Rosary of our
Sorrowful Mother

Reflections by Father Gerald Fitzgerald, s.P. as prayed
with the Handmaids of the Precious Blood on November 7
th, 1948

Black iron sculpture of Mary kissing the hand of the dead Christ.

Opening Prayer: Oh Lord Jesus, at first sight it seems strange that You, a God of joy, should have willed that Your sinless Mother should have to participate in sorrow, for there was nothing but joy in You and there was nothing but joy in Your Mother’s Heart. Grant us the grace to walk these sorrows with an open heart.

Ceramic depiction of the first Sorrow; Simeon's Prophecy
First Sorrow: Simeon’s Prophecy

That morning, as Mary brought Jesus to the Temple, I am sure that He cuddled very close to her heart. With Simeon’s prophecy, Mary knew that the perfection of her happiness would involve a participation in the Passion of her Son, that she would someday see this little Son of hers lifted up to the sky, riveted to the Cross by harsh, unyielding nails. O Jesus, give us the grace to accept even in anticipation the sorrows, trials and difficulties of religious life. Let us offer our souls to You, beloved Jesus, that when sorrow comes to us in Your service, we shall accept it, thinking of our souls as so many shields through which sorrow must pierce before it pierces Your Mother’s heart.

One Our Father and Seven Hail Marys

Second Sorrow: Flight Into Egypt
Ceramic of Flight to Egypt

How swiftly, without hesitation, Joseph and Mary departed for Egypt. They left everything behind rather than endanger the life of the Christ Child. Oh my daughters, learn to take swift flight from the danger of hurting Jesus by sin, of losing the possession of God. Whenever your conscience whispers to you, “This is displeasing to Jesus,” flee! If Jesus goes with you, what have you lost? Nothing, for He IS your All.

One Our Father and Seven Hail Marys

Ceramic of Mary and Joseph asking lame man in temple if he has seen Jesus
Third Sorrow: Loss of Jesus in the Temple

That night, dear Jesus, when the temple grew hushed and all the lights were dimmed, surely You were anticipating Your Eucharistic life. You missed the company of Mary and Joseph. We find consolation in Your desire for our company. Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament will be alone tonight in a thousand churches. He is in love with us; we must learn to never leave our Lover alone.

One Our Father and Seven Hail Marys

Fourth Sorrow: Mary meets Jesus on the Way of the Cross
Mary meets Jesus on Way of Cross

When Mary lifted her eyes to meet the eyes of Divine Mercy, then came her supreme challenge. Her Son, crowned with thorns, robed in pain and sorrow, with a face streaming with Blood, was watching her, looking into her souls for confirmation. And she complied: Behold the Handmaid of the Lord. The same will be true in your lives. There will be a day when the eyes of Jesus Christ will look into your soul in a moment of supreme anguish to see whether or not you have the strength of soul to say with the Mother of God: Behold the Handmaids of the Precious Blood.

One Our Father and Seven Hail Marys

Jesus dies on the Cross
Fifth Sorrow: Jesus Dies On the Cross

We must understand our vocation. We are the blood corpuscles of the Precious Blood. We are to carry the grace of God - the merciful, forgiving, sanctifying grace of God - to the souls of men. Oh my God, if we are to participate in Your vocation, there is only one place where we should perfectly at home on earth, and that place is at the foot of the Cross with Your Blessed Mother.

One Our Father and Seven Hail Marys

Sixth Sorrow: Mary Receives the dead Body of Jesus
Ceramic Jesus placed in Mary's arms

I sometimes wonder which was the sharpest sorrow to Our Lady’s Heart. We might think it was while standing at the foot of the Cross, but the act of dying is not so great a grief as death. With death comes a finality of loss. Why is it so difficult to persuade men and women to exchange time for eternity? Dear children, try to exchange every penny of every moment of your lives for immortal souls. Never hesitate to give your time for the salvation of souls. This is divine wisdom.

One Our Father and Seven Hail Marys

Jesus entombed.
Seventh Sorrow: Jesus is laid in the tomb

Let us be anxious, dear daughters, to put our arms about our Mother and say, “O Mother of God, help me not to be disturbed by the sorrows God places in my life, but rather be glad. Every true religious should be a princess of the sorrows of the Mother of God, and thus by her sorrows and the Blood of Jesus, we shall be lead by them into the happiness that God has prepared for those that truly love Him. We thank you, dear Mother, for all you have borne in union with your Son. Secure for us the grace of a more constant remembrance of your sufferings.

One Our Father and Seven Hail Marys

Closing Prayer: O Lord Jesus, only in eternity will we begin to comprehend the mystery of Your sufferings. Help us to fulfill the longing of Your Heart: that we stay at the foot of the Cross and console Your Mother.

Three Hail Marys: In honor of the Tears of Our Sorrowful Mother

A Handmaids prays on the special rosary.

Our Father Hail Mary Gloria For the intention of the Holy Father