When you imagine the Blessed Virgin Mary, what do you see? A beautiful, peaceful face, and hands folded in prayer?
This portrait undoubtedly captures the essence of Our Lady, who was full of grace and eager to carry out God’s will.
But there is another side to Mary: intense agony. She witnessed her son’s brutal crucifixion and the jeers and hatred He received from onlookers. This fulfilled the prophecy of Simeon who — while holding the Christ child — told Mary that “a sword will pierce through your own soul” (Luke 2:35).
Yes, Mary was no stranger to suffering, which is why the Church invokes her under the title of Our Lady of Sorrows. We commemorate Our Lady of Sorrows every year on September 15.
Here are three reasons why you should turn to her in your sadness and desolation.
She experienced heartbreak more intensely than any of us.
No human being loved as much as Mary. Being free from sin, her love was unencumbered by selfishness or despair.
But the greater the love, the greater the wound. We know the intensity of a mother’s love, but no mother has ever loved a child as perfectly as Our Lady loved her divine son. Therefore, her heartbreak at his crucifixion was — in a sense — the greatest heartbreak in history.
She experienced the depths of human suffering, and so is eager to help you in your moments of pain.
She is your mother.
The Church tells us that when Jesus gave Mary to St. John to be his mother, He was also giving her to all of us. As your mother, she is attentive to your needs. She only waits on you to ask for her help.
Take heart from her words to St. Juan Diego:
“Listen and understand, my littlest son, let nothing frighten and afflict you or trouble your heart. Am I not here, I, who am your mother? Are you not under my shadow? Am I not your health?”
She never gave way to despair and now enjoys the eternal joy of heaven.
Don’t let suffering undermine your faith in God. Easier said than done, right? Yet Our Lady proves the words of St. Paul that “Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:38-39).
She persevered in her faith, and is now reunited with her son forever in heaven! We shall do the same, if only we stay true to our Savior while wandering the dark paths of this life. She’ll obtain that grace for us if we only ask!