Our Lady of Sorrows Part 3

Standing at the Foot of the Cross, Descent from Cross, and Burial of Jesus in the Tomb

Let’s stay close to Our Mother in the sorrows we have encountered so far: The Prophecy of Simeon, The Flight into Egypt, The Loss of Jesus in the Temple, and Meeting Jesus Carrying the Cross. As we hold these moments in our hearts with Mary, we dive into the last three sorrows that pierced Our Lady’s heart. And we start here at Calvary…

Standing at the Foot of the Cross

Here, all of Our Lady’s sorrows come to a climax. The ultimate sacrifice — standing at the foot of the Cross beneath her Son bleeding and dying for sinners.

Imagine Mary standing here, amidst the crowd mocking Jesus. How these mockeries also pierce her own heart! But as she hears these hurtful words towards her Son, she sees His response: meekness on the Cross in order to show His love, to save souls, and even those souls who are torturing Our Lord.

We can only begin to imagine these sorrows piercing Our Lady’s heart. Surely, she is experiencing all this pain and suffering at the sight of her Son, and hearing the cruel words hurled at Him as He hangs on the Cross. But does she also have a spirit of gratitude? A spirit of hope amidst the suffering that because of this…because of this tortuous Cross that Her Son chose to bear, that the world might be saved through Him?

Our Mother has perfect hope. She feels the bitterness of the cross in all of its anguish, while at the same time never losing sight of the Lord’s promise of the resurrection.

As we carry our crosses in our own lives, can we look to Christ with this spirit of gratitude and hope? Not undermining the suffering, but rather leaning into the purifying love that Christ brings through the Cross. Can we be like Mary, looking at our sufferings with hope? With the hope and confidence that Jesus will provide and resurrect our broken hearts, even when things seem defeated?

Jesus is not scared of the sorrows that you bring to Him. He shows you His wounds so that you may show Him yours. Draw close to Mary at the foot of the Cross… and take her hand. Offer your heart to Jesus on the Cross with Our Lady.

The Descent of Jesus from the Cross

Once Jesus is taken down from the Cross, He returns to His Mother’s arms. The pain as Mary holds Her Son, dead in her arms, is unimaginable. Her beloved Jesus, the One whom she held peacefully in Bethlehem, has paid the price for us all.

As she reflects on her ‘fiat’ — her ‘yes’ to bear the only begotten Son of God, Mary sees how God has provided for her time and time again. That although His plan doesn’t seem to make sense, although it seems impossible, the Lord always keeps His promise and never abandons us.

As Mary looks at the body of her dead Son in her arms, does she think back to all the times in her life when the Father has been faithful to His promises? That although death seems to have won, there is something more. God is stronger than death. She trusts that although this seems too far gone, too much to conquer, that Her Son will ultimately win. He will ultimately conquer death.

Look back on your own life. How has the Lord provided for you? Has he comforted you in the stresses of being a student? Has he led you to good and faithful friendships? Has he answered the prayers and desires of your heart? Has he poured out his grace on you in the sacraments? When we encounter the areas in our lives that need Christ’s healing touch, let’s hope in the Lord, confident that He will always provide for us, whether we see it or not!

When we feel like areas in our life are dead, or too far gone, can we bring ourselves here? Can we approach Mary with these areas of our heart and trust that He will resurrect these places? Console Our Lady with your presence, of her beloved son or daughter, and stay with her here. Lean into the sorrow and anguish with Mary in this place with hope, just as Our Mother meets us in the sorrows of our own lives.

Burial of Jesus in the Tomb

As they take Jesus to be buried, Mary must let go of Jesus again. Imagine the times throughout her life where she has held Jesus…in her arms as an infant, embracing Him after He was hurt, or even holding him as He was suffering. And every time, she has had to let go. To let go of her precious Son, trusting the Father’s plan. How much sorrow does this bring Our Mother to let go of Her precious Son this time? Holding the bruised and bloody Jesus who suffered for our sins and letting Him go to be buried.

What would have happened if she didn’t let go? If she had decided to take matters into her own hands – to decide that the suffering was enough…the resurrection would probably have looked quite different. Thankfully, Our Mother is humble and always aligned with the will of the Father. She lets her Son go to be buried, as painful as this may be, but it allows for the resurrection of Jesus where we find our hope.

Can we let go like Our Mother? To cling to Jesus and let go of the control we want in our lives. To surrender even the most precious and wounded places of our hearts that may have been hidden for so long. Maybe we struggle with perfectionism, with knowing our identity in Christ, with deciding what we want to study, with deep wounds from our past, the list goes on. Whatever the suffering may be…we don’t give these sufferings to Our Lord to forget about them. Rather, we surrender them to allow Jesus to resurrect these areas of our hearts and redeem them.

Do we trust Our Lord? Do we trust Him in the silence of the tomb, when nothing seems to be happening? In these times, draw close to Our Lady whose hope never failed, even amidst the three days of silence and waiting for her Son to rise from the dead!


All these sorrows pierced Mary’s heart like swords. Our Lady of Sorrows is often depicted with a heart which has seven swords piercing it: one sword for each of these sorrows that we have encountered.

Your Mother understands your heart. She understands whatever sorrow you are going through: the pain of losing a loved one, of infertility, of a broken heart, of waiting for your vocation, of any sorrow that the human heart experiences. The Lord is so generous and gracious to us that He gave us His Mother:

“When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son.’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.”

John 19:26-27.

And thankfully, Our Mother perfectly cares for her children amidst our sorrows.

So, let us run to Our Lady of Sorrows with our messy, broken hearts. As we bring her our hearts, she smiles and shows us her own heart, pierced by all of these swords. She will bring our hearts to her Son, where He resurrects our sorrows and turns them into joy: all we must do is trust.

Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us!

Click here to read part 1

Click here to read part 2

Madison Tanczos
Madison Tanczos
Madison Tanczos is a senior at the University of Pittsburgh studying Marketing. She spent this past summer as a FOCUS intern in Denver, CO working on all-things website and email marketing!

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