Skip to content
Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

Our Lady of Sorrows teaches us all True Compassion

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes
'To stand there weeping, yet with the faith that knows that, in her Son, God transfigures pain and suffering and triumphs over death.'

At Slovakia's national Catholic shrine on Wednesday, Pope Francis said that Our Lady of Sorrows is a model of how to live the faith with compassion and care for the suffering.

Highlights

By Hannah Brockhaus (CNA)
Catholic News Agency (www.catholicnewsagency.com)
9/15/2021 (1 month ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Our Lady of Sorrows, Pope Francis

"Mary, Mother of Sorrows, remains at the foot of the Cross. She simply stands there. She does not run away, or try to save herself, or find ways to alleviate her grief," the pope said during Mass on Sept. 15, the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows.

"Here," he said, "is the proof of true compassion: to remain standing beneath the Cross. To stand there weeping, yet with the faith that knows that, in her Son, God transfigures pain and suffering and triumphs over death."

On the final day of his visit to Slovakia, Pope Francis offered the live-streamed Mass outside the country's National Shrine of Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows in the young town of SaStin. According to local authorities, around 60,000 people attended the Mass.

Francis, who himself has a special devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows, said in his homily: "In contemplating the Sorrowful Mother, may we too open our hearts to a faith that becomes compassion, a faith that identifies with those who are hurting, suffering and forced to bear heavy crosses."

The basilica in SaStin was built to honor the image of Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows, a figure so important to the people of Slovakia that Pope Pius XI declared her the country's patroness in 1927.

The image of the Virgin Mary has also attracted pilgrim visitors such as Mother Teresa and St. John Paul II. The Polish pope offered Mass for 200,000 people in front of the basilica on July 1, 1995, during the second of the three trips he made to Slovakia as pope.

Pope Francis began his first visit to the Catholic-majority country on Sept. 12, after spending most of the day in Budapest, Hungary, where he celebrated the closing Mass of the 52nd International Eucharistic Congress and met Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.

In Slovakia, he met political authorities, bishops, religious, and priests in the capital city of Bratislava. He also visited a center for the poor and homeless run by the Missionaries of Charity in one of the city's most impoverished suburbs.

The pope later met with young people, celebrated a Byzantine Divine Liturgy, and spoke to the minority Roma community in the Lunik IX ghetto in eastern Slovakia.

In his homily on Sept. 15, Francis urged Slovakians to follow the example of Mary when she visited her pregnant cousin Elizabeth, living their faith as a mission to be carried out.

"For you, the Slovakian people, the Blessed Virgin is a model of faith: a faith that involves journeying, a faith inspired by simple and sincere devotion, a constant pilgrimage to seek the Lord," he said.

BOGO 50% off Face Mask with Cross

"In making this journey, you overcome the temptation to a passive faith, content with this or that ritual or ancient tradition," the pope continued. "Instead, you leave yourselves behind and set out, carrying in your backpacks the joys and sorrows of this life, and thus make your life a pilgrimage of love towards God and your brothers and sisters."

"Thank you for this witness. And please, persevere on this journey. Do not stop," he said, to an outbreak of applause.

Pope Francis also said that the "faith cannot be reduced to a sweetener to make life more palatable," urging Slovakian Catholics to not remain lukewarm about Jesus and to be "signs of contradiction" within the world.

Slovakia needs "Christians who can demonstrate the beauty of the Gospel by the way they live," he said. "Christians who are weavers of dialogue where hostility is growing; models of fraternal life where society is experiencing tension and hostility; bringers of the sweet fragrance of hospitality and solidarity where personal and collective selfishness too often prevails, protectors and guardians of life where the culture of death reigns."

"In contemplating the Sorrowful Virgin Mary, may we too open our hearts to a faith that becomes compassion, a faith that identifies with those who are hurting, suffering, and forced to bear heavy crosses," he said.

"A faith that does not remain abstract, but becomes incarnate in fellowship with those in need," he concluded. "A faith that imitates God's way of doing things, quietly relieves the suffering of our world and waters the soil of history with salvation."

"Dear brothers and sisters, may the Lord always preserve in you wonderment and gratitude for the great gift of faith. And may Mary Most Holy obtain for you the grace of a faith that ever sets out anew, is deeply prophetic and abounds in compassion."

Before Mass, Pope Francis prayed with Slovakia's bishops inside the basilica, reciting a prayer of entrustment to Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows.

"Mother of the Church, Consoler of the Afflicted, with confidence we turn to you, in the joys and struggles of our ministry," they prayed. "Look upon us with tenderness and open your arms to embrace us."

"Queen of the Apostles, Refuge of Sinners, you know our human limitations, our spiritual failings, our sorrow in the face of loneliness and abandonment: with your gentle touch heal our wounds."

"In this Eucharist, I gave thanks to God for having allowed me to come among you and to conclude my pilgrimage in the devoted embrace of your people, celebrating together the great religious and national feast of your Patroness, the Virgin Mother of Sorrows."



"I am grateful to all who, in different ways, have cooperated in this pilgrimage, above all by their prayers," he said. "I carry you in my heart."

---

Founded in continued response to Pope John Paul IIs call for a New Evangelization, the Catholic News Agency (CNA) has been, since 2004, one of the fastest growing Catholic news providers to the English speaking world.

Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.



Catholic Online Caskets

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2021 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2021 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter!