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Mary's Sorrow: Lenten Devotions

Thursday, April 21

“Stabat Mater” is a 13th-century hymn that can also be read as a beautiful poem about Mary and her suffering leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion. It was written in Latin, but its English translation is often sung in connection with Stations of the Cross during Lent.

Cross and cloudy sky 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
Now at length the sword has passed;

O, how sad and sore depressed
Was that Mother highly blessed
Of the sole begotten One;

Christ above in torment hangs
She beneath beholds the pangs
Of her dying, glorious Son;

Is there one who would not weep,
Overwhelmed in miseries so deep
Christ’s dear Mother to behold.

Can the human heart refrain
From partaking in her pain
In that Mother’s pain untold?

Bruised, derided, cursed, defiled
She beheld her tender Child
All with bloody scourges rent.

For the sins of His own nation
Save Him hang in desolation
Till His spirit forth he sent.

O sweet Mother! Fount of Love,
Touch my spirit from above
Make my heart with yours accord.

Make me feel as You have felt
Make my soul to glow and melt
With the love of Christ, my Lord.

Click here for the full text and original Latin.

Are you moved thinking about what Mary must have gone through? Each of us has pain and suffering in our lives—the loss of a loved one, illness, disability, financial hardship. Think about those last days of Jesus, and think about what he offered us in return for his suffering. “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails” (Proverbs 19:21).

Scott Bleggi is senior international policy analyst for hunger and nutrition for Bread for the World Institute.

Photo credit: ManonManon

 

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