The Seven Dolors of the Virgin Mary
Mother of Jesus Christ and Patroness of Poland
Written by Margaret Odrowaz-Sypniewska, B.F.A.

The Seven Dolors are celebrated on Friday, Friday, April 3, 2009, is the Feast of of the Seven Dolors of Our Lady in Passiontide, this year.

(1) THE PROPHECY OF SIMEON:

The prophecy of Holy Simeon foretold that the sword of sorrow would pierce Mary's heart many times.

(2)THE FLIGHT INTO EGYPT - December 25th:

The birth of one's son should be a time of joy, however, for Mary it was a time of great frustration. Mary and Joseph could not find a shelter, at any inn, before the virginal birth of Jesus. Mary pleads in her prayers to His Father for help. They ended up in a cave outside of Bethlehem, which was used as a stable for oxen. The world rejected Jesus at his birth. However, the good shepherds and the animals were there. Many times God's dearest friends are the poor and the humble. Mary understands that it is God's wish that they make do with their situation. Mary was glad to have a healthy son, even though it has been a great worry to her. Afterwards she celebrates her joy and beams with love for her newborn Son.

However, her joy is short-lived. After Herod ordered the massacre of all of the infants born around Bethlehem, an angel appeared to Joseph and told him to take his family and escape into Egypt. This journey took seven or eight days across the desert, and again Mary was worried for the life of her infant. The heat of the unrelenting sun took away her energy and she felt very taxed. She had not fully recovered from birth, and was just learning how to be a mother

(3)THE THREE DAY'S LOSS OF JESUS:

When Jesus was twelve years old, he was brought to the feast of the Pasch. On their journey home, He left his parents, right before they camped for the night. They searched, but could not find Him. Mary was in great pain, thinking that she had not done her job as Mother of the Savior. She felt unworthy and she wept. Then, after three days, Jesus returned. Mary asked Him why he went and Jesus answered:

Did you not know that I was about my Father's business? This was when Jesus went to the temple. Jesus withdrew to prepare his Mother for the future, when he would again have to do his Father's work. By the pain and sorrow of Mary, she gained the right to intercede on behalf of those who lost Jesus through sin. She understood pain and would help them reach their own spirtual rebirth.

(4)MEETING JESUS CARRYING THE CROSS:

After reaching the age of thirty, Jesus leaves home and begins the work of his Father, Our Creator. He toils and travels for three years, at which time his parents see him rarely. They do hear about his deeds, and two days before his earthly death, Mary arrives in the street to see her son carrying his cross up the hill to Calvary on Good Friday. Good Friday was also the day that Jesus instituted the Blessed Eucharist at his Last Supper, the final day that Jesus saw all his disciples together. They break bread and drink wine, and Jesus said:

"Do this in commeration to (memory of) me."

However, this is when his friend Judas betrays him, as foretold, and his suffering begins. No one takes his part or offers a word of sympathy to her son, they only jeer and shout unpleasant words. Her eyes meet His but they do not speak to each other. She feels so anguished for the wounds she sees and her son's pain is her's. However, Mary feels no resentment, she has learned the ways of God, and believes that there is a higher plan. Mary prays for the salvation of these people, who know not what they do; and for the two thieves that will die with her son.

(5)MARY AT THE CROSS OF JESUS AND HIS DEATH ON CALVARY:

Mary remained at the Cross, in spite of the darkness and the earthquake, while Jesus' friends have lost their faith in him. How could the Son of God be abandoned by His Father? Mary was in great grief upon seeing her son's suffering as they put the nails into his hands and feet, yet he does not cry out. Later, he cries out: "I thirst," and she could not help him. She weeps and her heart is broken, as her Son asks why his Father has forsaken him. After his death she is in the care of St. John, one of the true friends of her Son.

(6)TAKING JESUS DOWN FROM THE CROSS

Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus take His dead body from the Cross. Again Mary is distressed at seeing her son's wounds so close, and she kisses Him. She sees the torn flesh and bones, the marks of the Scourging (whipping and torture) by the hands of the drunken soldiers.

(7)THE BURIAL OF JESUS

Mary's heart is ready to burst with grief after all the agonies of the Crucifixion, and the sorrow of seeing his body carried to the tomb. Before the stone is placed over the door of the Sepulcher, Mary gives Him her last kiss, and withdraws with St. John and a holy woman.

Anyone who has been a mother can only imagine what these events would do were it their son. Mary later sees her son taken to His Father, and rejoices that he is now in heaven and can never be hurt again. She understands then that his life, and his death, was so others might have their sins taken away. For God gave his only begotten Son to save the world. These mysteries are celebrated at Easter. As spring is a time of rebirth, so did Jesus rise, was reborn, and was taken to the Heavens.

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