Goffine’s Devout Instructions – Feast of the Seven Dolors of the Blessed Virgin

Goffine's Devout Instructions - Feast of the Seven Dolors of the Blessed VirginFriday in Passion Week

The part which the Blessed Virgin took in the sufferings and death of her beloved Son has induced the Church to give her the glorious title of Queen of Martyrs. The feast of the Seven Dolors was first instituted by the Council of Cologne, in the year 1423, in order to make amends for what the Hussites had done against the veneration of the Blessed Virgin, whom they, like all heretics, had assailed with many calumnies and insults; in particular, rejecting the image of the Mother of Dolors with the body of her dead Son resting upon her lap. This feast was originally called the feast of the Compassion of the Blessed Virgin.

At the presentation of Jesus in the temple Simeon had predicted that the suffering of the Son wolud be the suffering of the Mother also: “Behold this child is set for the fall and for the resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be contradicted; and thy own soul a sword shall pierce.” (Luke 2:34, 35) The ignominy, insults, and cruelties inflicted on Him were to be so many swords piercing her heart. Remember, therefore, on this day the seven dolors which the Blessed Virgin experienced:

  1. At the circumcision of her Son.
  2. At her flight into Egypt with Him.
  3. On losing Him for three days in the temple.
  4. At the sight of Him carrying the cross.
  5. At His death.
  6. When beholding His side pierced with a spear, and His body taken down from the cross.
  7. At His burial.

Make an act of contrition for your sins, which helped so much to cause the sufferings and death of Jesus, and resolve firmly that you will no more grieve the hearts of Jesus and Mary by sin. Ask her to assist you at your death by her powerful intercession, that then she may show herself to you as a mother, and obtain from her beloved Son grace for you.

The Introit of the Mass is as follows: “There stood by the cross of Jesus His Mother, and His Mother’s sister, Mary of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalen.” (John 19) “Woman, behold thy son,” said Jesus, and to the disciple: “Behold thy mother.”

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.


O Lord, in Whose passion, according to the prophecy of Simeon, a sword of sorrow pierced the most sweet soul of Mary, mother and virgin, grant, in Thy mercy, that we may call to mind with veneration her transfixion and sufferings; and by the glorious merits and prayers of all the saints, who stood faithfully by the cross, interceding for us, may experience the happy effects of Thy passion. Who livest, and reignest, for ever and ever, Amen.

Epistle: Judith 13:22-25

The Lord hath blessed thee by His power, because by thee He hath brought our enemies to naught. And Ozias, the prince of the people of Israel, said to her, Blessed art thou, O daughter, by the Lord the most high God, above all women upon the earth. Blessed be the Lord Who made heaven and earth, Who hath directed thee to the cutting off the head of the prince of our enemies. Because He hath so magnified thy name this day, that thy praise shall not depart out of the mouth of men who shall be mindful of the power of the Lord forever, for that thou hast not spared thy life, by reason of the distress and tribulation of thy people, but hast prevented our ruin in the presence of our God.

Gospel: John 19:25-27

At that time: There stood by the cross of Jesus His Mother, and His Mother’s sister, Mary of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalen. When Jesus therefore had seen His Mother and the disciple standing whom He loved, He saith to His Mother: Woman, behold thy son. After that, He saith to the disciple: Behold thy mother. And from that hour the disciple took her to his own.

– Goffine’s Devout Instructions