There were seven sorrowful events that the Blessed Virgin Mary experienced, which is why we also call her Our Lady of Sorrows or Our Lady of Compassion (because compassion means “to suffer with”). Each one of those events involved Mary suffering for Jesus’ sake. Sometime during the 11th century, Catholics began to set aside a day devoted to mediating on these seven events. It became an official feast day in 1482, and we now call it the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows.
1. Simeon’s prophesy that Mary’s would be “pierced with a sword” (Luke 2:35)
2. The flight into Egypt (Matthew 2:13)
3. “Losing” Jesus in Jerusalem when He was 12 years old (Luke 2:48)
4. Meeting Jesus on His way to Calvary
5. Standing at the foot of the Cross with Jesus (John 19:25)
6. Jesus being taken down from the Cross
7. Jesus’s burial.
It might seem odd to “celebrate” seven sorrowful occasions with a feast, but if you stop and think about each one of them, you will see that each of them is an opportunity for Jesus to be glorified. For your feast today, make a heart-shaped cake using your favorite recipe (or a mix), frost it anyway you like, and then piece it with a “sword.” I used our bread knife, wrapping the wooden handle in aluminum to look like a sword handle, and then I inserted it into the cake at an angle. Alternatively, you could bake heart-shaped cookies and then cut out small sword shapes out of aluminum foil and place one on each cookie (remove before eating).
Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us!
More reading for parents:
Prayers to Our Lady of Sorrows