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Seven Sorrows of the B.V.M.

Feast of Our Lady. 

His Mother stood by the Cross. Men had forsaken him, but she stood there fearless. Behold in this how the shrinking modesty of the Mother of Jesus could not check the loving courage of her heart. This Mother, in that she resigned herself unto the crucifixion, fixed her gaze not alone upon the sight of their inhuman work. For, with the eyes of a mother's love, she endured to look upon the wounds of her Son because she knew that those wounds would give redemption unto all mankind. And because her Son was hanging on the Cross, therefore this Mother did not withdraw herself from the reach of his tormentors.

Mary, the Mother of the Lord, stood by the Cross of her Son. The only one who doth tell of this thing is the holy Evangelist John. Others have written that when the Lord suffered, the earth quaked, the heavens were veiled in darkness, the sun was hidden, and the thief made a good confession, whereby he received the promise of paradise. But John hath taught us what others have not, to wit, that whilst hanging on the cross Jesus called her Mother. Tell me which was the greater thing? For the Victor, in this moment of his triumph over great agony, to bethink himself of the loving duty of a son to his mother, and in discharge thereof to turn suppliant to his disciple? Or for the Victor to bestow the gift of a heavenly kingdom on the dying thief? If it was a duty of religion to absolve the thief, how much greater act of love was it for the Son at such a time to honour his Mother with such an act of affection!

The Lord saith: Behold thy son: Behold thy Mother! Christ bore witness from the Cross, and divided the offices of his tender love between his Mother and his disciple. Thus doth the Lord give us a testament, not only of his love for souls, but also of his natural affection. Moreover, the testimony which John doth give us concerning this same testament, is a worthy testimony to the original Testator himself. It is a good testament, not of earthly riches, but of eternal life, written not in ink but in the Spirit of the living God, who speaketh of such testimony in the Psalms, saying: My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.

From a homily by Saint Ambrose the Bishop


O GOD, in whose passion the sword of grief did pierce the gentle soul of the glorious Virgin Mary, thy Mother, that so might be fulfilled the word of thy Prophet Simeon: mercifully grant that we who here do call to mind her sorrows; may be fulfilled with the blessed fruits of thy passion. Who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit ever, one God, world without end. Amen.

The Anglican Breviary, Frank Gavin Liturgical Foundation, Inc., New York, 1955, pages 1440-1441, 1442

Additional Information:

For additional readings, or to learn more about the Anglican Breviary, visit The Anglican Breviary Website.

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