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Our Lady of Sorrows

Devotion to Our Sorrowful Mother

Saint Joseph Marello, founder of he Oblates of St. Joseph, had a great personal devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, especially under the title of Our Lady of the Sorrows. He put the statue of the Sorrowful Mother in the shrine of St. Joseph in Asti, Italy, the first public church of the Oblates of St. Joseph.

On the feast day of Our Lady of Sorrows in 1909, the Oblates of St. Joseph received the canonical approval of the Church as an official religious congregations. That same year the first general council, in a special meeting, entrusted all the vocations of the Oblates to the patronage of Our Lady of Sorrows and made a promise to celebrate her feasts solemnly every year. Since then this feast is celebrated annually in the Seminaries of the Oblates of St. Joseph.

Each year on September 15th, we celebrate a bilingual Mass at 7:00pm in honor of Our Lady of Sorrows with the blessing of pregnant mothers and babies in the womb.


Prayer to Our Lady of Sorrows for Vocations

O Sorrowful Mother of our Redeemer, Queen of vocations, great was the agony you felt at the passion and death of your Son. Much greater is the sorrow you have for the Church founded by our Lord Jesus deprived of ministers who will spread your Son’s message. We beseech you to pray to your Divine Son to send many vocations to serve the Church in the priesthood and religious life, especially in the Oblates of St. Joseph who serve God by imitating your spouse, St. Joseph. Amen.

Seven Sorrows of Our Lady

Opening Meditation

In the Sorrows of the Virgin Mary we see a reflection of the suffering and bitter anguish of the human Christ. Just as Mary accepted the total mystery of Christ into her life, so may we see in our sorrow, our fear, and humiliation, a dim, but real participation in His passion and death, recalling that if we wish to follow Him, we must “take up our cross” each day. Let us pray that we may accept Christ’s call, and become co-sufferers of His passion.

I THE FIRST SORROW: The Prophecy Of Simeon 

Many of us are parents. We know that only by sharing life with God is life fulfilled. That is why we also sense a fear about the future of our loved ones. Simeon’s prophecy was a blessing for all mankind, but foretold grief for you, Mary. Your first sorrow was much more than a parent’s fear.

(One Our Father …. Seven Hail Marys)

II THE SECOND SORROW: The Flight Into Egypt

What can a mother do when the life of her child is threatened? When Herod decreed death for all those innocent children, God warned Joseph. With no time for packing or goodbyes, you escaped into the night. Homeless and tired, with an uncertain future before you, you were secure in nothing but the love of those who needed you.

(One Our Father …. Seven Hail Marys)

III THE THIRD SORROW: The Loss Of Jesus In The Temple

A child is lost. What panic grips the hearts of parents at such a time! They wonder, “Is he safe?” “Will I ever see him again?” And then they imagine things too terrible to express. It was the same for you and Joseph. Mary, for three days you sought Jesus. It took faith to continue the search in the pain of separation.

(One Our Father …. Seven Hail Marys)

IV THE FOURTH SORROW: Mary Meets Jesus On the Way To Calvary

What mother called suddenly to the hospital to see her sick or injured child has not wished: “If only I could suffer instead of you!” But she remains only a spectator. Mary, you saw Jesus beaten and bloody. You felt powerless to help Him, and yet through your love you shared His pain.

(One Our Father …. Seven Hail Marys)

V THE FIFTH SORROW: Jesus Dies On The Cross

It has often been said, “To lose a child is the worst death for a parent to endure.” Mary, in those long hours, at the cross, perhaps your thoughts returned to earlier days. How horrible now to face the reality of death! His breath grew labored. The time had come. Yet He spoke to you and consoled you. In dying he gave life to others and made you mother of all mankind.

(One Our Father …. Seven Hail Marys)

VI THE SIXTH SORROW: Mary Receives The Dead Body of Jesus

He is dead . . . and it hardly seems real. How many of us have paused before the body of a loved one and wondered: “Can this be happening to me?” Death is real, all too real! As you held Jesus in your arms, Mary, you probably wondered as we have, “Is this the end of everything?”

(One Our Father …. Seven Hail Marys)


The garden and the tomb . . . there is something strangely consoling about the burial of Jesus, Mary. Perhaps a flower or blade of grass reminded you of his words “Unless a seed falls to the ground and dies, it cannot produce new life.” It is always difficult to see death and life together, but you continued to believe, hope, and love. His words filled your heart.

(One Our Father …. Seven Hail Marys)

Closing Prayer

Lord God, our Father, from the passion and death of Jesus, shared by the compassion of his Mother, you brought healing to fallen man. Grant that we, your people, may experience this healing and rise from the power of sin to a wholeness of life promised by Jesus, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and forever, AMEN. (Three Hail Marys)