The "venerable" Pope Innocent XI., desirous that all faithful Christians should often call to mind the bitter sorrow endured by most holy Mary whilst she stood beneath the cross of her divine Son Jesus, entreating her through that great sorrow of hers to obtain for them spiritual favours in their life and in their death, - granted, by his Brief, Commissae nobis, of Sept. 1, 1681 -
An indulgence of 100 days to all the faithful every time that, in honour of the sorrow of the B. V. Mary, they devoutly say the sequence or hymn Stabat Mater; a hymn which, * though not composed by St. Gregory the Great or St. Bonaventure, as some suppose, yet acknowledges for its author the learned Pope Innocent III., as attested by many writers of great authority.

* Benedict XIV. on the Feasts of our Lord and B.V.M. Part ii. cap. iv. 1, at the end.

Stabat Mater dolorosa
Juxta crucem lacrymosa
Dum pendebat Filius.

Cujus animam gementern,
Contristatam et dolentem,
Pertransivit gladius.

O quam tristis et afflicta
Fuit illa benedicta
Mater Unigeniti!

Quae moerebat, et dolebat,
Illa Mater dum videbat
Nati poenas incliti.

Quis est homo qui non fleret,
Matrem Christi si videret
In tanto supplicio?

Quis non posset contristari
Christi Matrem contemplari
Dolentem cum Filio.

Pro peceatis suae gentis
Vidit Jesum in tormentis,
Et flagellis subditum.

Visit suum dulcem Natum
Moriendo desolatum,
Dum emisit Spiritum.

Eja Mater, fons amoris,
Me sentire vim doloris
Fac, ut tecum lugeam.

Fac, ut ardeat cor meum
In amando Christum Deum,
Ut sibi complaceam.

Sancta Mater istud agas,
Crucifixi fige plagas
Cordi meo valide.

Tui Nati vulnerati,
Tam dignati pro me pati,
Poenas mecum divide.

Fac me tecum pie flere,
Crucifixo condolere,
Donec ego vixero.

Juxta crucem tecum stare,
Et me tibi sociare
In planctu desidero.

Virgo virginum praeclara
Mihi jam non sis amara,
Fac me tecum plangere.

Fac, ut portem Christi mortem,
Passionis fac consortem,
Et plagas recolere.

Fac me plagis vulnerari,
Fac me cruce inebriari,
Et cruore Filii.

Flammis ne urar succensus,
Per te, Virgo, sim defensus,
In die judicii.

Christe, cum sit hinc exire,
Da per Matrem me venire
Ad patrem victoriae.

Quando corpus morietur,
Fac ut animae donetur
Paradisi gloria. Amen.


At the cross her station keeping,
Stood the mournful Mother weeping,
Close to Jesus to the last;

Through her heart, His sorrow sharing,
All His bitter anguish bearing,
Now at length the sword had passed.

O, how sad and sore distressed
Was that Mother, highly blest,
Of the sole-begotten One!

Christ above in torment hangs;
She beneath beholds the pangs
Of her dying glorious Son.

Is there one who would not weep,
'Whelmed in miseries so deep
Christ's dear Mother to behold?

Can the human heart refrain
From partaking in her pain,
In that Mother's pain untold.

Bruised, derided, cursed, defiled,
She beheld her tender child,
All with bloody scourges rent;

For the sins of His own nation
Saw Him hang in desolation
Till His Spirit forth He sent.

O thou Mother! Fount of love!
Touch my spirit from above,
Make my heart with thine accord;

Make me feel as thou hast felt;
Make my soul to glow and melt
With the love of Christ my Lord.

Holy Mother! pierce me through;
In my heart each wound renew
Of my Saviour crucified;

Let me share with thee His pain,
Who for all my sins was slain,
Who for me in torment died.

Let me mingle tears with thee,
Mourning Him who mourned for me,
All the days that I may live:

By the cross with thee to stay;
There with thee to weep and pray,
Is all I ask of thee to give.

Virgin of all virgins best!
Listen to my fond request:
Let me share thy grief divine;

Let me to my latest breath
In my body bear the death
Of that dying Son of thine.

Wounded with His every wound,
Steep my soul till it hath swooned
In His very Blood away;

Be to me, O Virgin, nigh,
Lest in flames I burn and die
In His awful judgment-day.

Christ, when Thou shalt call me hence,
Be Thy Mother my defence,
Be Thy cross my victory.

While my body here decays,
May my soul Thy goodness praise
Safe in Paradise with Thee.


It was about the year 1233 that seven holy men of noble birth, by name Bonfiglio, Monaldio, Bonagiunta, Manetto, Amadeo, Uguccio, and Alessio Falconieri, withdrew from the city of Florence into the solitude of Mount Senario, receiving afterwards from the Church the appellation of the "Seven Blessed Founders." For it was in that solitude that, passing their days in the constant exercise of prayer, penitence, and other virtues, they, by a special revelation from the Blessed Virgin, instituted the Order called "Servants of Mary," taking for the object of their institution, meditation on the bitter pains she suffered in the Life, Passion, and Death of her Son Jesus, and, undertaking to promulgate this devotion amongst Christian people. One of the devout practices which they made use of for their purpose was a Chaplet or Rosary of Seven Divisions, in remembrance of the seven principal Dolours of the Blessed Virgin, which were to form the subject of the reciter's meditation according to his ability; the prayers to be said during such meditation being one Pater noster and seven Ave Maria's for each division, with three more Ave Maria's at the end of all, in honour of the tears shed by the same most holy Virgin in her Dolours.

This devout prayer, so acceptable to our most holy Sorrowful Mother, and so useful to Christian souls, was propagated throughout the Christian world by these Servants of Mary and it afterwards received much encouragement from Pope Benedict XIII., who, in order to induce the faithful to adopt it more and more, granted by his Brief Redemptoris, of Sept. 26, 1724 -
i. An indulgence of DAYS for every Pater noster, and the same for every Ave Maria, to every one who, having Confessed and Communicated, or at least made a firm resolution to Confess, should say this Chaplet in the churches of the Order of the Servants of Mary.
ii. The same indulgence of 200 days to be gained by all who shall say it any where on Fridays, during Lent, and on the Feast and Octave of the Seven Dolours of our Blessed Lady, and -
iii. An indulgence of 100 days, on any other day.
Lastly, the same Pope added -
iv. An indulgence of seven years and seven quarantines to any one who says this Chaplet either alone or in company with others.
Afterwards Pope Clement XII., " that the faithful might often recollect and sympathise with the Dolours of Mary," confirmed by his Bull of Unigeniti, Dec. 12, 1734, the before-named Indulgences, adding also the following:
v. A plenary indulgence and remission of all sins to every one who shall say this Chaplet daily for a month together, and shall then, after Confession and Communion, pray for holy Church, &c.
vi. An indulgence of 100 years, every time it is said, to all who say this chaplet, being truly penitent and having confessed, or having at least made a firm resolution to confess their sins.
vii. An indulgence of 150 years, every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Feast of Obligation of the Holy Church, after Confession and Communion.
viii. A plenary indulgence all who say it four times a week, on any one day in the year when, after Confession and Communion, they shall say the said Chaplet of Seven Dolours.
ix. An indulgence of 200 years * also to those who shall say it devoutly after their Confession.
x. An indulgence of ten years to those who keep one of these Chaplets about them, and are in the habit of saying it frequently, every time that, after Confession and Communion, they shall hear Mass, be present at a sermon, accompany the Blessed Sacrament to the sick, make peace between enemies, bring sinners to Confession, &c. &c.; or whenever, saying at the same time seven Pater noster's and seven Ave Maria's, they shall do any spiritual or temporal good work in honour of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Blessed Virgin, or their Patron Saint.

All these Indulgences Mere confirmed by decrees of the S. Congr. of Indulgences issued at the command of Pope Benedict XIV. on January 10, 1711. and Clement XIII.. March 13, 1763. It is, however, requisite, in order to gain these Indulgences, that these Chaplets should be blessed by the Superiors of the Order of the Servants of Mary, or by other priests of the Order deputed by them; and when blessed, they cannot be sold or lent for the purpose of communicating these Indulgences to others, as in that case they would lose the Indulgences. See the above-named Brief of Benedict XIII.

* In some summaries of these Indulgences, and more particularly in that reprinted in Rome in 1518, we find 150 days and a few lines after, 200 days; but in the Bull above named published at the Office of the Reverend Apostolic Chamber in 1135, we find in both places not days but years.


Act of Contrition.

O my Lord, Thou who alone art most worthy of my love, behold me standing before Thy Divine Presence all in confusion at the thought of the many grievous injuries I have done Thee. I ask Thy pardon for them with my whole heart, repenting of them purely for love of Thee, and hating and loathing them above every other evil of this life, when I think of Thy infinite goodness. As I would rather have died a thousand times than have offended Thee, so now I am most firmly resolved to lose my life rather than offend Thee again. My crucified Jesus, I firmly purpose to cleanse my soul as soon as possible by Thy most Precious Blood in the Sacrament of Penance. And thou, most tender Virgin, Mother of Mercy and Refuge of sinners, do thou obtain for me the pardon of sin by virtue of thy bitter pains; whilst praying according to the mind of so many holy Pontiffs in order to obtain the indulgences granted to this thy holy Rosary, I hope thereby to obtain remission of all pains due to my sins.

1. With this confidence in my heart, I meditate on the First Sorrow, when Mary, Virgin Mother of my God, presented Jesus, her only Son, in the Temple, laid Him in the arms of holy aged Simeon, and heard his prophetic word, "This One shall be a sword of pain to pierce thine own heart,'' foretelling thereby the Passion and Death of her Son Jesus.

One Pater noster and seven Ave Maria's.

ii. The Second Sorrow of the Blessed Virgin was when she was obliged to fly into Egypt by reason of the persecution of cruel Herod, who impiously sought to slay her well-beloved Son.

One Pater noster and seven Ave Maria's.

iii. The Third Sorrow of the Blessed Virgin was when, after having gone up to Jerusalem at the Paschal Feast with Joseph her spouse and Jesus her dear Son, she lost Him on her return to her poor house, and for three days bewailed the loss of her beloved only Son.

One Pater noster and seven Ave Maria's.

iv. The Fourth Sorrow of the Blessed Virgin was when she met her dear Son Jesus carrying on His tender shoulders the heavy cross whereon He was to be crucified for our salvation.

One Pater noster and seven Ave Maria's.

v. The Fifth Sorrow of the Blessed Virgin was when she saw her Son Jesus raised upon the tree of the cross, and Blood pouring forth from every part of His Sacred Body ; and when then, after three long hours' agony, she beheld Him die.

One Pater noster and seven Ave Maria's.

vi. The Sixth Sorrow of the Blessed Virgin was when she saw the lance cleave the Sacred Side of Jesus, her beloved Son, and when taken down from the cross, His Holy Body was laid in her purest bosom.

One Pater noster and seven Ave Maria's.

vii. The Seventh and last sorrow of the Blessed Virgin, Queen and Advocate of us her servants, miserable sinners, was when she saw the Holy Body of her Son buried in the grave.

One Pater noster and seven Ave Maria's.

Then say three Ave Maria's in veneration of the tears which Mary shed in her sorrows, to obtain thereby true sorrow for sins and the holy Indulgences attached to this pious exercise.

V. Ora pro nobis, Virgo dolorosissima.
R. Ut digni efficiamur promissionibus Christi.

Interveniat pro nobis, quaesumus, Domine Jesu Christe, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae, apud tuam clementiam beata Virgo Maria Mater tua, cujus sacratissimam animam in hora tuae Passionis deloris gladius pertransivit. Per te, Jesu Christe, Salvator mundi, qui cum Patre et Spiritu Sancto vivis et regnas, &c. R. Amen.

V. Pray for us, Virgin most sorrowful.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray.
Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord Jesus Christ, that the most blessed Virgin Mary, Thy Mother, may intercede for us before the throne of Thy mercy, now and at the hour of our death, whose most holy soul was transfixed with the sword of sorrow in the hour of Thine own Passion. Through Thee, Jesus Christ, Saviour of the world, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost for ever and ever. Amen.


Pope Clement XII., by a decree of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, Feb. 4, 1736, and Benedict XIV., by another decree of July 14, 1757, granted -
A plenary indulgence once in the year to all the faithful who on any one day should, after Confession and Communion, make one hour's prayer in honour of the sorrows of most holy Mary, calling them to mind by saying the Chaplet of them, or other prayers adapted to this devotion. Pope Pius VI., of blessed memory, renewed this Indulgence and confirmed it for ever, July 8, 1785.


Pope Pius VII., at the prayer of the priests of the Pious Union of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, sometimes called "Pious Union of St. Paul" (already several times referred to above), granted, by a Rescript of Jan. 14, 1815, issued through the Archbishop of Philippi, at that time vicegerent here in Rome, and kept in the Segretaria of his Eminence the Cardinal-Vicar -
An indulgence of 300 days to all Christians every time they say with devotion the following pious exercise in honour of the sorrowing heart of most Holy Mary.


V. Deus in adjutorium meum intende.
R. Domine ad adjuvandum me festina.
Gloria Patri et Filio, &c.

i. I compassionate thee, sorrowing Mary, in the affliction of thy tender heart when the holy old man Simeon prophesied to thee. Dear Mother, by thy heart then so afflicted, obtain for me the virtue of humility and the gift of holy fear of God.
Ave Maria.

ii. I compassionate thee, sorrowing Mary, in the anxiety which thy sensitive heart underwent in the flight to and sojourn in Egypt. Dear Mother, by thy heart which was then made so anxious, obtain for me the virtue of liberality, specially towards the poor, and the gift of piety.
Ave Maria.

iii. I compassionate thee, sorrowing Mary, in the trouble of thy careful heart when thou didst lose thy dear Son Jesus. Dear Mother, by thy heart then so troubled, obtain for me the virtue of holy chastity and the gift of knowledge.
Ave Maria.

iv. I compassionate thee, sorrowing Mary, in the shock thy maternal heart underwent when Jesus met thee as He carried His cross. Dear Mother, by thy loving heart then so overwhelmed, obtain for me the virtue of patience and the gift of fortitude.
Ave Maria.

v. I compassionate thee, sorrowing Mary, in the martyrdom thy generous heart bore so nobly whilst thou didst stand by Jesus in His agony. Dear Mother, by thy heart then so martyred, obtain for me the virtue of temperance and the gift of counsel.
Ave Maria.

vi. I Compassionate thee, sorrowing Mary, in the wound of thy tender heart when the sacred Side of Jesus was pierced with the lance. Dear Mother, by thy heart then so transfixed, obtain for me the virtue of fraternal charity and the gift of understanding.
Ave Maria.

vii. I compassionate thee, sorrowing Mary, in the pang felt by thy loving heart when the Body of Jesus was buried in the grave. Dear Mother, by all the bitterness of desolation thou didst then experience, obtain for me the virtue of diligence and the gift of wisdom.
Ave Maria.

V. Ora pro nobis, Virgo dolorosissima.
R. Ut digni efficiamur promissienibus Christi.

Interveniat pro nobis, &c. as above.


Pope Pius VII., by a Brief of Dec. 1, 1815, in order to augment in all the faithful devotion towards the sorrows of most holy Mary, and the more to excite in them grateful recollections of the Passion of her Son, Jesus, granted -
i. A 300 days indulgence, once a day, to all who, contrite in heart, shall say seven Ave Maria's, with the versicle to each,

Sancta Mater istud agas,
Crucifixi fige plagas
Cordi meo valide.

Or in English,
Holy Mother, pierce me through;
In my heart each wound renew
Of thy Saviour crucified.

ii. A plenary indulgence, once every month, and remission of all sins, to all who should have devoutly practised this pious exercise for a month together, on any one day when, after Confession and Communion, they shall pray for the Holy Church, &c.
This Brief is kept in the Capitular Archivium of the cathedral of Arezze, whose bishop made prayer to the Holy Father for the Indulgence.


Pope Pius VII., in order to augment the devotion of the faithful towards the Sacred Heart of Mary Sorrowing, and at the same time to make some compensations for the many offences which are committed against God on the days of the carnival, granted by a Rescript given through the Segretaria of the Memorials, Dec. 9, I815, and kept in the Segretaria of his Eminence the Cardinal-Vicar -
i. A 300 days' indulgence, to all the faithful of the Catholic world, every time they shall assist at any devout exercise in honour of the Sorrows of most holy Mary, on the ten last days of the carnival, in any church or public oratory, or in any church of regulars of either sex, or in any oratory or chapel in monasteries, seminaries, or other pious places where prayer is wont to be made.
ii. A plenary indulgence, to those who shall assist at this pious exercise for at least five out of the ten days; provided that on one of the ten days, they, after Confession and Communion, pray to God for the Holy Church, &c.
These Indulgences were confirmed for ever by the same Pius VII., through the S. Congr. of Indulgences, June 18, 1822.


In order to engage the faithful to endeavour to give an increase of consolation to most holy Mary in her desolation, Pius VII., by two Rescripts given through the Segretaria of the Memorials, Feb. 25 and March 21, 1815, kept in the Segretaria of his Eminence the Cardinal-Vicar, granted -
i. A plenary indulgence to all those who, from three o'clock en Good Friday until midday an Holy Saturday (the hour on that day when the Holy Church invites the faithful to rejoice in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ), shall, either in public or in private, keep one hour, or at least half an hour, in honour of most holy Mary in desolation, by meditating on her seven dolours, saying the Chaplet of her Dolours, or any other prayers having reference to her desolation. This Indulgence is gained when, by Confessions and Communions, they satisfy the precept of Paschal Communion.
ii. An indulgence of 300 days, on other Fridays when ever between three o'clock on that day and the dawn of Sunday, they practise this devotion.
iii. A plenary indulgence each month to all who have practised it every week in the month, provided that they go to Confession and Communion on one of the last days of the devotion.
All these Indulgences were Confirmed by the same Pope Pius VII. for ever, through the S. Congr. of Indulgences, June 18, 1822.


His Holiness Pope Pius IX., by a decree of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, of Dec. 23, 1847, deigned to grant -
An indulgence of 100 days to all the faithful, every time they say with contrite heart the following prayer in honour of the most holy Virgin in her desolation.

Ave Maria doloribus plena, Crucifixus tecum: lacrymabilis te in mulieribus, et lacrymabilis fructus ventris tui, Jesus. Sancta Maria, Mater Crucifixi: lacrymas impertire nobis crucifixoribus Filii tui, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.


Hail Mary, full of sorrows, the Crucified is with thee: tearful art thou amongst women, and tearful is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of the Crucified, grant tears to us crucifiers of thy Son, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.



By a Brief of April 3, 1857, his Holiness Pope Pius IX. granted -
300 days indulgence, to be gained on any day in the month of September by all the faithful who, with contrition of heart, shall practise this devout exercise for the month of September, dedicated to the Dolours of most holy Mary, on condition of their making use of the following little book, entitled The Month of September; or Considerations and Devout Affections upon the Dolours of most holy Mary; adapted to the use of every one who is devoted to this same Mother of God, &c. It is reprinted at the press of Baldassari, at Rome, under the date of the year 1857, and is on sale at the shop of Joseph Ossani, No. 21A, in the street of the Pie di Marmo.

Contents of the Raccolta

Index to the Raccolta

Liturgia Latina home page