In Spain in the year 1218 A.D., the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared in separate visions to St. Peter Nolasco, St. Raymond of Penafort, and King James I of Aragon, asking them to establish an Order to liberate Christians who had been kidnapped by the Moors, transported to African prisons, and cruelly tortured to deny their faith in Christ.
"Let us adore the Savior,
who gave his Mother a share in His passion."
Invitatory Antiphon for Our Lady of Sorrows
"Hail the Cross, our only Hope."
This is the exclamation which rises in the hearts of Christians today, as we celebrate the blessed Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross.
"Your birth, O Virgin Mother of God, proclaims joy to the whole world,
for from you arose the glorious Sun of Justice, Christ our God;
he freed us from the age-old curse and filled us with holiness;
he destroyed death and gave us eternal life."
- Lauds of the Nativity Benedictus Antiphon
On this fifth day during the Octave of Our Mother's birth, we celebrate the feast of her most wonderful name: Maria. It is this name which bears such sweetness that we call upon in times of trouble, anguish, temptation, and supplication - but also in joy and thanksgiving. Today let us unceasingly offer her name as a prayer to heaven - like sweet roses rising up from earth to find their place within the crown upon Our Lady's head ... "Mary, sweet Mary, my dearest Mother Mary ... " Let us too offer her the prayer of her Holy Name, the Ave Maris Stella.
Holy Mother Church tenderly dedicates the month of September to the Sorrowful Heart of Mary, as two beautiful feast days (among many) fall during this month - the Exaltation of the Holy Cross and Our Lady of Sorrows.