Devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows is very ancient and over time pious customs have been developed to enter into the heart of Mary that was pierced so “thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed” (Luke 2:35). One such custom owes its origin to the Servite Order founded by a group called the Seven Holy Founders in 1233. From the very beginning they sought to live a life dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows. Through their spirituality they developed what has been called the “Servite Rosary,” also known as the “Chaplet of the Seven Sorrows of Mary.” It recalls seven events in the life of Mary when she experienced great sorrow. They are as follows:.

The Chaplet of The Seven Sorrows

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

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.

Act of Contrition: O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended You, and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of hell; but most of all because they offend You, my God, You Who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen.

Pray three Hail Mary’s
Most Merciful Mother, remind us always about the Sorrows of your Son, Jesus.

1The Prophecy of Simeon (Luke 2:34–35)

With this confidence in my heart, I meditate on the First Sorrow, when Mary, Virgin Mother of my GOD, presented JESUS her only Son in the Temple, laid Him in the arms of holy and aged Simeon, and heard his prophetic word, “The sword of grief shall pierce thy soul,” foretelling thereby the Passion and Death of her Son Jesus.

Our Father once and then seven Hail Mary’s

2The flight into Egypt (Matthew 2:13-15)

The Second Sorrow of the Blessed Virgin was when she was obliged to fly into Egypt by reason of the persecution of cruel Herod, who impiously sought to slay her well beloved Son.

Our Father once and then seven Hail Mary’s

3Loss of the Child Jesus for three days (Luke 2:41-50)

The Third Sorrow of the Blessed Virgin was when, after having gone up to Jerusalem at the Paschal Feast with Joseph her spouse and JESUS her beloved Son, she lost Him on the way back to her poor house, and for three days bewailed the loss of her only Love.

Our Father once and then seven Hail Mary’s

4Mary meets Jesus on his way to Calvary (Luke 23:27-31; John 19:17)

The Fourth Sorrow of the Blessed Virgin was when she met her dear Son JESUS carrying to Mount Calvary on his tender shoulders the heavy Cross whereon He was to be crucified for our salvation.

Our Father once and then seven Hail Mary’s

5Crucifixion and Death of Jesus (John 19:25-30)

The Fifth Sorrow of the Blessed Virgin was when she saw her Son JESUS raised upon the hard tree of the Cross, and blood flowing from every part of his sacred Body, and then beheld Him die after three hours agony.

Our Father once and then seven Hail Mary’s

6The body of Jesus being taken from the Cross (Psalm 130; Luke 23:50-54; John 19:31-37)

The Sixth Sorrow of the Blessed Virgin was when she saw the lance pierce the sacred Side of JESUS, her beloved Son, the nails withdrawn, and his holy Body laid in her purest bosom.

Our Father once and then seven Hail Mary’s

7The burial of Jesus (Isaiah 53:8; Luke 23:50-56; John 19:38-42; Mark 15:40-47)

The Seventh and last Sorrow of the Blessed Virgin, Queen and Advocate of us, her servants, miserable sinners, was when she saw the Holy Body of her Son buried in the grave.

Our Father once and then seven Hail Mary’s

V/. Pray for us, Virgin most sorrowful.
R/. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ

Concluding prayers:

Let us pray.
Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord Jesus Christ, that the most blessed Virgin Mary, thy Mother, may intercede for us before the throne of thy mercy, now and at the hour of our death, whose most holy soul was transfixed with the sword of sorrow in the hour of thine own Passion. Through Thee, Jesus Christ, savior of the world, who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit, forever and ever. Amen.

The Chaplet of the Seven Sorrows is a beautiful tradition in the Church and allows a soul to walk the via matris, following Mary who kept all of these sorrows in her heart.