Blessed Virgin Mary: February 2008 Archives

Our Lady's Seven Sorrows

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Beginning Lent in Knock

My pilgrimage the Shrine of Our Lady of Knock a fortnight ago renewed my longstanding devotion to the Rosary of the Seven Dolours. On Ash Wedneday I concelebrated with Father Thomas Lane, C.M., and assisted with the distribution of ashes in the old parish church. The church was filled to capacity, mostly with local people, for the 3:00 p.m. Mass. The priests who staff the shrine at Knock are great men. One of them, Father William O'Donovan, O.M.I. is about to celebrate his seventieth anniversary of priesthood; he is still a dynamic preacher.

Saint Joseph and Saint John

Those already familiar with the Rosary of the Seven Dolours know that the first three of Our Lady’s Sorrows were shared with Saint Joseph and the last four with Saint John, the Beloved Disciple of Jesus. Saint Joseph and Saint John, the two men chosen by God to live in the intimacy of the Virgin Mother and to enter deeply into the mystery of her sorrows, appeared with her at Knock on the night of August 21, 1879.

Sister Elma's Mission Shop

Sister Elma, the kind and holy Daughter of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul, who operates the Mission Shop at Knock has very nice Seven Dolours Beads in stock. I had left my own Seven Dolours Beads at home (What was I thinking?) and Sister Elma was quick to remedy the situation. The Rosary of the Seven Dolours is a fitting form of prayer at Knock: a contemplation of the Mystery of the Lamb through the eyes of Our Lady with Saint Joseph and Saint John.

Mary's Tears

The Rosary of the Seven Dolours of the Blessed Virgin Mary is, in effect, a way of holding in one's heart certain events in the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Compassion of His Virgin Mother. The fruits of this particular prayer are compunction of heart, detachment from the occasions of sin, chastity, humility, reparation, compassion, intimacy with the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, and desire to contemplate the Face of Christ. The power of this prayer -- something that many have experienced -- comes from allowing one's own heart to be irrigated and purified by the tears of the Mother of God. The tears of the Sorrowful Mother bring purity and healing wherever they fall.

Here is a method I prepared for saying the Rosary of the Seven Dolours:

About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

Donations for Silverstream Priory