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Our Lady, Consoler of Suffering Souls

Elaine Jordan
September is the month dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows. This story comes from the diary of Sister Dominica Clara of the Holy Cross, who died in the reputation of sanctity in 1897, shows the value of the devotion to the Seven Sorrows of Our Lady.

Sister Dominica Clara was often favored with apparitions of the souls in Purgatory. One of these souls related that she owed her salvation solely to her devotion to the sorrows of Mary. Her life had been so wicked that without a special grace from God she could not possibly have been saved, but Mary leaves nothing unrewarded that is done in her honor.

Our Lady of Sorrow

Our Lady of Sorrow at the Holy sepulchre in Jerusalem

During life this person had felt a tender compassion for the Mother of Sorrows, and whenever she saw an image representing the Dolorous Mother, she prayed the Hail Mary seven times in her honor. She admitted, however, that often she had practiced this devotion more from custom than from interior piety, for her pious mother had implanted it so deeply in her heart that, despite her wayward life, she had always remained faithful to it.

As a reward for this slight veneration, the Mother of God showed special maternal solicitude for her at the hour of death, recalling to her mind the image of her Seven Sorrows in so vivid a manner that, in her last moments, the penitent was seized with most profound contrition for her sinful life. For this reason she obtained the remission of all her sins.

According to the information imparted by this soul, the sorrow she felt for her sins, through the intercession of the Mother of Sorrows, was so great that it expiated not only her sins but also a great part of the temporal punishment due to them. In addition to this incomparably great grace, the soul, while in Purgatory, was consoled by frequent visits of the Mother of God, each of which mitigated her sufferings. Her torments ceased entirely during the time the Blessed Virgin was personally present.

Thousands and thousands of souls, she asserted, who had not committed one twentieth as much evil as she, were eternally lost.

"Ah," she exclaimed, "how lively are my sentiments of gratitude when I consider what our dear Heavenly Mother did for me in the last moments of my life! Had it not been for Mary, I too should have shared the fate of the reprobates. For all eternity shall my lips proclaim the love, goodness and solicitude of this sweet Virgin; unceasingly shall my voice glorify her with canticles of praise and thanksgiving."

Sister Dominica Clara of the Holy Cross writes further that the time in Purgatory is shortened for many who are especially devoted to the Sorrowful Mother, and some are scarcely detained in that place of expiation at all and are deprived only for a short time of the vision of God.


Blason de Charlemagne
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Excerpt from Devotion to the Sorrowful Mother, TAN Books, 2002, Chapter 2
Posted September 20, 2014

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