Day 8 – September 13 – Feria
Collect for the Feast of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Deus, in cuius passióne, secúndum Simeónis prophétiam, dulcíssimam ánimam gloriósæ Vírginis et Matris Maríæ dolóris gladius pertransívit: concéde propítius; ut, qui transfixiónem eius et passiónem venerándo recólimus, gloriósis méritis et précibus ómnium Sanctórum Cruci fidéliter astántium intercedéntibus, passiónis tuæ efféctum felícem consequámur: Qui vivis et regnas cum Deo Patre, in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.
O God, in Whose Passion the sword, according to the prophecy of blessed Simeon, pierced through the soul of Mary, the glorious Virgin and Mother, mercifully grant that we, who reverently commemorate her piercing through and her suffering, may, by the interceding glorious merits of all the saints faithfully standing by the Cross, obtain the abundant fruit of Your passion. Who livest and reignest with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.
Excerpt from the Sequence Stabat Mater dolorósa
Virgo vírginum præclára.
Mihi iam non sis amára:
Fac me tecum plángere.
Fac, ut portem Christi mortem,
Passiónis fac consórtem
Et plagas recólere.
Virgin of all virgins blest!
Listen to my fond request:
Let me share that grief of yours.
Let me, to my latest breath,
In my body bear the death
Of that dying Son of yours.
Prayer by Saint Alphonsus Maria de Ligouri
My afflicted mother, I will not leave thee alone to weep; no, I wish to keep thee company with my tears. This grace I ask of thee to-day: obtain for me a continual remembrance of the passion of Jesus, and of thine also, and a tender devotion to them, that all the remaining days of my life may be spent in weeping for thy sorrows, oh my mother, and for those of my Redeemer, I hope that these dolors will give me the confidence and strength not to despair at the hour of my death, at the sight of the offences I have committed against my Lord. By these must I obtain pardon, perseverance, paradise, where I hope to rejoice with thee, and sing the infinite mercy of my God through all eternity: thus I hope, thus may it be. Amen, amen.
Reading for Mediation-
Excerpt from the Discourse on the Seventh Dolor of Mary by Saint Alphonsus Maria de Ligouri
The Seventh Dolor - The burial of the body of Jesus
Mary, clinging to her Son, was dissolved in grief; but those holy disciples, fearing lest this poor mother would expire there through agony, went to take the body of her Son from her arms, to bear it away for burial. Therefore, with reverential force they took him from her arms, and having embalmed him, wrapped him in a linen cloth already prepared, upon which our Lord wished to leave to the world his image impressed, as may be seen at the present day in Turin. And now they bear him to the sepulchre. The sorrowful funeral train sets forth; the disciples place him on their shoulders; hosts of angels from heaven accompany him; those holy women follow him; and the afflicted mother follows in their company her Son to the grave. When they had reached the appointed place, how gladly would Mary have buried her self there alive with her Son! "Oh how willingly," said the Virgin to St. Bridget, "would I have remained there alive with my Son, if it had been his will!" But since this was not the divine will, the authors relate that she herself accompanied the sacred body of Jesus into the sepulchre, where, as Baronius narrates, they deposited the nails and the crown of thorns. In raising the stone to close the sepulchre, the disciples of the Saviour had to turn to the Virgin, and say to her: Now, oh Lady, we must close the sepulchre; have patience, look upon thy Son, and take leave of him for the last time. Then, oh my beloved Son, must the afflicted mother have said, then shall I see thee no more? Receive then, this last time that I look upon thee, receive the last farewell from me thy deaf mother, and receive my heart which I leave buried with thee. The Virgin, says St. Fulgentius, earnestly desired that her soul should be buried with the body of Christ. And Mary herself made this revelation to St, Bridget: "I can truly say, that at the burial of my Son, one sepulchre contained as it were two hearts."
Finally, they take the stone and close up in the holy sepulchre the body of Jesus, that great treasure, greater than any in heaven and on earth. And here let us remark, that Mary left her heart buried with Jesus, because Jesus was all her treasure: "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." And where shall we keep our hearts buried ? With creatures ? In the mire ? And why not with Jesus, who, although he has ascended to heaven, has wished to remain, not dead but alive, in the most holy sacrament of the altar, precisely in order that he may have with him and possess our hearts ? But let us return to Mary. Before quitting the sepulchre, according to St. Bonaventure, she blessed that sacred stone, saying: Oh happy stone, that doth now inclose that body which was contained nine months in my womb, I bless thee, and envy thee; I leave thee to guard my Son for me, who is my only good, my only love. And then turning to the eternal Father, she said: Oh Father, to thee I recommend him, who is thy Son and mine; and thus bidding a last farewell to her Son, and to the sepulchre, she returned to her own house. This poor mother went away so afflicted and sad, according to St. Bernard, that she moved many to tears even against their will: "Multos etiam invitos ad lacrymas provocabat;" so that wherever she passed, all wept who met her: "Omnes plorabant qui obviabant ei," and could not restrain their tears. And he adds, that those holy disciples, and the women who accompanied her, mourned for her even more than for their Lord.
Prayers for each day.