Chaplet of the Seven Sorrows

September 13, 1992
Brother John Raymond

	Between the years 1225 and 1227 seven young men from Florence,
 Italy joined the Confraternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
 Buonfiglio Monaldo, Alexis Falconieri, Benedict dell' Antella,
 Bartholomew Amidei, Ricovero Uguccione, Gerardino Sostegni and John
 Buonagiunta became close friends. On the feast of the Assumption as
 the seven were praying they had a vision of the Blessed Virgin. She
 inspired them to withdraw from the world and dedicate their lives
 totally to God.
	They withdrew to the deserted slopes of Monte Senario where they
 built a simple church and hermitages. Soon others came to these
 hermits wishing to join them. They refused to accept any new
 members. These seven young men led a life of extreme penance. Their
 excess penance drew the attention of the Bishop who visited them. He
 warned them that their manner of living might be a deception of the
	This advice of the Bishop greatly disturbed them so they prayed
 for Divine guidance. On April 13, 1240, Our Lady appeared to them.
 She was holding in Her hands a black habit while an angel held a
 scroll that had written on it "Servants of Mary." Our Blessed Mother
 told them that She had chosen them to be Her servants, that She
 wished them to wear the black habit and to follow the Rule of St.
 Augustine. They became known as the "Servants of Mary," or
 "Servites" and no longer were solitary hermits of excessive penance
 but mendicant friars. These founders took the sorrows of Mary
 standing under the Cross as the principal devotion of their order.
	However, the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows did not originate with
 the Servites. It was enacted by a provincial synod of Cologne in
 1413 to expiate crimes committed against sacred images by heretics
 known as the Hussites. The object of the devotion was exclusively
 the sorrow of Mary during the Crucifixion and Death of Jesus. By the
 15th century the feast had spread. The devotion commemorated either
 five sorrows of Mary, from the imprisonment of Jesus to His burial,
 or seven sorrows, extending over the entire life of Mary.
	The Servites extended their devotion to the Seven Sorrows of Mary
 and contributed to making it a very popular devotion. Let us
 compassionate Our Lady of Sorrows (Feast September 15) by praying
 the Chaplet of the Seven Sorrows.

	The Seven Sorrows of Mary are:

1. The prophecy of Simeon.
2. The flight into Egypt.
3. The loss of the Child Jesus in the Temple.
4. Mary meeting Jesus carrying His Cross.
5. The Crucifixion.
6. Mary receiving the Body of Jesus from the Cross.
7. The Body of Jesus being placed in the tomb.

	Recite seven Hail Marys in remembrance of each sorrow of Mary.
 After finishing the chaplet recite three Hail Marys in remembrance
 of the tears Mary shed because of the suffering of Her Divine Son.

Concluding prayers:

	Pray for us, O Most Sorrowful Virgin, that we may be made worthy
 of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray:

	Lord Jesus, we now implore, both for the present and for the hour
 of our death, the intercession of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, Your
 Mother, whose Holy Soul was pierced during Your Passion by a sword
 of grief. Grant us this favor, O Savior of the world, Who lives and
 reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit forever and ever. Amen.