Seven Sorrows of Mary Servite Rosary
Those of us who have a devotion to Mary honor her in different ways. We place roses or light a candle by her statue, Pray Marian novenas, read special books, and teach others about her role in our Christian life. The most popular devotion is, of course, the Rosary. The Rosary is often misunderstood and thought of as praying to and about Our Lady, but it is actually a Christocentric prayer; a prayer that begins and ends with the cross and where we walk through the life of Our Lord with His mother.
Different Marian Devotions
There are chaplets and rosaries other than the Marian Rosary with which we are most familiar. Each offers a different devotion and, because our commitment to Mary is so personal, we each resonate with particular devotions. Some of these prayers include the Franciscan Rosary, Chaplet of the Immaculate Conception, The Brigittine Rosary, The Chaplet of the Ten Virtues of the Virgin Mary, Chaplet for World Peace, and more.
The Servite Rosary
After the traditional Marian Rosary, the Seven Sorrows of Mary Chaplet is the most honored Marian devotion. This chaplet is also known as the Delores Rosary but is most popularly known by the title, Servite Rosary. This devotion calls us to meditate on the seven sorrows of Mary and, as with all devotions, the Servite Rosary has an interesting history.
Origin and History of the Servite Rosary
The history of this rosary begins with the Order of the Servants of Mary, also known as the Servites. This order originated in Monte Senario Italy, on the Feast of the Assumption in 1233. The story is told that seven professional men from Florence were inspired by the spirit of repentance which was common to the Brothers of Penance with whom they were in close contact. It is believed that Mary appeared to these men and asked that they consecrate themselves to her and devote themselves to her service. In 1240, they withdrew from the secular world and turned to lead lives of penance, prayer, and service to Mary.
Florence was a commercial city and because of the busyness around them, they retreated to nearby Monte Senario where they would find quietude. There, Our Lady once again visited them and the Servite Order was then formed.
By 1244, under the direction of Saint Peter of Verona, they began to wear religious habits similar to the Dominicans and lived under the rule of Saint Augustine. The order took on new life and before the end of the 14th century had over 100 convents throughout Europe, India, and Crete. The Servites devoted their prayer to the rosary of the Seven Sorrows.
This chaplet is a humbling prayer. It calls us to meditate on the sorrows and suffering of Our Blessed Mother. Beginning with the unsettling prophecy of Simeon and concluding with the Burial and Death of Jesus, we are given an image of Mary as the suffering mother of Jesus; a vision that will bring us closer to her during difficult times. In this, we come to realize how well she understands our trials and we look to her for comfort which she so lovingly gives.
Seven Sorrows of Mary
The seven sorrows of Mary are:
The prophecy of Simeon (Luke 2:25-35)
The flight into Egypt (Matthew 2:13-15)
Loss of the Child Jesus for three days (Luke 2:41-50)
Mary meets Jesus on his way to Calvary (Luke 23:27-31; John 19:17)
Crucifixion and Death of Jesus (John 19:25-30)
The body of Jesus being taken from the Cross (Psalm 130; Luke 23:50-54; John 19:31-37)
The burial of Jesus (Isaiah 53:8; Luke 23:50-56; John 19:38-42; Mark 15:40-47)