The 7 Sorrows of Mary Rosary: It’s Origins and How to Pray It

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Devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows has grown quite a bit in the last year due the chaos and craziness that has afflicted our world. However, there seem to be confusion about whether the Chaplet of the Seven Sorrows of Mary and the 7 Sorrows Rosary are different or the same devotion.

The answer is: they are the same but with different names, perhaps to distinguish it from other devotions. Whatever you choose to call it, it’s a beautiful way to spend time with Our Lady.

Want to learn more about this rosary’s origins and how to pray it? Keep reading!

Origin and modern revival

This rosary devotion began in the fourteenth century during the Middle Ages. The Blessed Virgin appeared to St. Bridget of Sweden to whom this devotion was first revealed. It wasn’t until Our Lady of Kibeho taught the devotion to Marie-Claire Mukangango—one of the visionaries to whom she appeared to in Kibeho, Rwanda—that the modern revival began. Following Our Lady’s request to have the devotion reintroduced, Marie-Claire spent the rest of her short life traveling and teaching others how to pray this Rosary.

Why you should pray it

Our Lady said that praying this rosary with a penitent heart would result in forgiveness for our sins from the Lord as well as freedom from guilt and remorse. Furthermore, the longer this rosary is prayed, the more we’ll become aware of our shortcomings; why we sin and what we should do to change those habits. If you’re stuck on a certain problem and need a mother’s guidance, this rosary is also highly recommended for such a time.

How to pray it

Unlike the rosary we all know and love, this rosary does not begin with the Creed. There seem to be two versions—one shorter than the other—but it seems like the “long” version is the one we should try to pray. Regardless of which version you choose, it’s recommended that it is prayed with your heart open to what is being prayed.

The following is the “long” version:

Make the Sign of the Cross.

Introductory prayer:
My God, I offer You this Rosary for Your glory, so I can honor your Holy Mother, the Blessed Virgin, so I can share and meditate upon her suffering. I humbly beg you to give me true repentance for all my sins. Give me wisdom and humility, so that I may receive all the indulgences contained in this prayer.

Make an Act of Contrition.

Pray 3 Hail Mary’s.

Pray:
Most Merciful Mother, remind us always about the Sorrows of your Son, Jesus.

Meditate on the First Sword of Sorrow: The Prophecy of Simeon (Luke 2:22-35)

Prayer:
Beloved Mother Mary, whose Heart suffered beyond bearing because of us, teach us to suffer with you and with love, and to accept all the suffering God deems it necessary to send our way. Let us suffer, and may our suffering be known to God only, like yours and that of Jesus. Do not let us show our suffering to the world, so it will matter more and be used to atone for the sins of the world. You, Mother, who suffered with the Savior of the world, we offer you our suffering, and the suffering of the world, because we are your children. Join those sorrows to your own and to those of the Lord Jesus Christ, then offer them to God the Father. You are a Mother greater than all.

Pray 1 Our Father and 7 Hail Mary’s.

Pray:
Most Merciful Mother, remind us always about the Sorrows of your Son, Jesus.

Meditate on the Second Sword of Sorrow: The Flight into Egypt (Matthew 2:13-15)

Prayer:
Beloved Mother, who has suffered so much, give to us your courageous heart. Please pray for us to have strength so that we can be brave like you and accept with love the suffering God sends our way. Help us to also accept all the suffering we inflict upon ourselves and the suffering inflicted upon us by others. Heavenly Mother, you, in union with Jesus, purify our suffering so that we may give glory to God and save our souls.

Pray 1 Our Father and 7 Hail Mary’s.

Pray:
Most Merciful Mother, remind us always about the Sorrows of your Son, Jesus.

Meditate on the Third Sword of Sorrow: The Loss of Jesus in the Temple (Luke 2:41-52).

Prayer:
Beloved Mother, teach us to accept all our sufferings because of our sins and to atone for the sins of the whole world.

Pray 1 Our Father and 7 Hail Mary’s.

Pray:
Most Merciful Mother, remind us always about the Sorrows of your Son, Jesus.

Meditate on the Fourth Sword of Sorrow: Mary Meets Jesus on the Way to Calvary (Luke 23:27-31)

Prayer:
Beloved Mother, so stricken with grief, help us to bear our own suffering with courage and love so that we may relieve your Sorrowful Heart and that of Jesus. In doing so, may we give glory to God Who gave you and Jesus to humanity. As you suffered, teach us to suffer silently and patiently. Grant unto us the grace of loving God in everything. O Mother of Sorrows, most afflicted of all mothers, have mercy on the sinners of the whole world.

Pray 1 Our Father and 7 Hail Mary’s.

Pray:
Most Merciful Mother, remind us always about the Sorrows of your Son, Jesus.

Meditate on the Fifth Sword of Sorrow: Mary Stands at the Foot of the Cross (John 19:25-27)

Prayer:
Beloved Mother, Queen of the Martyrs, give us the courage you had in all your sufferings so that we may unite our sufferings with yours and give glory to God. Help us follow all His commandments and those of the Church so that Our Lord’s sacrifice will not be in vain, and all sinners in the world will be saved.

Pray 1 Our Father and 7 Hail Mary’s.

Pray:
Most Merciful Mother, remind us always about the Sorrows of your Son, Jesus.

Meditate on the Sixth Sword of Sorrow: Mary Receives the Dead Body of Jesus in Her Arms (John 19:38-40)

Prayer:
We thank you, Beloved Mother, for your courage as you stood beneath your dying Child to comfort Him on the Cross. As our Savior drew His last breath, you became a wonderful Mother to all of us; you became the Blessed Mother of the world. We know that you love us more than our own earthly parents do. We implore you to be our advocate before the Throne of Mercy and Grace so that we can truly become your children. We thank you for Jesus, our Savior and Redeemer, and we thank Jesus for giving you to us. Please pray for us, Mother.

Pray 1 Our Father and 7 Hail Mary’s.

Pray:
Most Merciful Mother, remind us always about the Sorrows of your Son, Jesus.

Meditate on the Seventh Sword of Sorrow: The Body of Jesus is Placed in the Tomb (John 19:41-42)

Prayer:
Most Beloved Mother, whose beauty surpasses that of all mothers, Mother of Mercy, Mother of Jesus, and Mother to us all, we are your children and we place all our trust in you. Teach us to see God in all things and all situations, even our sufferings. Help us to understand the importance of suffering, and also to know the purpose of our suffering as God had intended it.

You yourself were conceived and born without sin, were preserved from sin, yet you suffered more than anybody else. You accepted suffering and pain with love and with unsurpassed courage. You stood by your Son from the time He was arrested until He died. You suffered along with Him, felt His every pain and torment. You accomplished the Will of God the Father; and according to His will, you have become our Mother. We beg you, dear Mother, to teach us to do as Jesus did. Teach us to accept our cross courageously. We trust you, most Merciful Mother, so teach us to sacrifice for all the sinners in the world. Help us to follow in your Son’s footsteps, and even to be willing to lay down our lives for others.

Pray 1 Our Father and 7 Hail Mary’s.

Pray:
Most Merciful Mother, remind us always about the Sorrows of your Son, Jesus.

Concluding Prayer:
Queen of Martyrs, your heart suffered so much. I beg you, by the merits of the tears you shed in these terrible and sorrowful times, to obtain for me and all the sinners of the world the grace of complete sincerity and repentance. Amen.
Three times, say: Mary, who was conceived without sin and who suffered for us, pray for us.

Make the Sign of the Cross:

In the name of The Father, and The Son, and The Holy Spirit. Amen.

Featured image: Wikimedia Commons. Free for commercial use. No attribution required.

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