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DOLORS, SEVEN

The seven sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary. They are traditionally identified with the sorrows that Mary experienced in her association with Christ: the prophecy of Simeon (Luke 2:34-35), the flight into Egypt (Matthew 2:13-21), the three-day separation from Jesus in Jerusalem (Luke 2:41-50). and the four incidents related to Christ's Passion, as described or implied by the Evangelists; namely, Mary's meeting Jesus on the way to Calvary, the Crucifixion, the removal of Christ's body from the Cross, and the burial in the tomb. There were two feasts in honor of the seven sorrows: the Friday after Passion Sunday, extended to the universal Church by Pope Benedict XIII in 1727; and September 15, first granted to the Servite Order in 1668 and extended in 1814 to the whole Church by Pope Pius VII. Since the revision of the Roman calendar after the Second Vatican Council, only the feast on September 15 is observed, but its name has been changed to Our Lady of Sorrows. (Etym. Latin dolor, pain, sorrow.)

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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