OUR LADY OF SORROWS
STABAT MATER SEQUENCE
Today’s feast follows immediately upon the Triumph of the Cross. The Church reminds us of the special union that Mary shared in the Sacrifice of her Son on Calvary. The Christian faithful have long meditated upon this momentous scene as it is recorded by the four Evangelists.
During the fourteenth century a Sequence for the Mass, Stabat Mater Dolorosa, came into popular use in some countries. In 1814, Pope Pius VII extended the devotion to the whole Church. In 1912, St Pius X decreed that the feast would be celebrated on September 15. The Blessed Virgin exemplifies for us the co-redemptive meaning of our own pains and sufferings.
At the cross her station keeping
stood the mournful Mother weeping,
close to Jesus to the last.
Through her heart, his sorrow sharing,
all his bitter anguish bearing,
now at length the sword had passed.
Oh, how sad and sore distressed
was that Mother highly blessed
of the sole begotten One!
Christ above in torment hangs,
she beneath beholds the pangs
of her dying, glorious Son.
Is there one who would not weep,
‘whelmed in miseries so deep,
Christ’s dear Mother to behold?
Can the human heart refrain
from partaking in her pain,
in that Mother’s pain untold?
Bruised, derided, cursed, defiled,
she beheld her tender Child,
all with bloody scourges rent.
For the sins of his own nation
saw him hang in desolation
till his spirit forth he sent.
O sweet Mother!
Font of love, touch my spirit from above,
make my heart with yours accord.
Make me feel as you have felt;
make my soul to glow and melt
with the love of Christ, my Lord.
Holy Mother, pierce me through,
in my heart each wound renew
of my Savior crucified.
Let me share with you his pain,
who for all our sins was slain,
who for me in torments died.
Let me mingle tears with you,
mourning him who mourned for me,
all the days that I may live.
By the cross with you to stay,
there with you to weep and pray,
is all I ask of you to give.
Virgin of all virgins blest!
Listen to my fond request:
let me share your grief divine.
Let me to my latest breath,
in my body bear the death
of that dying Son of yours.
Wounded with his every wound,
steep my soul till it has swooned
in his very blood away.
Be to me, O Virgin, nigh,
lest in flames I burn and die,
in his awful judgment day.
Christ, when you shall call me hence,
be your Mother my defense,
be your cross my victory.
While my body here decays,
may my soul your goodness praise,
safe in heaven eternally. Amen.
SEE AS WELL: LOVE AND SUFFERING