Friday, January 29, 2010

How To Pray The Servite Seven Sorrows of Mary Rosary Beads

Mater Dolorosa, Casertavecchia, Italy

This devotion to Our Sorrowful Mother originated in the Thirteenth century by the Order of Friar Servants of Mary.  It recalls the Sorrows the Virgin Mother of God endured in compassion for the suffering and death of her Divine Son.  It consists of seven groups of seven beads each with an additional three beads on the drop (fifty-two in total), seven medals (or larger beads) each representing one of the Sorrows and a Mater Dolorosa medal.

Promises of Our Lady of Sorrows:
Mary offers the following promises to whoever devoutly wears the black scapular and honors Her daily by saying seven Hail Marys and meditating on Her Seven Tears and Sorrows. This devotion was passed on to us by Saint Bridget, who received them directly from Our Lady.

* I will grant peace to their families.
* They will be enlightened about the Divine Mysteries
* I will console them in their pains and I will accompany them in their work.
* I will give them as much as they ask for as long as it does not oppose the Adorable Will of my Divine Son or the sanctification of their souls.
* I will defend them in their spiritual battles with the infernal enemy and I will protect them at every instant of their lives
* I will visibly help them at the moment of their death; they will see the face of their mother.

Seven Sorrows Servite Rosary Beads

Chaplet Instructions

On the Medal:  Say an Act of Contrition
O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven, and the pains of hell; but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, Who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen.

The First Sorrow: 
The Prophecy of Simeon
Reading: Luke 2:25-35.

When Mary and Joseph present the infant Jesus in the temple, Simeon predicts that a "sword" (of sorrow) will pierce Mary's soul.

The Second Sorrow

The flight into Egypt
Reading: Matthew 2:13-15.

When King Herod orders the death of all male children age two or younger, Mary and Joseph flee to Egypt with the infant Jesus.

The Third Sorrow

The Child Jesus Lost in the Temple
Reading: Luke 2: 41-50.
Mary and Joseph search for the child Jesus for three days, finding Him at last — after agonizing sorrow — in the temple.

The Fourth Sorrow

Mary meets Jesus carrying the cross
Reading: Luke 23: 27-29.

As Jesus makes His way to Calvary, condemned to crucifixion, He meets His mother, Mary. He is bruised, derided, cursed and defiled and her sorrow is absolute as Jesus drags His own cross up the hill of His crucifixion.

The Fifth Sorrow

Mary at the foot of the cross
Reading: John 19: 25-30.

Mary stands near her dying Son unable to minister to him as He cries "I thirst." She hears Him promise heaven to a thief and forgive His enemies. His last words, "Behold your mother," charge us to look on Mary as our mother.

The Sixth Sorrow

Mary receives the body of Jesus
Reading: Psalm 130.

Jesus is taken down from the cross and His body is placed in Mary's arms. The passion and death are over, but for His mother, grief continues. She holds His body in her arms.

The Seventh Sorrow

Mary witnesses the burial of Jesus
Reading: Luke 23: 50-56.

The body of Jesus is laid in the tomb. The most tragic day in history ends, Mary alone in sorrow, awaiting the Resurrection.

Last Three Beads:

Three Hail Marys are said at the end in honor of the Tears of Our Sorrowful Mother.
One Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be to the Father for the intention of the Pope.
Say "Virgin most Sorrowful, pray for us" three times.

Closing Prayer:

Lord God, our Father, from the passion and death of Jesus, shared by the compassion of his Mother, you brought healing to fallen man.  Grant that we, your people, may experience this healing and rise from the power of sin to a wholeness of life promised by Jesus, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, now and forever, Amen

Information taken from the Marians of The Immaculate Conception website.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Rosary Of The Sacred Heart

The rosary chaplet of the Sacred Heart consists of thirty-three small beads, six large beads, a crucifix, and either a Sacred Heart center or a medal attached to the crucifix.

On the Crucifix say the Anima Christi:
Soul of Christ, sanctify me!
Body of Christ, save me!
Blood of Christ, inebriate me!
Water from the side of Christ, wash me!
Passion of Christ, strengthen me!
O good Jesus, hear me!
Within Thy wounds hide me!
Let me not be separated from Thee!
From the evil enemy defend me!
In the hour of death call me and bid me
come over to Thee, that with Thy saints I
may praise Thee forever and ever.

On the large beads say:
O sweetest Heart of Jesus, I implore that
I may ever love Thee more and more!

On the small beads say:
Sweet Heart of Jesus, be my love!

At the end of each decade say:
Sweet Heart of Mary, be my salvation!

At the conclusion say: 
May the Heart of Jesus in the Most Blessed
Sacrament be blessed, adored and loved with
grateful affection at every moment in all the tabernacles
of the world, even to the end of time!

Rosary Of The Sacred Heart in Aquamarine Agate and Dragon Blood Jasper

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Holy House of Loreto

The Holy House of Loreto is one of the most revered Marian shrines in the world. Since medieval times, the Holy House has been believed to be the very home in which the Virgin Mary lived, conceived and raised the young Jesus.

A large basilica has been built around the small shrine, and the sacred site attracts as many as 4 million Catholic pilgrims and visitors each year.

Renaissance facade (1583) of the Basilica della Santa Casa (Basilica of the Holy House) in Loreto, framed by the archway leading into the plaza.


According to the New Testament, Jesus was raised by Mary and Joseph in a small town called Nazareth, near Jerusalem. Joseph was a carpenter, and their house was humble. Three centuries after the life of Jesus, the newly-converted Emperor Constantine built a basilica over the humble brick house believed to have sheltered the Holy Family.

According to Catholic tradition, the Holy House came under threat during the turmoil of the Crusades, so in 1291, angels miraculously translated the house from its original location to a site in modern-day Croatia. An empty space was left in Nazareth and a small house suddenly appeared in a field in Croatia. The bewildered parish priest, brought to the scene by shepherds who discovered it, had a vision in which the Virgin Mary revealed it was her former house.

On December 10, 1294, the house was again moved by angels because of the Muslim invasion of Albania. It landed first in Recanti, Italy, but was shortly thereafter moved for a third time to its present location in Loreto.

The Holy House of Loreto, or Santa Casa di Loreto in Italian, has been venerated by pilgrims great and small, including many popes and saints, and numerous miracles and healings have been reported. Scientists are said to have confirmed the materials to be the same as those found in Nazareth and the house lacks normal foundations.

Many historians, Catholics included, are not entirely convinced. One problem is that there is no historical record of a house like that at Loreto existing in Nazareth. Instead, it seems pilgrims to Nazareth had venerated a kind of natural cavern in the rock as the abode of Mary and Jesus.

Another problem is that no reports have been found from the Middle East regarding the sudden disappearance of a Nazareth house. The first mention of this comes in the 16th century, after it was suggested from the West. Even in the West, no mention of the Holy House has been found until the 15th century. Additionally, there is evidence that a church dedicated to the Virgin Mary existed in Loreto before the traditional date of the arrival of the Holy House.

Given these factors, one common hypothesis about the origin of the Marian shrine of Loreto is that a miraculous statue or image of the Virgin was brought from Croatia to Loreto and placed in a humble abode that came to be venerated as well. Another possibility is that crusaders or monks brought a house, or parts of it, from the Holy Land.

Catholics who tend towards one of these less miraculous explanations are careful to point out that this does not mean pilgrims should not visit or pray at the shrine, nor that the Blessed Virgin does not work miracles there.

In 1469, a large basilica was built over the Holy House at Loreto, and still stands today. In 1507, a marble enclosure was constructed around the House inside the basilica, and in 1510, the site was officially approved for pilgrimages. Over the centuries, countless pilgrims have kneeled inside the basilica around the Holy House, wearing a trough in the hard rock.

In 1910, Our Lady of Loreto became the patron saint of pilots, because of the tradition of the house's flight from Nazareth. On September 8, the traditional birthdate of the Virgin Mary, pilots gather at the shrine to pray and participate in a colorful procession.

South face of the Renaissance marble screen around the Holy House, commissioned by Pope Julius II (1503-13) and designed by Bramante. Its sculptures, by Andrea Sansovino, Antonio Sangallo the Younger, and others, depict scenes from the Bible, the legend of the Virgin Mary, and the miracle of the Holy House. 

Our Lady of San Loreto rosary bracelet available for purchase at