27
    And the dragon was angry against the woman: and went to make war with the rest of her seed, who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. – Revelation 12:17
  4. And at the ninth hour, Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying: Eloi, Eloi, lamma sabacthani? Which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? – Mark 15:34
  5. Afterwards, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, said: I thirst. – John 19:28
  6. And Jesus crying out with a loud voice, said: Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit. And saying this, he gave up the ghost. – Luke 23:46
  7. Jesus therefore, when he had taken the vinegar, said: It is consummated. And bowing his head, he gave up the ghost. – John 19:30
(The illustration appears to signify Jesus expelling His dying breath.)

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Oh Come and Mourn with Me Awhile
Fr. Frederick William Faber (1849) John Bacchus Dykes St. Cross (1861)
1. Oh! come and mourn with me awhile;
See, Mary calls us to her side; Oh!
come and let us mourn with her;
Jesus, our Love, is crucified!
2. Have we no tears to shed for Him,
While soldiers scoff and Jews deride?
Ah, look how patiently He hangs:
Jesus, our Love, is crucified!
3. Sev’n times He spoke, sev’n words of love,
And all three hours His silence cried
For mercy on the souls of men:
Jesus our Love, is crucified!
4 Come, take thy stand beneath the Cross,
And let the Blood from out that Side
Fall gently on thee drop by drop;
Jesus our Love, is crucified! Amen.

6-7  Click the Button to resume praying the rest of the Seven Dolors Chaplet (the Sixth and Seventh Swords of Sorrow), or play that portion of the Chaplet in a New Window

Sixth Sword of Sorrow–The taking down of the Body of Jesus from the Cross.

  1. Then the Jews, (because it was the parasceve,) that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the sabbath day, (for that was a great sabbath day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. – John 19:31
  2. The soldiers therefore came; and they broke the legs of the first, and of the other that was crucified with him. But after they were come to Jesus, when they saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. – John 19:32-33
  3. But one of the soldiers with a spear opened his side, and immediately there came out blood and water. – John 19:34
  4. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken. – Psalm 34:20
  5. Joseph of Arimathea, a noble counsellor, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, came and went in boldly to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. – Mark 15:43
  6. And Nicodemus also came, (he who at the first came to Jesus by night,) bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. – John 19:39
  7. And Joseph buying fine linen, and taking him down, wrapped him up in the fine linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewed out of a rock. And he rolled a stone to the door of the sepulchre. – Mark 15:46

Seventh Sword of Sorrow–The Burial of Jesus.

  1. Now there was in the place where he was crucified, a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein no man yet had been laid. -John 19:41
  2. There, therefore, because of the parasceve of the Jews, they laid Jesus, because the sepulchre was nigh at hand. – John 19:42
  3. And Joseph taking the body, wrapped it up in a clean linen cloth. And laid it in his own new monument, which he had hewed out in a rock. – Matthew 27:59
  4. And he rolled a great stone to the door of the monument, and went his way. – Matthew 27:60
  5. And the women that were come with him from Galilee, following after, saw the sepulchre, and how his body was laid. And returning, they prepared spices and ointments; and on the sabbath day they rested, according to the commandment. – Luke 23:55-56
  6. And the next day, which followed the day of preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees came together to Pilate, saying:, Sir, we have remembered, that that seducer said, while he was yet alive: After three days I will rise again. Matthew 27:62-63
  7. Pilate saith to them: You have a guard; go, guard it as you know. And they departing, made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting guards. – Matthew 27:65-66

Closing Hymn

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What a Sea of Tears and Sorrows O quot undis lacrymarum
Translated by Rev. Francis Campbell Ad. from Gregorian
1. What a sea of tears and sorrows,
Did the soul of Mary toss,
To and fro upon its billows,
While she wept her bitter loss;
In her arms her Jesus holding,
Torn so newly from the Cross.
2. Oh, that mournful Virgin Mother,
See her tears how fast they flow,
Down upon His mangled Body,
Wounded Side and thorny Brow;
While His Hands and Feet she kisses,
Picture of immortal woe.
3. Oft, and oft His Arms and Bosom,
Fondly straining to her own;
Oft, her pallid lips imprinting,
On each Wound of her dear Son:
Till at last in swoons of anguish,
Sense and consciousness are gone.
4. Gentle Mother, we beseech thee,
By thy tears and troubles sore;
By the death of thy dear Offspring,
By the bloody Wounds He bore;
Touch our hearts with that true sorrow,
Which affected thee of yore.
5. To the Father everlasting,
And the Son, Who reigns on high,
With the coeternal Spirit,
Trinity in Unity,
Be salvation, honor, blessing,
Now and through eternity.

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St. Bridget Giving the Rule to the Brigittines, Augsburg, 1480


The Blessed Virgin Mary revealed to Saint Bridget of Sweden (died 1373) that those that pray a Hail Mary while meditating on Mary’s Seven Sorrows will receive Seven Graces:

  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 for 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 and I will be their eternal consolation and joy.

St. Alphonsus Ligouri on the Seven Dolors

Go to the Long Version (with Meditations by Fr. Ripperger)

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