The Servite Rosary

About the Servite Rosary

"Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Look and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow?" (John 19:31-34; Lamentations 1:12) .

The Friar Servants of Mary (known as Servites) began praying the Rosary of the Seven Sorrows of Mary in the 13th century. It is a Rosary that seeks to share and meditate on the suffering of Mary in union with Her Divine Son, Jesus. There are various forms of this Rosary, but they all consist of the same Seven Sorrows of Our Lady. 

The Rosary begins with an act of contrition, and (either at the beginning or at the end) 3 Hail Mary's are prayed in honor of the tears of Our Sorrowful Mother. At each mystery, 1 Our Father and 7 Hail Mary's are prayed. 

 The Rosary of the Seven Sorrows dates back to the Middle Ages, gaining new popularity following the Marian apparitions in Kibeho, which have been approved by the Catholic Church. 

Marian Apparition at Kibeho

During Mary's apparitions to Marie-Claire Mukangango, she assigned the young visionary a mission to reintroduce this special rosary to the world. Before her untimely death, Marie Claire did just that, traveling widely to teach it to thousands of people, who then taught it to thousands of others. (Marie-Claire was killed in the genocide of over a million people in Rwanda, a tragedy that was foretold through visions of rivers of blood that the young people in Kibeho received several years before the killings.)

 How to pray the Rosary of the Seven Sorrows 

 1. An Act of Contrition: 

 O, my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, behold me before your divine presence, all in confusion at the thought of the many grievous injuries I have done you. I ask pardon for them with my whole heart, repenting of them for love of you, hating them above every other evil and ready to lose my life rather than offend you again. And do you, most tender Virgin, mother of mercy and refuge of sinners, obtain for me the pardon of all my sins by virtue of your bitter pains and help me to so pray as to gain the indulgences attached to this, your most holy Rosary. Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in them the fire of you divine love. Send forth you spirit and they shall be created and you shall renew the face of the earth. Enlighten our minds , we beseech you, O Lord, with the light of your brightness, that we might see what we ought to do and be able to do what is right, through Christ, Our Lord. 

 2. Announce the First Sorrow; 

then say the “Our Father.” 

 3. Say seven “Hail Marys,” while meditating on the Sorrow. 

 4. Repeat 1 and 2 continuing through all seven Sorrows. 

 5. Three “Hail Marys” are said at the end in honor of the Tears of Our Sorrowful Mother. 

6. Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be to the Father, for the intention of the Pope. 

7. Say “Virgin most Sorrowful, pray for us” three times. Meditate on the following while reciting the prayers: 

Mary Meets Jesus on the Way of the Cross

The Fourth Sorrow: Mary meets Jesus on the way to Calvary 

 (Luke 23:27-31) 

Mary meets Jesus on the way to Calvary- As Jesus makes his way to Calvary, condemned to crucifixion, He meets His mother, Mary. He is bruised, derided, cursed and defiled and her sorrow is absolute as Jesus drags His own cross up the hill of His crucifixion.

Mary Stands at the Foot of the Cross

The Fifth Sorrow: Mary stands at the foot of the Cross 

(John 19:25-27) 

Mary stands near her dying Son unable to minister to him as he cries “I thirst”. She hears him promise heaven to a thief and forgive his enemies. His last words, “Behold your mother,” charge us to look on Mary as our mother.

Mary receives her sons body

The Sixth Sorrow: Mary receives the body of Jesus 

(John 19:38-40) 

Mary received the body of Jesus taken down from the cross-The passion and death are over but for his mother, grief continues. She holds His body in her arms.

Jesus body is placed in the tomb

The Seventh Sorrow: Jesus is placed in the tomb 

(John 19:41-42) 

Mary places the body of Jesus in the tomb, awaiting the resurrection- The most tragic day in history ends, Mary alone in sorrow, as she lays the body of her Son, in the tomb.