The Rosary of the Seven Sorrows is prayed to the Virgin Mary.
The Rosary of the Seven Sorrows is prayed to the Virgin Mary.

The Rosary of the Seven Sorrows, also known as the Sorrowful Rosary, is prayed to the Virgin Mary. It is one of the rosaries that fulfills the Catholic Church’s requirements for indulgence, or forgiveness of sins. It was established as an indulgence in 1942. (See Reference 1) The introductory prayers of each section describe one of the Seven Sorrows of Mary that you should meditate on as you pray for forgiveness of your sins. September 15 is the feast day of the Seven Sorrows. (See Reference 1)

Bless yourself by making the sign of the cross over your body while reciting, “In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.” This is the Catholic beginning of any prayer.

Recite the introductory prayer to the Seven Sorrows. “O God, come to my assistance. O Lord, make haste to help us. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, now and forever. Amen.” (See Reference 2)

Pray on the first sorrow of Mary. “I grieve with you, O Mary most sorrowful, in the affliction of your tender heart at the prophecy of holy and aged Simeon and Anna when you presented your precious infant Jesus in the Temple. Dear Mother, by your Immaculate Heart so afflicted, obtain for me the virtue of humility and the gift of holy fear of God forever.” (See Reference 2)

Pray the “Our Father,” “Hail Mary,” and “Glory Be.” Recite the prayers in this order after the meditation and recitation of each sorrow. (See reference 2)

Meditate on the second sorrow of Mary. “I grieve with you, O Mary most sorrowful, in the anguish of your most loving, Immaculate Heart, during your flight with your Infant Jesus and Saint Joseph into Egypt, and during your sojourn there. Dear Mother, by your Immaculate Heart so troubled, obtain for me the virtue of generosity, especially toward the poor, and the gift of piety.” (See Reference 2). Repeat the prayers of the “Our Father,” “Hail Mary,” and “Glory Be.”

Pray the third sorrow. “I grieve with you, O Mary most sorrowful, in those anxieties which tried your troubled Immaculate Heart at the loss of your dear Son Jesus during the three days when He was an adolescent. Dear Mother, by your Immaculate Heart so full of anguish, obtain for me the virtue of chastity and the gift of knowledge.” (See Reference 2) Repeat the prayers of the “Our Father,” “Hail Mary,” and “Glory Be.”

Recite the fourth sorrow of the Virgin Mary. “I grieve with you, O Mary most sorrowful, in the pain of your Immaculate Heart at meeting Jesus as He carried His cross. Dear Mother, by your Immaculate Heart so troubled, obtain for me the virtue of patience and the gift of fortitude.” (See Reference 2) Repeat the prayers of the “Our Father,” “Hail Mary,” and “Glory Be.”

Pray the fifth sorrow of the Blessed Mother. “I grieve with you, O Mary most sorrowful, in the martyrdom which your generous Immaculate Heart endured as you stood near Jesus during His crucifixion. Dear Mother, by your afflicted Immaculate Heart, obtain for me the virtue of temperance and the gift of counsel.” (See Reference 2) Repeat the prayers of the “Our Father,” “Hail Mary,” and “Glory Be.”

Meditate on the sixth sorrow of Mary. “I grieve with you, O Mary most sorrowful, in the wounding of your compassionate Immaculate Heart, when the side of Jesus was struck by the lance before His body was removed from the cross. Dear Mother, by your Immaculate Heart thus transfixed, obtain for me the virtue of fraternal charity and the gift of understanding.” (See Reference 2) Repeat the prayers of the “Our Father,” “Hail Mary,” and “Glory Be.”

Recite the seventh and final sorrow of Mary. “I grieve with you, O Mary most sorrowful, for the pangs that wrenched your most loving Immaculate Heart at the burial of Jesus. Dear Mother, by your Immaculate Heart, sunk in the bitterness of desolation, obtain for me the virtue of diligence and the gift of wisdom.” (See Reference 2) Repeat the prayers of the “Our Father,” “Hail Mary,” and “Glory Be.”

Recite the closing prayer of the Rosary of the Seven Sorrows. “Let us pray. May the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Your Mother, Whose most holy soul was pierced by a sword of sorrow in the hour of You bitter passion be made for us, We beseech You, O Lord Jesus Christ, now and at the hour of our death, before the Throne of Your Mercy. Through You, O Jesus Christ, Savior of the world, who with the Father and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns world without end. Amen.” (See Reference 2.)

Again make the sign of the cross over your body while reciting, “In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.” This opening to moments of prayer also serves as the closing in the Catholic faith.