Novena to Our Lady of Sorrows
These prayers are to be recited each day after the Novena.
Hail Mary full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed are thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus. Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen
Prayer to our Sorrowful Mother for a particular grace
O, mother most holy and sorrowful, Queen of Martyrs, you who stood by your Son as He agonized on the cross; by the sufferings of your life, by that sword of pain that pierced your heart, by your perfect joy in heaven, look down on me kindly as I kneel before you, sympathizing with your sorrows and offering you my petition with childlike trust.
Dear Mother, since your Son refuses you nothing, ask of His Sacred Heart to mercifully grant what I ask, through the merits of His sacred passion, along with those of your sufferings at the foot of the cross.
Mother most merciful, to whom shall I go in my misery if not to you who pities us poor sinful exiles in this valley of tears? In our name, offer Jesus but one drop of His most precious blood, but one pang of His loving heart. Remind Him that you are our sweetness, our life and our hope, and your prayer will be heard. Amen
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help or sought your intercession, was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto you, O Virgin of Virgins, my Mother. To you do I come, before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in your clemency, hear and answer me. Amen
Prayer in honor of the First Sorrow of Mary:
The Prophecy of Simeon
Most Sorrowful Mother, grief filled was your heart when, on offering your divine Son at the temple, Holy Simeon foretold that a sword would pierce your soul. There and then you knew you would suffer with Jesus.
Queen of Martyrs, let me unite my heart to yours in this pain, and ask you the grace to keep the thought of my death in mind, so I may always avoid sin.
Prayer in honor of the Second Sorrow of Mary:
The Flight into Egypt
Most sorrowful Mother, Your mother’s heart brimmed over with sorrow at the hate of Herod for your innocent Son. To save Him from the king’s jealousy, you had to flee with Him to Egypt. Your heart also suffered at seeing the suffering of your holy spouse, Saint Joseph, at the prospect of taking the divine babe and you, his delicate spouse, into the wilderness and the unknown.
Queen of Martyrs let me unite my heart to yours in this sorrow, and obtain for me the grace to avoid those who wish me evil, above all evil to my soul. Let me avoid temptations and never leave the difficult but royal road to heaven.
Prayer in honor of the Third Sorrow of Mary:
The Loss of the child Jesus in the Temple
Most sorrowful Mother, grief, sorrow and anxiety filled your immaculate heart when you found you were separated from your Son on leaving Jerusalem.
For three days He remained lost to you and to your holy spouse. For three days you sought Him who was the light of your life. And for three days you failed to find Him.
Let me join you in this pain, O Queen of Martyrs, and obtain for me the grace to never lose Jesus through sin, but to stay united to Him by the help of His grace. If I have the misfortune of falling, may I never doubt His mercy and always return through the Sacrament of Confession, which He instituted.
Prayer in honor of the Fourth Sorrow of Mary:
The Meeting of Mary and Jesus on the Way to Calvary
Most sorrowful Mother, who can fathom the grief of your heart when you saw your Son fall, wounded and bleeding under the crushing weight of the cross, on the way to Calvary?
Queen of Martyrs, let me unite my heart to yours in this sorrow, and obtain for me the grace to bear patiently whatever cross God may see fit to send me.
Prayer in honor of the Fifth Sorrow of Mary:
The Crucifixion and Death of Jesus
Most sorrowful Mother, standing by the cross of Jesus, your heart was one great knot. And yet, you did not sit, you did not even lean, but stood as you watched Him suffer for the sins of the whole world–for my sins. Like Abraham, you offered the sacrifice standing up, consciously and willingly. In your case, you offered it for me, and for every sinner. Still, unlike Abraham, you stood and watched Him die. In your case, your perfect Son was not spared.
Queen of Martyrs, let me join you in this sorrow, and obtain for me the grace to fight against temptation and sin at the cost of effort, suffering and even life. When my turn comes, grant me, Mother, by your Jesus’ death and your sacrifice, the grace to die in His holy Grace–the grace of a happy death.
Prayer in honor of the Sixth Sorrow of Mary:
The Piercing of the Side of Jesus and His Descent from the Cross
Most Sorrowful Mother, when your Son’s body was lowered from the cross and laid in your arms, sorrow filled your heart.
Though now this sorrow had a note of relief, how painful it was for you to gaze on that body, formerly the seat of perfect life, health and beauty, gruesomely scarred, pale and lifeless.
Mother, Queen of Martyrs, let me join my heart to yours in this grief, and obtain for me to receive Jesus into my soul before I die, so I may join Him in heaven forever.
Prayer in honor of the Seventh Sorrow of Mary:
The Burial of Jesus
Most sorrowful Virgin, sorrow again filled your heart when the sacred body of your Son was taken from your arms, and placed in a cold grave. Yet you did not doubt that He would rise again.
Queen of Martyrs, let me join you in your sorrow, and grant me your own deep, trusting faith in the word of your Son. Let me trust that even in suffering, even when all seems lost, with Jesus there is always a way out.
Obtain for me too, a sincere sorrow for all my sins, a burning love for my God, a tender devotion to you, so that one day, I may die in His grace and, with Him, rise to eternal life.
Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, September 14
Sweet Mother of Sorrows, Providence wished that Saint Helena, like you the mother of a king, find the cross of your Son and lavish honors on this relic of relics.**
Grant, me Sorrowful Queen and Mother that, like Saint Helena, I always honor the symbol of our salvation, the cross. And like the Church, may I hold it high, display and wear it with gratitude and pride.
Above all, may I unite my sufferings to that of Jesus on the cross, and carry my crosses not in shame but in faith, love and patience as He did.
The Church teaches that suffering thus carried and united to His, is never in vain, but a powerful, redemptive prayer.
May I always believe it, so my life will always have meaning.
**(Saint Helena did this while on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem in the year 326 A.D. To celebrate this fact, the Catholic Church established the feast of The Exaltation of the Holy Cross.)
Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Sorrows
O most holy Virgin, Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ: by the overwhelming grief you experienced when you witnessed the martyrdom, crucifixion, and death of your divine Son, look upon me kindly, and awaken in my heart a tender sympathy for Our Lord’s sufferings.
Grant me a sincere detestation of my sins, so that free from undue affection for the passing joys of earth, I may set my sights higher on the eternal joys of heaven.
May all my thoughts and all my actions be directed towards this one great goal. Honor, glory, and love to our divine Lord Jesus, and to the holy and immaculate Mother of God. Amen
The Seven Sorrows of Our Lady
1. The Prophecy of Simeon
2. The Flight into Egypt
3. The Loss of the child Jesus in the Temple
4. The Meeting of Mary and Jesus on the Way to Calvary
5. The Crucifixion and Death of Jesus
6. The Piercing of the Side of Jesus and His Descent from the Cross
7. The Burial of Jesus