Using various allegories from Scripture this article explores the sorrows of our Lady and how we are called to join our Lady in Her Sorrows.
The Martyrdom of the Mother and Her Seven Sons
|'The Martyrdom of the Maccabees', Jean Baptiste Vignaly, 1781.|
The Crucified Jesus and Mary at the Foot of the Cross
|Mary at the Foot of the Cross|
The mother and her seven sons died a martyr’s death for the sins of Israel, in order to ‘make up’ for the idolatry and faithlessness of many of the Jewish people who had abandoned their faith to the paganism of the Greeks. Likewise Jesus died as the Martyr of Martyr’s in order to ‘make up’ for the sins of Israel and the whole world, and for the sins of our very selves. The Blessed Virgin Mary also died a martyr’s death, a white martyr’s death without the shedding of Her blood; because at the foot of the Cross Her pains were so great in seeing Her Son die - the very Son whom She nursed as a babe - it was truly worse than death, since for a mother it is far less of a death to die herself, than it is to see the death of her own child. And these pains our Lady suffered at the foot of the Cross were Co-Redemptive because they were perfectly joined and were a very sharing in Christ’s Redemptive sufferings (Col 1:24), and thus Her martyrdom like the mother in the Maccabean account was –but in an extraordinary way – for the reparation of the sins of Israel and the whole world, and for our very own sins.
The Seven Sorrows of our Lady
|'Pietà', Adolphe William Bouguereau, 1876.|
Our Lady of Sorrows
|'Mater Dolorosa', Bartolomé Esteban Perez Murillo, 1668/70.|
Mary the New Rachel that ‘Weeps for Her Children’
|An Icon of Rachel Weeping for Her Children|
Mary’s Sorrows: The Mystical Dew
|'The Israelites Gathering Manna', Ercole de' Roberti, 1490's.|
Bathing in the Sorrows of our Lady
|Naaman Washes in the Jordan River|