Our Lady of Sorrows: Stabat Mater

Today we celebrate the Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows. If you’re lucky, at your Mass today the optional sequence will be sung, or spoken. With hope, not omitted.

The sequence is the Stabat Mater, which found a place in the liturgy on this day and the Friday before Holy Week in the year 1727.

Today is a day to remember the bond that unites us to Mary, with whom we share a place at the foot of the cross.

The seven sorrows of Mary are:

  1. The Prophecy of Simeon over the Infant Jesus. (Gospel of Luke 2:34)
  2. The Flight into Egypt of the Holy Family. (Gospel of Matthew 2:13)
  3. The Loss of the Child Jesus for Three Days. (Luke 2:43)
  4. The Meeting of Jesus and Mary along the Way of the Cross. (Luke 23:26)
  5. The Crucifixion, where Mary stands at the foot of the cross. (Gospel of John 19:25)
  6. The Descent from the Cross, where Mary receives the dead body of Jesus in her arms. (Matthew 27:57)
  7. The Burial of Jesus. (John 19:40)

Here is the translated Stabat Mater from Latin to English:

At the cross her station keeping,
Mary stood in sorrow weeping
When her Son was crucified.

While she waited in her anguish,
Seeing Christ in torment languish,
Bitter sorrow pierced her heart.

With what pain and desolation,
With what noble resignation,
Mary watched her dying Son.

Ever-patient in her yearning
Though her tear-filled eyes were burning,
Mary gazed upon her Son.

Who, that sorrow contemplating,
On that passion meditating,
Would not share the Virgin’s grief?

Christ she saw, for our salvation,
Scourged with cruel acclamation,
Bruised and beaten by the rod.

Christ she saw with life-blood failing,
All her anguish unavailing,
Saw him breathe his very last.

Mary, fount of love’s devotion,
Let me share with true emotion
All the sorrow you endured.

Virgin, ever interceding,
Hear me in my fervent pleading:
Fire me with your love of Christ.

Mother, may this prayer be granted:
That Christ’s love may be implanted
In the depths of my poor soul.

At the cross, your sorrow sharing,
All your grief and torment bearing,
Let me stand and mourn with you.

Fairest maid of all creation,
Queen of hope and consolation,
Let me feel your grief sublime.

Virgin, in your love befriend me,
At the Judgment Day defend me.
Help me by your constant prayer.

Savior, when my life shall leave me,
Through your mother’s prayers
receive me
With the fruits of victory.

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 your dying Son divine.

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 awe-full judgment day.

Savior, when my life shall leave me,
Through your mother’s prayers
receive me
With the fruits of victory.

While my body here decays
May my soul your goodness praise,
Safe in heaven eternally. Amen Alleluia.

Today is a public holiday in Slovakia, because Our Lady of Sorrows is Slovakia’s patron.