Chapter ONE


In shade of death's sad tree stood doleful she.

Ah, she, now by none other

Name to be known, alas, but Sorrow's Mother.

Before her eyes,

Hers, and the whole world's joys,

Hanging all torn she sees; and in his woes

And pains, her pangs and throes:

Each wound of his, from every part,

All, more at home in her one heart.

What kind of marble, then, is that cold man

Who can look on and see,

Nor keep such noble sorrows company?

Sure, e'en from you

(My flints) some drops are due,

To see so many unkind swords contest

So fast for one soft breast;

While, with a faithful, mutual flood,

Her eyes bleed tears, his wounds weep blood.

Richard Crashaw

(? 1613-1649)





This particular talk was first given during Lent to an Infant of Prague group. It was at their request the talk was researched and written. When I give the talk, I state that much of the material is taken from Bishop Sheen especially his book, "The World's First Love". I then proceed with the talk.

Putting the talk on paper for a book was a little more difficult. I liked Bishop Sheen's thoughts on Our Lady's Seven Sorrows, this is why I borrowed his approach. Looking at my material it seemed to me that the whole chapter would be one big footnote. I chose instead to footnote direct quotes and to give Bishop Sheen credit when paraphasing his ideas. I sincerely hope you profit spiritually by reading about his thoughts and meditations along with my own on Our Lady's Seven Sorrows.

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, who died December 9, 1979, called Our Lady "The World's First Love". In fact it is the title of a book he wrote on the Blessed Virgin Mary. Bishop Sheen said the rosary everyday of his life and from the day of his ordination, he never failed to offer a mass every Saturday in Honor of Our Lady in thanksgiving and for the protection of his priestly vocation. He also spent One Hour everyday of his life in front of the Blessed Sacrament in prayer and mediation. This shows where love and devotion to Our Lady leads to...Her Son, Jesus Christ!

If you wish to know and love Jesus more, get to know and love His mother more. St. Louis de Montfort says: "The more a souls is consecrated to Mary the more it is consecrated to Jesus!"

But who is Mary? This magnificent masterpiece of God's creation was Immaculate from the first moment of her conception. She was conceived without the stain of original sin upon her soul. She was never at any moment ever under the power of Satan. Her will was always in perfect union with the Will of God. How else could enmity be put between her, the woman and the devil, between her seed and his seed and quoting Genesis, "She shall crush your head." 1

She is the ever virgin Mother of Our God. At Fatima Our Lady appeared with three stars on her garment, one on her right foot, left knee and right hip. This is symbolic of her virginity before, during and after the birth of Christ.

She is the Co-redemptrix. She co-operated perfectly with our Lord for our redemption. Her great grief was watching Her Beloved Son die on the cross and not being able to die instead of Him. But Our Lady's greatest affliction is the ingratitude of men toward Our Lord's great sacrifice and death. She alone knows and understands completely what Our Lord endured for our salvation. She alone realizes and comprehends the horror of sin and how much one sin offends God, who is infinite goodness, love and mercy. She alone fully understands that God is the source of all goodness, that man, who was created out of nothing, can do no good on his own. Man can only sin. All the good we do, all the grace we possess, comes from God. In order for that grace to work in us, we must co-operate with it. Think of this, in order for you to make one single act of love, the grace needed to make this act of love must come from God.

The only thing of ourselves we can give God is our free will, and Our Lady knows this. Everything else we must acknowledge as coming from God. That is why in the gospels, when St. Elizabeth said: "Blessed art thou among women," Our Heavenly Mother responded, "My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Creator, for He that is Holy has done great things for me and Holy is His Name."

Her love for mankind is great because she loves us as God loves us. Her love for us is shown beautifully by her Seven Sorrows. Tradition says that Mary's heart was pierced seven times with seven swords of sorrow. This constitutes her seven dolours. Yet Bishop Sheen says that these seven swords were indeed seven thrusts of one doubled edged sword. The sword being Jesus Christ Himself. One edge going into His own Sacred Heart first then the other edge going into Her Immaculate Heart. In the Epistle to the Hebrews, St. Paul says: "The Word of God is a two-edged sword." 2

Bishop Sheen continues saying, an unsuffering Madonna to a suffering Christ would be a loveless Madonna. Who is there who loves, who does not want to share the sorrows of the beloved?3 Mary could not wipe away the tears of her children unless she herself had been their fountain. She has rightly earned the title Mother of the Afflicted.

St. Paul tells us that we cannot be partakers of His Glory unless we partake in His crucifixion. Being the Mother of God has made Mary no less exempt from this law of sacrifice. 4

The seven swords are:

    1. Simeon's Prophecy
    2. The Flight into Egypt
    3. The three days loss in the temple
    4. Meeting Jesus with His cross
    5. The crucifixion
    6. Taking Jesus down from the cross
    7. The burial of Jesus.

Simeon's Prophecy - The First Thrust

This is the first thrust. The infant Jesus is only 40 days old. While He is in the arms of Simeon, Mary is told that He is a sign that is going to be contradicted. Simeon then tells Mary: "And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed." (Lk.2:35) With these words, in the very depths of her soul, the first pains of martyrdom are felt. Now, every time she would look at her infant son, she would see the marks of the nails and the image of the cross would always be before her eyes.

The Blessed Virgin Mary herself told St. Mathilda that all 'her joy was turned into sorrow', when she heard the words of Simeon. She further revealed to St. Bridget, that while on earth, there was not an hour in which this grief did not pierce her soul. She continued telling her that 'As often as I looked at my Son, as often as I wrapped Him in His swaddling-clothes, as often as I saw His hands and feet, so often was my soul absorbed, so to say, in fresh grief; for I thought how He would be crucified. My eyes filled with tears, and my heart was tortured with grief.'5 Her heart was one with Her Divine Son's Heart. When you meditate on this thought, her sorrow was not for what she suffered, but for what He had to suffer. Love never thinks of itself. If Jesus belonged to the sinner, then so would she.

St. Alphonsus de Liguori in his book, The Glories of Mary, relates beautiful examples of devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows. I will tell one after each sorrow.

There was a young man who had a devotion of visiting a statue of Our Lady of Sorrows everyday. The statue depicted her with seven swords piercing her heart. One night the young man had the misfortune of committing a mortal sin. The next day when he passed the statue as usual, he noticed that there were eight swords in the heart of Mary. While looking at the sight, he heard a voice saying that his crime had added the eighth sword. Moved with pity, his heart was filled with sorrow. He went immediately to confession, and because of Our Lady's intercession, he recovered divine grace.

The Flight into Egypt - The Second Thrust

In this second sorrow of Our Lady's, the infant Jesus is not yet two years old. Yet he is forced to flee for his life from Herod, who is seeking to kill the Divine Infant. Stop here and meditate on this thought. Man who owes his very existence to God, now wishes to kill Him. Herod sought to kill that which was the source of his own existence. Did Herod really know what he was doing? I hope not. Yet today there are many people doing the same thing Herod tried to do. How many today are sinning grievously against the laws of God, driving out sanctifying grace, killing themselves spiritually? They are no longer Temples of the Holy Spirit, but dark, empty tombs. Then there are the people who kill God by their words, when they say, "There is no God. God is dead!" These godless ideals are forced upon millions of unsuspecting people under the cover of Atheistic Communism, Marxism, Nazism, Secular Humanism, and so on. When you turn your back on God, you are killing yourself, not physically, but spiritually.

Herod's hatred and desire to kill Our Lord lead him to slaughter hundreds of helpless infants. The Holy Innocents were the first to die for Jesus. At the command of an angel St. Joseph took Mary and the Infant Jesus and fled into Egypt.

How often have we said how easy it is to bear sorrows if they come from God? The first sorrow coming from Simeon was understandable, for the Holy Spirit was in him. But when wicked men are the instruments, how often do we feel that God has abandoned us? In cases such as these our patience, humility, and our faith is tried. If Jesus and Mary had not felt this tragedy, this violent uprooting, then millions of refugees could say, "God does not understand what I suffer! No Woman ever bore such grief." 6

St. Alphonsus tells of how Mary appeared to Blessed Collette, a Franciscan nun, and showed her the infant Jesus in a basin, torn and bleeding. She looked at her and said, 'Thus it is that sinners continually treat my Son, renewing His death and my sorrows. My daughter, pray for them, that they may be converted.'

The Three Days Loss of the Divine Child

The Third Thrust

In Luke's Gospel it is written: "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, and having fulfilled the days, when they returned, the child Jesus remained in Jerusalem; and his parents knew it not. And thinking that He was in the company, they came a day's journey, and sought Him among their kinfolks and acquaintance. And not finding Him, they returned into Jerusalem, seeking Him. 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. 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. 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? 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." (Lk2:41-51)

It is interesting that Luke is the only evangelist who briefly mentions this episode from the life of Our Lord. This particular sorrow has so much to meditate and think upon. First of all St. Joseph and Mary experienced not only a physical loss but a spiritual loss as well. Bishop Sheen tells us this three day loss was a prelude to the three days loss when the body of Jesus would be laid in the tomb and also the three years loss during His public ministry.

Bishop Sheen further tells us this was a deliberate hiding. This was Our Lady's dark night of the soul. This spiritual darkness and desolation has always been a trial of God's Mystics. St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila both write of this dark night. This darkness is not the same as the darkness in the sinner. With the sinner it is a night without love, but with the saints as with Our Lady it is love with no fight. St. Teresa of Avila was assured by God that no one is deceived without wishing to be deceived. When Our Lord withdraws from a soul He loves, He does not depart from the heart, but hides Himself from the soul. This is so that the soul will seek Him with greater diligence and love.

To have God, then to lose Him was Mary's sword, but to be God and hide from those who would never leave Him, this was the edge of the sword that was Our Lord's. Thus Our Lady became the Refuge of Sinners by knowing first hand what it was to lose God and then find Him again. Jesus became the redeemer of sinners even though He knew beforehand the deliberateness, the willfulness, the resoluteness of those who wound the ones they love. This is the effect of sin, separation of the soul from God. St. Augustine wrote that 'if they (the sinner) lose an ox, they do not fail to go in search of it; if they lose a sheep, they use all diligence to find it; if they lose a beast of burden, they cannot rest; but when they lose their God, who is the supreme good, they eat, drink and repose.' Our Lady teaches us a valuable lesson here. When we lose God, we must not wait for Him to come back, we must go out in search of Him; diligently, and to the joy of every sinner, and we are all sinners, she knows where He can be found! 6 This story comes to us from the Annual Letters of the Society of Jesus. In India, a young man was getting ready to leave his room with the intention of sinning. Suddenly he heard a voice saying: 'Stop! Where art thou going?' He turned around and saw an image of Our Lady of Sorrows, taking a sword out of her breast. She said to him: 'Take, this dagger and pierce my heart, rather than wound my Son by committing such a sin.' Bursting into tears, the young man threw himself on the ground, his heart full of sorrow, he asked and obtained pardon from God through Our Lady.

Meeting Jesus with His Cross - The Fourth Thrust

With this fourth dolour, no word is spoken, just the eyes meet! It is with the eyes that the sword is plunged! St. Bernadine stated, 'that if all the sorrows of the world were united, they would not equal that of the glorious Virgin Mary.' Richard of St. Lawrence writes, 'the more tenderly this Mother loved, so much the more deeply was she wounded. Remember that Our Lady not only loved Jesus, as a mother loves her son, but she also loved Him as her God. Imagine the meeting, her eyes beholding her Divine Son, scourged, crowned with thorns, His face inflicted with many blows and covered with spit. He was jeered at and mocked and cruelly beaten. His body horribly mutilated and lacerated, shedding before her eyes every drop of His precious Blood. Indeed the prophecy of Isaias was now fulfilled. "There was no beauty in Him then; despised and the most abject of men, a man of sorrows, as it were a leper, and as one struck by God for iniquities." (Is. 53) She was wishing it was her instead of Him! But the irony here is, it was her blood. Jesus had no natural father. Every drop of blood, every cell, she gave to Him.

Yet Our Lord said: "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." St. John Chrysostom once asked Our Lord why in His other sufferings, He endured them alone, but in carrying His cross he allowed Himself to be helped by Simon of Cyrene? He answered 'that thou mayest understand that the cross of Christ is not sufficient without thine.'(Matt. 16:24) Bishop Sheen stated that to be a follower of Christ is to carry one's own cross. Our Lady, the perfect imitator of her Son could do no less.

Again Bishop Sheen tells us that with this dolour Mary won compassion for the terrified. A man may shrink from asking God for forgiveness, but here is Mary, Our Mother, who saw what sin did to her Son, yet prayed for the forgiveness of these same sinners. Knowing this how can anyone shrink from invoking the intercession of this most compassionate Mother? But some may still wonder how compassionate is Mary? In her own words she told us on December 12, 1531 when she said: "Hear and let it penetrate into your heart. Let nothing discourage you, nothing depress you. Let nothing alter your heart or your countenance. Also do not fear any illness or vexation, anxiety or pain. Am I not here who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not your fountain of life? Are you not in the folds of my mantle? In the crossing of my arms?" 7 She spoke these words to all her children through Juan Deigo, on Tepeyac Hill, Mexico City, Mexico. Never in any of Our Lady's earthly apparitions has she spoken with such compassion, love and tenderness.

During times of problems how many times have we cried out saying, "What have I done to deserve this?" What unbelievable presumption and pride! Ask yourself, what did Jesus and Mary do? They carried the cross without complaining, but with great love. Can we not do the same?

St. Alphonsus relates that one day Our Lord appeared to Sister Diomira, a nun in Florence. He told her: 'Think of Me, and love Me, and I will think of thee and love thee.' He then gave her flowers and a cross. During our lifetime our consolations in this world will always be accompanied by the cross. It is by the cross that our souls are united to God.

The Crucifixion - The Fifth Thrust

In John's gospel it is written: "At the foot of the cross of Jesus stood His Mother Mary." (Jn. 19:25) John, who was the only apostle present at Our Lord's crucifixion, was so amazed that Our Lady stood erect for three hours that he wrote it down. Our Heavenly Mother stood there looking at the sign that was to be contradicted. Without the offering of the Son of God, we could not be saved. The offering was made and in return she became the Mother of Mankind. Some trade! Out of the suffering and death of Jesus, and her own sufferings, we, her spiritual children were born.

What Our Heavenly Mother witnessed with her eyes at Calvary she revealed to St. Bridget, 'My dear Jesus was breathless, exhausted, and in His last agony on the cross; His eyes were sunk, half-closed and lifeless; His lips hanging, and His mouth open; His cheeks hollow and drawn in; His face elongated, His nose sharp, His countenance sad: His head had fallen on His breast, His hair was black with blood, His stomach collapsed, His arms and legs stiff, and His whole body covered with wounds and blood.' 8

St. Jerome tells us that every torture inflicted on the body of Jesus was a wound in the heart of the Mother. While St. John Chrysostom states, 'Whoever then was present on the Mount of Calvary might see two altars, on which two great sacrifices were consummated; the one in the body of Jesus, the other in the heart of Mary." Yet St. Augustine assures us, "The cross and nails of the Son were also those of His Mother; with Christ crucified the Mother was also crucified." St. Bernard adds, "Love inflicted on the heart of Mary the tortures caused by the nails in the body of Jesus." And St. Bernardine writes, "At the same time that the Son sacrificed His Body, the Mother sacrificed her soul." 9 Finally Our Heavenly Mother herself told St. Bridget that "I heard some say that my Son was a thief; other, that He was an impostor; others, that no one deserved death more than He did; and every word was a new sword of grief to my heart."

There are many things to be learned from this dolour. The Divine and spiritual maternity of Our Lady, the intense sufferings that her Divine Son and she endured for us, and one of the most important; the horror of sin and how much sin offends God. Sin is the transgression against the laws of God. More important, sin is offending God, who loves us very much. When we truly know what sin is, we will do everything in our power to avoid it. Many saints died rather than commit sin. For example: St. Maria Goretti, St. Philomena, St. Cecilia, St. Catherine of Alexandria, St. Agnes, St. Tarcisus and many more. All died rather than offend God by committing one sin. The best example of this is in the words of Jacinta, the seven year old seer of Fatima, who saw hell. She is presently up for canonization. After seeing hell she said to her cousin, Lucia, who also saw hell, "Why doesn't God show hell to everyone, so no one will offend Him by sin anymore?"

If people only knew what sufferings their sins caused the Hearts of Jesus and Mary! At Calvary, Our Lady knew her presence and sorrow increased the sufferings of her Son. St. Bernard writes, 'The grief which filled Mary's heart, as a torrent flowed into and embittered the heart of Jesus. So much so that Jesus on the cross suffered more from compassion for His Mother than from His own torments.'

If people only knew what awaited them in eternity, they would do everything in their power to change their lives! So much time is spent in the sensual and earthly pleasures of the world, which are only passing. Start spending time meditating on Our Lord's passion and death in front of a crucifix. You will find your desires for the fleeting pleasures of this world will no longer mean anything to you. You will realize the importance of storing up spiritual treasures in heaven. Heaven is our true home. We are but pilgrims passing through time, and Our Lady is waiting and willing to help us. If we are close to our Heavenly Mother now, on our death bed it will be our greatest consolation to say: "Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death."

The following is example of Our Lady's great love and compassion. St. Alphonsus tells of a young man who promised the devil that he would give him his soul if he helped him attain a sinful object. He gave him a written contract, signed in his own blood. The young man obtained his desire and the devil demanded the soul of the man. He took him to a well and told him to jump in, he threatened to drag him body and soul to hell if he did not obey with his demands. The young man was terrified of dying and told the devil he had to push him. The man wore a scapular of the Dolours of Mary! The devil said to him that he had to take off the scapular first and then he would push him in. At this point the young man realized that through the scapular, Our Lady was still protecting him. He refused to obey the demands of the devil, and after a while, the devil left filled with confusion. The young man thanked Our Lady and went to confession for his sins.

Taking down from the Cross - The Sixth Thrust

It is written: "And bowing His head, He gave up the ghost." (Jn.19:30) Our Lady knew nothing of the lance piercing Our Lord's side. Fear of what should happen to His Sacred Body, filled her with anxiety and tribulation. To prove He was truly dead, Longinus, with his lance, opened the treasures of Our Lord's Sacred Heart, when he pierced His side open. This wounding was felt only by Our lady. Since Our Lord was already dead, this cruel laceration of Our Lord's Body, witnessed by Our Lady, caused her excruciating pain. But with love and compassion Our Lady said to Longinus: "The Almighty look upon you with eyes of mercy for the pain you have caused my soul." 10 This compassionate Mother looked upon Longinus with eyes of mercy, asking God for blessings and gifts of grace for the offense. Through Our Lady's prayers, Our Lord allowed some of the Blood and Water from His Sacred Side to drop upon the face of Longinus, restoring his failing eyesight to him. It also opened the eyes of his soul, which recognized Him as God and Redeemer. 11 He converted and he is recorded in the gospels saying : "In truth this Man was indeed the Son of God."(Mk.15:39)

We learn here, in sadness only God can give us consolation. Our Lord was already dead when the sword pierced His Side, therefore He felt no pain. We can truly say that Our Lady felt in her heart the pain of this thrust. With Her eyes she witnessed the mutilation of Her Son's Sacred Body! No one who ever has lost a loved one can say, no one understands! Our Heavenly Mother understands!

In this example, St. Alphonsus tells of a poor sinner who, among many other crimes, had killed his father and Brother. One day during lent, he happened to hear the sermon on Divine Mercy. This sermon caused him to go straight to confession to the very preacher. The preacher sent him to the altar of Mary in Sorrow, that she might intercede for him and obtain pardon for his sins. The sinner did as he was told and in his great grief, he fell over dead at the foot of her altar. The following day, the priest asked prayers for the deceased soul of the man. Suddenly a white dove appeared in the church and a card fell at the feet of the priest. He read the card which said, "The soul of the deceased, on leaving his body, went straight to heaven. Continue to preach the infinite mercy of God!"

The Burial of Jesus - The Seventh Thrust

"Joseph of Arimathea (because he was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews) besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus. And Pilate gave leave. He came therefore, and took away the body of Jesus. And Nicodemus also came, (he who at first came to Jesus by night) bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pound weight.

They took therefore the body of Jesus, and bound it in linen cloths, with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. 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. There, therefore, because of the Pasch of the Jews, they laid Jesus, because the sepulchre was nigh at hand." (Jn. 19:38-42)

The disposition of Divine Providence concerning the burial of Jesus, was not made known to Our Lady. This caused her such painful anxiety, that it increased to such an extent that she saw no way out, so in her affliction, she raised her eyes to heaven and prayed.12 How often do we look to God for His Will when we are in doubt and sorely afflicted?

Joseph and Nicodemus were the answer to her prayers. Imagine the scene. Our Lady sitting there, holding the disfigured and wounded body of Her Son. St. Bonaventure writes, "Oh, how many swords pierced the poor Mother's soul when she received the body of her Son from the cross." The sorrow of her heart was again renewed. Yet her sorrow was rejoiced because she had possession of her treasure once again. She looked upon Him with supreme worship and reverence, shedding tears of blood. All present adored the Sacred Body of Jesus. She now indeed was the Mother of Sorrows, the Matri Dela Rosa. Can anyone pass by and say that there is any sorrow greater than hers?

The body was anointed and laid in the new tomb and sealed. Here was Our Lady's greatest sorrow. In her former dolours there was at least the consolation of the body, but now even that was gone. This is the silence of the Church on Good Friday, when the Blessed Sacrament has been removed. But the resurrection is the healing of these wounds! During this lifetime we will never fully understand the grief and sorrow Our Lady bore, nor will we know the holiness that she achieved through the sharing, as much as a creature could share, in the act of our redemption.

God permits sorrow, griefs, and dolours to come to us. But they are and will be only pinpricks compared to what Jesus and Mary suffered. The sword has been blunted, but oh, what it cost to blunt this sword.

With this last dolour, St. Alphonsus tells of a religious who was tormented by scruples. The temptations sometimes were so great, he was almost driven to despair, but he had a devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows. Many times when suffering these interior agonies he had recourse to her by meditating on her sorrows. As death approached, the devil attacked him as never before, to despair. Suddenly Our Lady appeared to him saying, "And thou, my son, why art thou so overcome with sorrow? Why fearest thou so much? Thou who hast so often consoled my by pitying me in my sorrows. Now Jesus sends me to console thee; be comforted and rejoice and come with me to heaven."

It is evident today that many, many people are turning their backs on Our Lord's sufferings and death. We see this by Our Lady's repeated apparitions on this earth. In 1848 at La Salette, France she appeared to two children, Melanie and Maximum. It is the only apparition that Our Lady ever cried. She did not weep at the crucifixion, yet during this apparition she cried over sinners who are refusing the merits of salvation gotten for them at the cost of the Blood of her_Son.

She complained bitterly of the total lack of disregard for the Sabbath and the cursing from the lips of men. In 1958 in Lourdes, France she said to Bernadette, "Penance, Penance, Penance!" At Fatima, Portugal on October 13, 1917 she summed up everything in one sentence. "Mankind must stop offending God by sin, he is already too much offended!"

What has happened to mankind since Our Lord died on Calvary over 2,000 years ago? Instead of progressing forward, man has gone backwards. Instead of consoling the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, man is pushing the sword in deeper, inflicting greater sorrow and pain in their hearts. Looking at the situation the world is in today, we can say Our Lady is truly the Mother of Sorrows. The sword is our sins, but that sword can be sheathed and put away if only we turn from sin and follow the example given to us by Our Lord and His Mother when they walked this earth. The path will be steep, narrow, and rocky, but at the end we will find unending joy and happiness in heaven with Our Heavenly Mother, Jesus and our loved ones. St. Paul has written: "Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man what God has prepared for those who love Him!"

The Blessed Virgin Mary grants seven graces to the souls who honor her daily by saying seven Hail Mary's and meditating on her tears and dolours. This devotion was passed on by St. Bridget of Sweden. The following are the 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 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 dolours, 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.

Recommended Reading

The World's First Love by Most Rev. Fulton J. Sheen, Ph.D.,_D.D. McGraw-Hill Co. Inc.

The Mystical City of God by Ven. Mother Mary of Agreda. Translated from the original Spanish by Fiscar Marison. AveMaria Institute, Washington, N.J.

Our Lady of Sorrows (A Book of Meditations) by Hilary Morris O.S.M. The Newman Bookshop Wesstminster, Maryland

The Glories of Mary by St. ALphonsus de Liguori. Tan Publishers, Inc., Rockford, Illinois 1977.

Chapter One Footnotes

1 (Douay Rheims Version, Tan Publishers, Inc.

Rockford, Illinois, 1977) Gen.1:15 All Bible

quotes in this book are from this version of the


2 Fulton J. Sheen Ph.D., D.D., (New York:

McGraw-Hill Book Co. Inc.) p. 245.

3 Ibid., p. 248.

4 Ibid., p. 259.

5 St. Alphonsus de Liguori, (Rockford,_Illinois:

Tan Publishers, Inc. 1977) p. 423.

6 Sheen, op.cit., p. 259.

7 Harold J. Rahm, S.J., (Washington, N.J.: Ave

Marie Institute, 1963) p.45

8 Liguori, op.cit., p. 444-445.

9 Ibid., p. 245.

10 Venerable Mother Mary Agreda,

(Washington, N.J.: Ave Marie Institute,

1971) p. 701.

11 Ibid., p. 702.

12 Ibid., p. 703.