The devotion to the Sorrows of Our lady first appears towards the beginning of the fourteenth century, originating in the Dominican Order and advocated by Henry Suso and other Rhenish mystics. It spread throughout the Church and reached its present form in 1482. Our Lady’s Seven Sorrows are:
1. The prophecy of Simeon (Lk 2:34-35)
2. The flight into Egypt (Mt 2:13-21)
3. The loss of the Boy Jesus (Lk 2:41-50)
4. The way of the Cross (Jn 19:17)
5. The crucifixion and death of Jesus (Jn 19:18-30 )
6. Jesus taken down from the cross (Jn 19:38 )
7. Jesus laid in the tomb (Jn 19:42)
According to Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Christ revealed to Saint Elizabeth of Hungary four special graces that would be given to those who are devoted to the Seven Sorrows:
1. That those who before death invoke the Blessed Mother in the name of her Seven Sorrows, would obtain true repentance of all their sins.
2. That He would protect in their trials all who remember this devotion, and that He would protect them especially at the hour of death.
3. That He would impress upon their minds the rememberance of His Passion, and that they would have their reward in Heaven.
4. That He would commit such devout souls into the hands of the Blessed Virgin, so that she might obtain for them all the graces she wishes to lavish on them.
Most important of all, a meditation on the Seven Sorrows is a way of sharing in them along side Our Lady. As we pray the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be for each of the sorrows we ponder the pain she endured along with Jesus her Son and we become united to them in offering them to the Father for the benefit of all Humanity. We also become aware of the effects of our own sins, which can lead us to repentance and the freedom of forgiveness and a new life in Christ.