Q: What about the sorrows of Mary? 

A: The devotion to the sorrows of Mary appears toward the beginning of the fourteenth c, and may have been influenced by Henry Suso (d. 1366) and other Rhenish mystics. It took as central theme the Calvary scene from which it extended to the whole passion of Jesus beginning with his arrest and ending with his burial.

There were five sorrows in the beginning to correspond to the five joys. Later, two more sorrows were added, again, so as to be in line with the seven joys and the seven hours of the daily office. The list of these sorrows is not always the same but remains clustered around Mary's suffering in the course of the Passion. The probably earliest list reads as follows:

 
  1. Jesus is arrested and struck
     
  2. Jesus is led to Pilate to be judged
     
  3. Jesus is condemned to death
     
  4. Jesus is nailed to the cross
     
  5. Jesus gives up his spirit and dies on the cross
     
  6. Jesus is taken down from the cross
     
  7. Jesus is wrapped and laid in the tomb

 

[Parish of St. John of God]

Sacred Heart Convent
Vadstena-Omberg, Sweden

Another list includes Christ's childhood. It contains the following sorrows:

 
    • The prophecy of Simeon ("A sword...")
       
    • The massacre of the Innocents and flight to Egypt
       
    • Jesus lost in Jerusalem
       
    • Jesus arrested and judged
       
    • Jesus crucified and dying
       
    • Jesus taken down from the cross
       
    • Jesus wrapped and laid in the tomb

 

[]

Sacred Heart Convent
Vadstena-Omberg, Sweden

Some versions are taken from the Golden Legend (Mary visits the place where Jesus had lived and died) and are thus less biblical. The present form of the devotion to the Seven Sorrows stems from John of Coudenbergher and is dated 1482. It includes the following scripture based sorrows:

 
    • The prophecy of Simeon (Lk 2, 34-35)
       
    • The flight into Egypt (Mt 2, 13-21)
       
    • The loss of Jesus for three days (Lk 2, 41-50)
       
    • The ascent to Calvary (Jn 19, 17)
       
    • The crucifixion and death of Jesus (Jn 19, 18-30)
       
    • Jesus taken down from the cross (Jn 19, 39-40)
       
    • Jesus laid in the tomb (Jn 19, 40-42)

 

[]

Sacred Heart Convent
Vadstena-Omberg, Sweden


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