Saturday, March 31, 2018

Our Lady on Holy Saturday

Come, all who pass by the way, pay attention and see ...

Holy Saturday is traditionally kept in company with Our Lady - or at least devotions to Our Lady of Sorrows, Our Lady of Solitude, are piously kept. The image shown here is the beautiful Nuestra Senora de la Soledad de Manilla. There are many variations of NS Soledad, this one is especially charming.

Italians also have a special devotion to l'Addolorata, Our Lady of Sorrows. Frequently - usually - the Madonna is shown weeping, her heart pierced with seven swords representing the seven sorrows foretold by the prophet Simeon. It is a lovely practice to keep Our Lady company in this way.

However, knowing what she knew, Our Lady's sorrows were not isolated from Our Lord's. She suffered the opposition of sinners with him, sharing his shame. It seems to me the devotion to the Sorrowful Mother is for our consolation, more or less. Our Lady suffered with Jesus - her suffering is/was co-redemptive. Her silent, loving 'action' on Holy Saturday was not forlorn. She knew by faith that he descended among the dead, and was at work even then/now. She knew by faith that in three days he would rise again.

These thoughts permit one a different perspective. Considering the mystery in a new way, somehow I think we might come to understand that what we see in the Virgin may be our own fears and sorrows reflected, which in her mother's love, she assuages. I may be wrong, or just old, but it occurred to me that Our Lady's sadness isn't meant to guilt us or make us feel bad about ourselves, but rather it is the first glimmer of hope, before the joy of Easter. While her solitude is a sober reminder of how sin separates us from the love of God. Therefore we are moved to deeper sorrow for our sins and the sins of others and making reparation is our attempt to console Our Lady. She is there, as it were, willing to receive all our fears and sorrows - she shares them - in other words she compassionates them. The more our love prompts us to 'take pity' on our Mother of Sorrows, the more she in turn prepares us to comprehend the depths of Divine Mercy and Love.

Anyway, I might be wrong. One thing for sure, if Christ seems silent and hidden, our Sorrowful Mother is near, watching and waiting, loving and praying with us.

Remember, today is the second day of the Novena to Divine Mercy. If you have started it, begin today.


  1. Last night Father said the Sorrowful Mother wants her baby boy back. The icon depicts her without Him, her empty hands ready to hold Him.

  2. I read the last page of the Bible so I know everything will turn out OK :) In the meantime Our Lady is sad that sinners don't know her Son.

    In your charity please pray for my DIL's sister who will be Confirmed and receive her First Holy Communion tonight! Her confirmation name is Therese after the Little Flower! It's been a long long road to Rome for her - to say I am excited is an understatement!


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