Stabat Mater Dolorosa
Beginning on the crucifix, pray Hail Mary. Recite one stanza (below)
on each bead. Conclude with Our Father.
This chaplet commemorates the ten stanzas of this traditional Lenten hymn with ten
At the cross her station keeping,
Stood the mournful Mother weeping,
Close to Jesus to the last:
Through her heart, His sorrow sharing,
All His bitter anguish bearing,
Lo! the piercing sword had passed!
O how sad, and sore distressed,
Now was she, that Mother Blessed
Of the Sole-begotten One;
Woe-begone, with heart's prostration,
Mother meek, the bitter Passion
Saw she of her glorious son
Who could mark, from tears refraining,
Christ's dear Mother uncomplaining,
In so great a sorrow bowed?
Who, unmoved, behold her languish
Underneath His Cross of anguish,
'Mid the fierce, unpitying crowd?
For His people's sins rejected,
She her Jesus, unprotected,
Saw with thorns, with scourges rent;
Saw her Son from judgment taken,
Her beloved in death forsaken,
Till His Spirit forth He sent.
Fount of love and holy sorrow,
Mother! may my spirit borrow
Somewhat of thy woe profound;
Unto Christ, with pure emotion,
Raise my contrite heart's devotion,
Love to read in every Wound.
Those five Wounds on Jesus smitten,
Mother! in my heart be written,
Deep as in thine won they be:
Thou, my Savior's cross who bearest,
Thou, thy Son's rebuke who sharest,
Let me share them both with thee!
In the Passion of my Maker
Be my sinful soul partaker,
Weep till death, and weep with thee;
Mine with thee be that sad station,
There to watch the great Salvation
Wrought upon the atoning Tree.
Virgin thou of virgins fairest,
May the bitter woe thou sharest
Make on me impression deep:
Thus Christ's dying may I carry,
With Him in His Passion tarry,
And His wounds in memory keep.
May His Wounds transfix me wholly,
May His Cross and Life Blood holy
Ebriate my heart and mind;
Thus inflamed with pure affection,
In the Virgin's Son protection
May I at the judgment find.
When in death my limbs are failing,
Let Thy Mother's prayer prevailing
Lift me, Jesus! to Thy throne;
To my parting soul be given
Entrance through the gate of Heaven,
There confess me for Thine own.
Christians of the 20th century can truly identify with Our Lady's experience of
Sorrow. The message of the
focuses on the spiritual and emotional bond which unites Mary and all Christians to the death of her
Son on the Cross. From this bond, each Christian can recognize the incredible compassion and holiness
in Mary's character. The Blessed Mother demonstrated her maternal compassion to all generations of
Christians by her presence and participation with her Son Jesus in the Sacrifice of the Cross.
There is a mother - son bond that unites Mary with Christ Jesus during his experience of suffering and
death. This empathetic bond indicates that Our Lady shared in her Son's suffering. Mary is Our Lady of
Sorrows precisely because her Son Christ Jesus bore the sins of the world during his passion and
death. As the faithful disciple, Our Blessed Mother invites us to unite our personal suffering with
her own. We can share in Jesus' burden on the Cross, just as Mary did at Calvary.
As Our Lady of Sorrows, Mary also reminds us that Christians are called to expiate for his or her own
sins and the sins of their neighbors, and the sins of the world.. We can share in the bond between the
Blessed Mother and Our Lord through fasting, prayer, and contrition for sin. Our Lady of Sorrows
teaches us that the Crown of eternal life in Heaven can be reached when we each choose to share with
Our Lord in His suffering and death on the Cross at Calvary.
The compassion of Mary is part of the mystery of the Church community's sharing in and offering in the
Sacrifice of Jesus for the salvation of the world. Each member of the Church has a role to play in
redeeming the world. Our Lady of Sorrows is a guide who inspires and teaches us how to be
Now that we have explored some of the contemporary meaning of the
, let us summarize the hymn's important history. Tradition has identified the hymn with St.
Bonaventure, Jacopone da Todi, and Pope Innocent II. A notable number of scholars point to da Todi as
author, since two 14th century codices and the 1495 edition of the sequence attribute the hymn's
authorship to him. While it cannot be denied that the composition's general tone and sensitivity
parallel that of da Todi's poems, strictly stylistic comparisons yield but uncertain and even
disputable results. Recent scholars like L. Russo and M. Cassella are not impressed by the arguments
in favor of Jacopone's authorship. The
has two qualities that most scholars date from the 12th century: an intricate rhyme scheme and a
regular meter (usually trochaic).
was introduced into the Liturgy gradually until 1727 when it was prescribed as a Sequence for Mass of
the Seven Sorrows of Mary on September 15 and on Friday before Holy Week, as well as their
corresponding offices. The
has been retained as an optional Sequence for September 15 in the reformed Roman Missal and as the
hymn for the Office of Readings, Morning Prayer, and Evening Prayer in the new Liturgy of Hours. The
popularity is reflected by its use in the popular devotion of the Stations of the Cross.
Its Place in Music
During the 16th century, the sequence motet was a favorite form among important
musical composers. The
was frequently given elaborate polyphonic settings. A model of such settings is Palestrina's famous
which employs two choruses and combines several couplets to suggest larger musical units within the
total composition. During the 17th and 18th centuries, the
inspired large works for chorus and orchestra. The hymn's text was divided into a number of autonomous
and differentiated movements. Compostions of this type were those of Seffani, A. Scarlatti, Pergolesi,
Boccherini, and F.J. Haydn. During the 19th century, the popularity of the
text is evident by its place in the work of Verdi, Rossini, Schubert, and A. Dvorak.
The Marian Library/International
Marian Research Institute
Estaba la Dolorosa,
al pie de la Cruz, llorosa,
donde pendía el Hijo.
Su alma gemía de dolor
y una espada traspasó
su pecho afligido.
¡Cuán triste e inconsolable
quedó esta bendita Madre
del Hijo Unigénito!
¡Como se dolía María
mientras las penas veía
de su primogénito!
¿Quién podría sin llorar
a esta Madre contemplar
en tanto tormento?
¿Y quién no se entristeciera,
Madre piadosa, si viera
Por los pecados del mundo,
vio a Jesús en tan profundo
suplicio y flagelo.
Vio a su Hijo dulce y amado
ir muriendo desolado,
sin ningún consuelo.
¡Oh Madre, fuente de amor!,
haz que sienta tu dolor
y llore contigo.
Haz que arda mi corazón
amando a Cristo, mi Dios,
mi divino amigo.
En mi alma, Madre, te ruego
que imprimas a sangre y fuego
las llagas de tu Hijo.
Haz que comparta las penas
que el alma de Cristo llenan
en el Crucifijo.
Deja que contigo llore
mientras viva, los dolores
de Cristo sufriente.
Junto a la Cruz del amado
quiero estar siempre a tu lado
y llorar su muerte
No rechaces lo que pido
déjame llorar contigo
Virgen clara y santa.
Haz que lleve en mí la muerte
de Jesús y que su suerte
y llagas comparta.
Que con sus llagas sea herido
y me embriague la Cruz, pido
por amor a Tu Hijo.
Que inflamado y encendido
Por Ti sea defendido
en el día del juicio
En la hora de mi partida
dame Jesús, por María,
lo que más preciso:
cuando mi cuerpo esté muerto,
lleva mi alma al dulce puerto
que es tu paraíso. Amén.