Rosary of the Seven Sorrows

The Rosary of The Seven Sorrows recalls the most significant sorrows Our Lady endured in her life. Praying this Rosary, while meditating on her grief and pain, will lead us to Jesus. The purpose of this Rosary is to promote union with Jesus through union with the sorrows that His Blessed Mother endured.

The Seven Sorrows Rosary has the beads organized into seven sets of seven medals or large beads. A single medal or bead, represents one of The Seven Sorrows. Pray one Our Father on the medal or bead, and seven Hail Marys on the seven beads. The Seven Sorrows Rosary consists of one Our Father and seven Hail Mary for each of The Seven Sorrows.

How to pray the Rosary

  • Sign of the Cross and Initial Prayer (Below)
  • Main Medal – Act of Contrition

1st Sorrow – The Prophecy of Simeon

Our Father and 7 Hail Marys

2nd Sorrow – The Flight into Egypt

Our Father and 7 Hail Marys

3rd Sorrow – The Loss of Child Jesus in the Temple

Our Father and 7 Hail Marys

4th Sorrow – Mary meets Jesus on the Way to Calvary

Our Father and 7 Hail Marys

5th Sorrow – Mary stands at the foot of the Cross

Our Father and 7 Hail Marys

6th Sorrow – Mary receives the body of Jesus from the Cross

Our Father and 7 Hail Marys

7th Sorrow – Jesus is placed in the tomb

Our Father and 7 Hail Marys
  • Last 3 beads – Three Hail Marys in honor of the Tears of Our Most Sorrowful Mother.
  • Final Prayer (Below)
  • 3 times “Most Sorrowful Mother, Pray for us”.
  • Sign of the Cross

Prayers and Meditations

Opening Prayer

O most blessed Virgin, Queen of Martyrs, you stood generously beneath the cross and felt the sword of sorrow pierce your soul. Look now with a mother’s understanding and tenderness, as I kneel before you to commemorate your sorrows, and to present my petition to you with childlike confidence. I beg of you, O Mother, to plead for me with your Son, so to touch his Sacred Heart, that I may obtain my request… (pause to make your request)… For to whom shall I turn in my time of need, if not to you, O Mother of Mercy, who having so deeply drunk the chalice of your Son, can surely tell Him of my needs. Amen.

Act of Contrition

O Mother of Sorrows, how ungrateful have I been in the past to my loving God. Now, I repent, humbly asking pardon for the offence done to God in His infinite goodness, and I resolve by the help of His grace to offend Him no more. Obtain for me that I may live and die in the love of my Lord and share eternally in that glory which He has won for me through His death and resurrection. Amen.

Our Father

Our Father, Who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Hail Mary

Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with thee; Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Closing Prayer

O God, you willed that the life of the Blessed Virgin be marked by the mystery of suffering. Grant that we journey with Her on the way of faith and unite our sufferings to the passion of Christ so that they become occasions of grace and the promise of future resurrection. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Seven Sorrows Meditations

1st Sorrow: The Prophecy of Simeon (click here)

“And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary his mother: Behold this child is set for the fall and for the resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be contradicted; And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that out of many hearts thoughts may be revealed” (Luke 2: 34-35).

Meditation: How great was the shock to Mary’s Heart at hearing the sorrowful words, in which holy Simeon told the bitter Passion and death of her sweet Jesus, since in that same moment she realized in her mind all the insults, blows, and torments which the impious men were to offer to the Redeemer of the world. But a still sharper sword pierced her soul. It was the thought of men’s ingratitude to her beloved Son. Now consider that because of your sins you are unhappily among the ungrateful.


2nd Sorrow: The Flight into Egypt (click here)

“And after they (the wise men) were departed, behold an angel of the Lord appeared in sleep to Joseph, saying: Arise and take the child and His mother and fly into Egypt: and be there until I shall tell thee. For it will come to pass that Herod will seek the child to destroy Him. Who arose and took the child and His mother by night, and retired into Egypt: and He was there until the death of Herod” (Matt. 2: 13-14).

Meditation: Consider the sharp sorrow which Mary felt when, St. Joseph being warned by an angel, she had to flee by night in order to preserve her beloved Child from the slaughter decreed by Herod. What anguish was hers, in leaving Judea, lest she should be overtaken by the soldiers of the cruel king! How great her privations in that long journey! What sufferings she bore in that land of exile, what sorrow amid that people given to idolatry! But consider how often you have renewed that bitter grief of Mary, when your sins have caused her Son to flee from your heart.

3rd Sorrow: The Loss of Child Jesus in the Temple (click here)

“And having fulfilled the days, when they returned, the Child Jesus remained in Jerusalem; and His parents knew it not. And thinking that he was in the company, they came a day’s journey, and sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. And not finding Him, they returned into Jerusalem, seeking Him” (Luke 2: 43-45).

Meditation: How dread was the grief of Mary, when she saw that she had lost her beloved Son! And as if to increase her sorrow, when she sought Him diligently among her kinsfolk and acquaintance, she could hear no tidings of Him. No hindrances stayed her, nor weariness, nor danger; but she forthwith returned to Jerusalem, and for three long days sought Him sorrowing. Great be your confusion, O my soul, who has so often lost your Jesus by your sins, and has given no heed to seek Him at once, a sign that you make very little or no account of the precious treasure of divine love.

4th Sorrow: Mary meets Jesus on the Way to Calvary (click here)

“And there followed Him a great multitude of people, and of women, who bewailed and lamented Him” (Luke 23: 27).

Meditation: Come sinners, come and see if you can endure so sad sight. This Mother, so tender and loving, meets her beloved Son, meets Him amid an impious rabble, who drag Him to a cruel death, wounded, torn by stripes, crowned with thorns, streaming with blood, bearing His heavy cross. Ah, consider, my soul, the grief of the blessed Virgin thus beholding her Son! Who would not weep at seeing this Mother’s grief? But who has been the cause of such woe? I, it is I, who with my sins have so cruelly wounded the heart of my sorrowing Mother! And yet I am not moved; I am as a stone, when my heart should break because of my ingratitude.

5th Sorrow: Mary stands at the foot of the Cross (click here)

“They crucified Him. Now there stood by the cross of Jesus, His Mother. When Jesus therefore had seen His Mother and the disciple standing whom he loved, He saith to His Mother: Woman: behold thy son. After that he saith to the disciple: Behold thy Mother” (John 19: 18, 25-27).

Meditation: Look, devout soul, look to Calvary, whereon are raised two altars of sacrifice, one on the body of Jesus, the other on the heart of Mary. Sad is the sight of that dear Mother drowned in a sea of woe, seeing her beloved Son, part of her very self, cruelly nailed to the shameful tree of the cross. Ah me! how every blow of the hammer, how every stripe which fell on the Savior’s form, fell also on the disconsolate spirit of the Virgin. As she stood at the foot of the cross, pierced by the sword of sorrow, she turned her eyes on Him, until she knew that He lived no longer and had resigned His spirit to His Eternal Father. Then her own soul was like to have left the body and joined itself to that of Jesus.

6th Sorrow: Mary receives the body of Jesus taken from the Cross (click here)

“Joseph of Arimathea, a noble counselor, came and went in boldly to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. And Joseph buying fine linen, and taking Him down, wrapped Him up in the fine linen” (Mark 15: 43-46).

Meditation: Consider the most bitter sorrow which rent the soul of Mary, when she saw the dead body of her dear Jesus on her knees, covered with blood, all torn with deep wounds. O mournful Mother, a bundle of myrrh, indeed, is thy Beloved to thee. Who would not pity thee? Whose heart would not be softened, seeing affliction which would move a stone? Behold John not to be comforted, Magdalen and the other Mary in deep affliction, and Nicodemus, who can scarcely bear her sorrow.

7th Sorrow: Jesus is placed in the tomb (click here)

“Now there was in the place where He was crucified, a garden; and in the garden a new sepulcher, wherein no man yet had been laid. There, therefore, because of the habits of the Jews, they laid Jesus, because the sepulcher was nigh at hand” (John 19: 41-42).

Meditation: Consider the sighs which burst from Mary’s sad heart when she saw her beloved Jesus laid within the tomb. What grief was hers when she saw the stone lifted to cover that sacred tomb! She gazed a last time on the lifeless body of her Son, and could scarce detach her eyes from those gaping wounds. And when the great stone was rolled to the door of the sepulcher, oh, then indeed her heart seemed torn from her body!