September brings lovely Marian feasts, including – in the traditional Roman calendar – Our Lady of the Good Shepherd (on the 3rd), Nativity of Mary (8th), Name of Mary (12th), Seven Sorrows of Mary or Our Lady of Sorrows (15th) and Our Lady of Ransom (24th).

The feast of Our Lady of Sorrows was instituted in Cologne in 1413 as a response to the Protestant Hussites (the ones who put the sword gashes on the face of Our Lady of Częstochowa in Poland). Pope St Pius X assigned her feast to September 15 so she could remain close to the Cross and the feast of its Exaltation on September 14.

Our Lady’s Seven Sorrows are 1) The Prophecy of Holy Simeon, 2) The Flight of the Holy Family into Egypt, 3) The Loss of the Child Jesus in the Temple, 4) The Encounter of Jesus with His Blessed Mother as He Carries the Cross, 5) The Crucifixion and Death of our Lord Jesus Christ and Mary at the foot of the Cross, 6) The Descent from the Cross, and Jesus in the Arms of His Most Blessed Mother, 7) The Burial of our Lord, and the Loneliness of the Blessed Virgin.

Speaking of seven, Our Lady revealed to St Bridget (d 1373) a devotion we can use to obtain seven graces if we meditate on her sorrows and recite seven Hail Marys. These graces are (in her voice) 1) I will grant peace to their families, 2) They will be enlightened about the divine mysteries, 3) I will console them in their pains and I will accompany them in their work, 4) 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, 5) I will defend them in their spiritual battles with the infernal enemy and I will protect them at every instant of their lives, 6) I will visibly help them at the moment of their death, they will see the face of their Mother, 7) I have obtained from my divine Son that those who propagate this devotion to my tears and sorrows will be taken directly from this earthly life to eternal happiness since all their sins will be forgiven and my Son and I will be their eternal consolation and joy.

Our beautiful devotions enrich our lives.

​How to continue reading…

This article appears in the Catholic Herald magazine - to read it in full subscribe to our digital edition from just 30p a week

The Catholic Herald is your essential weekly guide to the Catholic world; latest news, incisive opinion, expert analysis and spiritual reflection