Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows
The feast of Our Lady of Sorrows has been honored in Loretto from our very foundation. The prayer written by students in Loretto schools at the top of every classroom paper was “OSJ-OSM,” which stands for “O Suffering Jesus, O Sorrowful Mary.” While children may not mark their school papers that way now, those of us who went to Loretto schools will not forget. Truly, Our Lady of Sorrows is a classic feast for Loretto — it has great meaning to us, and its meaning has stretched us over time to claim its spirit.
While Scripture does not list the seven sorrows of Mary, the promise of Simeon that a sword “will pierce her heart” is a text found in Luke 2:33. Many “swords” did pierce Mary’s heart throughout her son Jesus’ life. The seven sorrows of Mary, all rooted in Scripture, are as follows:
The Prophecy of Simeon
Flight into Egypt
Loss of Jesus in the Temple
Carrying of the Cross
Crucifixion of Jesus
Jesus Taken Down from the Cross
Jesus Laid in the Tomb
What mothers’ love would not identify with these sorrows? How many have watched their children die in our time, shot or beaten to death, languishing in prison or buried in an unmarked grave? Yes, it is an old spirituality, but as real today as it was in the time in which Mary, the Mother of Jesus experienced these events.
Over the years our spirituality has deepened and our vision broadened. Spirituality is both the inner life and the outer life of service and compassion. Mary, Mother of Jesus, is our model. Have we let our hearts be pierced by the suffering we see? How have we responded?