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The Rosary of the Seven Sorrows of Mary

“Nothing is asked in vain of Our Lady of Sorrows; gratitude compels me to make this known.”
~St. Madeleine Sophie Barat

The Rosary of the Seven Sorrows of Mary is different from the traditional rosary. While the opening and closing prayers can vary, the Rosary of the Seven Sorrows essentially consists of seven sets of prayers, each set consisting of one Our Father followed by seven Hail Marys in memory of one of seven sorrows of Mary, together with three Hail Mary prayers which can be said either before or after the seven sets. The seven sorrows of Mary that are reflected upon are:
    1. The prophecy of Simeon at the Presentation
    2. The flight of the Holy Family into Egypt
    3. The loss of Jesus in the Temple when he was twelve
    4. Mary meeting Jesus on the way to Calvary
    5. Mary at the foot of the cross witnessing Jesus' crucifixion and death
    6. Mary receiving the dead body of Jesus in her arms
    7. Jesus being placed in the tomb


The Rosary of the Seven Sorrows is a devotion that has been practiced for many centuries. It is a particularly wonderful devotion for mothers to practice because, while nothing brings more joy to mothers than their children, they also incur great suffering as they watch their children take up their crosses in life.  This devotion helps mothers realize that the Blessed Mother is with them, understands their heartaches, and comforts them through all their trials. A suggested format, with prayers and reflections written particularly for mothers, can be found in the book, The Mothers’ Rosary.
The Rosary of the Seven Sorrows reflection sample from the book, The Mothers’ Rosary.
"Traveling home to Nazareth in the company of our kin, Joseph and I suddenly realize that Jesus is missing. Together, we begin to anxiously search for our young Jesus. So many questions preoccupy our aching heads as our eyes frantically dart about hoping to see His face again. Did someone take Him? Is this the hour? Is He still alive? Guilt and blame weigh heavily on my sorrowful heart as we begin the third day of our search. Joseph and I, holding hands, climb the stairs of the Jerusalem Temple to pray together when we catch sight of Jesus. His gaze falls on us and He reveals that His separation from us was necessary to fulfill the will of His Father."
The mothers' prayerful response:
"Mary, bless my husband and me as we search for guidance, as we pray that God’s will be done, and as we suffer together to bear spiritual fruit for the sake of each other and for our children."
How to pray the Rosary of the Seven Sorrows of Mary