The feast of Our Lady of Sorrows holds weight on September 15th , as it is the octave of her nativity
and the day complimenting the Exaltation of the Cross. We take time this day to honor and console
the pierced sorrowful heart of Mary: “her spiritual martyrdom and compassion with the sufferings of
her Divine Son.”
During the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, we contemplate the victory of Redemption through
Christ’s cross, the healing promised through the relic found by St. Helen, and humble courage of the
early Christians who devoted themselves to the Cross in secret. We now have the freedom and grace
to see the cross through the lens of grace as a gift—a burden made sweet (Matt 11:30).
In fitting complementarity, on the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows we hold grief and hope, sorrow and
joy, suffering and healing through Mary’s heart. She teaches us with great tenderness how to love the
Cross and kiss the wounds of Christ. She who has suffered great agonies takes us by the hand and
shows us where she found solace—in the Cross—knowing that death does not have the final say
and suffering makes room for greater glory. Our dearest Mother reveals to us the beauty and
necessity of grief in this life.
It is okay to grieve when disappointed and wounded in this life, even when we know the Lord has
promised us glory and will come through for us in the end. We grieve, but we do not despair.
Let us hide in Our Mother’s aching heart and unite our current fractured circumstances to Christ on
the Cross. He has promised victory and He has given us His Mother to remind us of hope in the
Here are some ways to reflect this feast day tangibly in our garments:
1. Based on paintings and sculptures of Our Lady of Sorrows, wear black or dark hues of blue
for grief and accents of red for her spiritual martyrdom. Consider wearing gold accessories
to emphasize the glory promised to those who mourn (Matt 5:4). Wear a silhouette with lots
2. Choose a specific mystery of Mary’s sorrow to ponder and express on this day. See our
article, The Seven Sorrows of Mary Challenge.