Our Mother of Sorrows,
Model of Compassion

Our Mother of Sorrows or Our Lady of Seven Sorrows is one of many titles by which the Catholic Church venerates the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus. The title emphasizes the unity of the mother to her suffering son, who sacrificed himself to give people a new life. Mary remains strong and steadfast despite the pain as she accompanies Jesus in his mission as Redeemer.

Emilie Gamelin and Our Mother of Sorrows

Married to Jean-Baptiste Gamelin in 1823, Emilie Tavernier Gamelin had the pain of losing her first two children in their infancy after only a few months; then her husband died on October 1, 1827. She found comfort in prayer and charitable works. In 1828, she was again tested with the death of her last child. Infinitely sad, Emilie accepted this new mourning with faith and shared her sorrow with her spiritual director. The priest gave Emilie a picture of Mary at the foot of the Cross of her son Jesus. He invited her to pray and reflect. Emilie asserted: “I only found consolation in prayer and the contemplation of the Sorrows of Mary.”

In her journey, Emilie Gamelin began by praying to the Virgin, who saw the suffering of her Son. Emilie understood that praying to Our Mother of Sorrows was, and still is, a way to lead us to Jesus, by accepting our own suffering. Emilie resisted the temptation of self-pity; she chose instead to join her sorrows with those of Jesus. Her forgetfulness of self enabled her to turn to others and be nourished by her devotion to Our Mother of Sorrows in order to find the strength to act and alleviate all sorts of human misery. This is where the Charism of the Sisters of Providence takes its source: in “the manifestation of the mysteries of the Providence of God and Our Mother of Sorrows in compassionate love and creative prophetic solidarity with the poor.”

The Seven Sorrows of Mary
  • The Prophecy of Simeon at the Presentation the Infant Jesus in the Temple. (Luke 2: 34-35)
  • The Flight of the Holy Family to Egypt. (Matthew 2: 13-21)
  • The Loss of the Child Jesus for Three Days. (Luke 2: 41-51)
  • Jesus Meets Mary Carrying His Cross. (Luke 23: 27-31)
  • Mary at the foot of the Cross of Jesus. (John 19: 25-27)
  • Descent from the Cross. (Matthew 27: 57-59)
  • The Burial of Jesus. (John 19: 40-42)