The Chaplet of the Seven Sorrows of Our Lady is similar to the rosary, except that it is composed of seven sets of seven Hail Marys, instead of the typical five sets of ten.
The Via Matris is prayed in a similar manner to the Via Crucis, or Stations of the Cross, and they are intimately connected. Both share the same Center, Christ, but the Via Matris allows us to see His life through her tender, maternal eyes. To pray the Via, one calls to mind each of the seven sorrows, spending time with Our Lady in that sorrow before concluding with a Hail Mary and the aspiration, Virgin Most Sorrowful, pray for us.
"Thy mind, O Mary, and thy thought steeped in the blood of our Lord's Passion, were always filled with sorrow, as if they actually beheld the blood flowing from his wounds. Thus her Son himself was that arrow in the heart of Mary; the more amiable he appeared to her, so much the more deeply did the thought of losing him by so cruel a death wound her heart. " ~ St. Alphonsus
The First Sorrow: The Presentation of the Infant Jesus in the Temple
"Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed."
~ Luke 2:34-35
"... A still sharper sword pierced her soul. It was the though of men's ingratitude to her beloved Son..."
~ St. Alphonsus
"An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph...and said, 'Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt...' And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for Eygpt." ~ Matthew 2:13-15
"Must He then fly from men, who came to save men?" ~ St. Albert the Great
The Third Sorrow: The Loss of the Child Jesus in the Temple
"When he was twelve years old, they went up... and when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it, but supposing him to be in the company they went a day's journey... when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem seeking him. After three days they found him in the temple... 'How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?' ...And his mother kept all these things in her heart." ~ Luke 2:41-52
O Good Mother! Teach me to long for Him and seek Him as thou sought Him, sorrowing for my sins which have seperated Him from me!
"And there followed after him a great multitude of the people, and of women who bewailed and lamented him." ~ Luke 23:27
Teach me, Gracious Mother, to be patient when all the day long my heart is troubled with little, but vexatious, crosses. By your help, may I persevere in following thy Beloved Son till death.
"If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me... What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?" ~ Matthew 16:24-26
"Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother... and the disciple whom he loved... He said, 'It is finished'; and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit."
~ John 19:25-30
Mother of Sorrows, you did not leave Calvary until you had drunk with your Son the last drop of the chalice, strengthen me to accept the trials that come each day. Compassionate Mother, silently suffering for me, turn my heart back to Him.
"O all ye that pass by the way, attend, and see if there be any sorrow like to my sorrow." ~ Lamentations 1:12
"One of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water...Joseph came and took away his body." ~ John 19:34-39
"O wounds, O wounds of love, I adore you, and in you do I rejoice; for by your means salvation is given to the world."
The Seventh Sorrow: The Burial of Jesus
"They took the body of Jesus, and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb where no one had ever been laid... they laid Jesus there." ~ John 19: 40-42
What sorrow! Even His Precious Body is closed from sight. Nothing remains but the pain of seperation. O Mother mine! Let me never be seperated from thy Son!