Stabat Mater Dolorosa
Brother John Raymond
Jacopone of Todi (1230-1306) was born in Todi, Italy. He studied
law at Bologna, was married in 1267. After the death of his wife he
became a Franciscan lay brother. During this time he became popular
for his works of religious hymns and poetry. In 1294 he and some of
his brethren were granted permission by Pope Celestine V to live in
a separate community and follow the Franciscan rule in its original
strictness. In 1303 he lived as a hermit near Orvieto. He died on
Christmas Day, 1306. Jacopone is credited with writing the "Stabat
Stabat Mater Dolorosa
At the Cross Her station keeping
Stood the mournful Mother weeping,
Close to Jesus to the last.
Through Her Heart, His sorrow sharing,
All His bitter anguish bearing,
Lo! the piercing sword had passed.
O how sad and sore distressed
Was that Mother, highly blessed,
Of the Sole-Begotten One.
Mournful, with Heart's prostration,
Mother meek, the bitter Passion
Saw She of Her glorious Son.
Who on Christ's dear Mother gazing,
In Her trouble so amazing,
Born of woman, would not weep?
Who on Christ's dear Mother thinking,
Such a cup of sorrow drinking,
Would not share Her sorrow deep?
For His people's sins rejected,
Saw Her Jesus unprotected.
Saw with thorns, with scourges rent.
Saw Her Son from judgement taken,
Her Beloved in death forsaken,
Till His Spirit forth He sent.
Fount of love and holy sorrow,
Mother, may my spirit borrow
Somewhat of Your woe profound.
Unto Christ with pure emotion,
Raise my contrite heart's devotion,
To read love in every wound.
Those Five Wounds on Jesus smitten,
Mother! in my heart be written,
Deep as in Your own they be.
You, Your Savior's Cross did bare,
You, Your Son's rebuke did share.
Let me share them both with Thee.
In the Passion of my Maker,
Be my sinful soul partaker,
Weep 'til death and weep with You.
Mine with You be that sad station,
There to watch the great salvation,
Wrought upon the atoning Tree.
Virgin, you of virgins fairest,
May the bitter woe Thou bearest
Make on me impression deep.
Thus Christ's dying may I carry,
With Him in His Passion tarry,
And His Wounds in memory keep.
May His Wound both wound and heal me,
He enkindle, cleanse, strengthen me,
By His Cross my hope and stay.
May He, when the mountains quiver,
From that flame which burns forever,
Shield me on the Judgement Day.
Jesus, may Your Cross defend me,
And Your Mother's prayer befriend me;
Let me die in Your embrace.
When to dust my dust returns,
Grant a soul, that to You yearns,
In Your paradise a place. Amen.