Rosary Crusade Clarion
Devotional bulletin of the Rosary Crusade in Canada

April 2001 Issue #4

The Seven Dolors of the Blessed Virgin


THE PROPHECY OF ST. SIMEON - prophecy of st. simeon - this was the vision of future sorrow, the shadow of the Cross.

THE FLIGHT INTO EGYPT - in fear and haste, Mary felt the pain of her Son's rejection and exile.

THE THREE DAYS' LOSS - this sorrow was bitter, because it was the first separation.

MEETING JESUS WITH THE CROSS - Mary saw Him, a condemned man on His way to death.

THE CRUCIFIXION - for three hours, our Lady stood up to the worst the powers of evil can do.

THE TAKING DOWN FROM THE CROSS - the lifeless body of Christ was laid on His mother's arms.

THE BURIAL OF JESUS - Mary grieved at another three days separation from her Divine Son.


Blessed Virgin Mary


The question has been asked, if one desires to enroll in this Rosary Crusade, is it necessary to offer an extra 5 decades of the rosary every day? In answer, this is not our aim, though it may be encouraged. What is asked is that your 5 (or 1 5) decades of the rosary, which you already offer every day, should be offered for the intentions of the Rosary Crusade.

This a question of the application of our prayers for a special intention, and worth a brief explanation. It is part of the doctrine of the Mystical Body that members of the Church can help each other by their prayers. In fact it is a great help if we pray for each other, and in mystical union with each other; though we may be separated physically across this country, we are united in Christ.

To establish an intention for our prayers is very simple, as God is the searcher of our hearts: State some intention before you pray, or establish it in your mind, or to join in this Rosary Crusade in an habitual manner sign your name on the inscription form found in this bulletin. It is better to bring our petitions to mind each time we pray, for our fervor will be increased by the nearness of our desires to our mind. We ask for important things, in our intentions for the Rosary Crusade. Our prayers will not be heard if they are half-hearted, presumptuous and temporary. It is by uniting our prayers with others, and presenting these prayers to our Lord, through the intercession of our Blessed Lady, that we will offer a prayer worthy to obtain God's blessing.

United to you in devotion to the Blessed Virgin, I am,
Emanuel Herkel
Rev. Mr. Herkel


The Blessed Virgin making the Way of the Cross
Origin and advantages of this devotion

When Mary received the last words, the last sigh, of her Son, she remained at the foot of the Cross, overwhelmed with sorrow, yet calm and resigned. She had witnessed the barbarity of the soldier who pierced the side of Jesus with a lance, and it was her heart that felt the pain which Jesus could no longer feel.  Doubtless her prayers wrought the conversion of this man, and she thus began her office of Refuge of Sinners. She received the body of her Son in her arms, kissed His sacred wounds, and followed Him to the tomb. When the tomb was closed, she returned to Jerusalem with the beloved Disciple and the Holy Women, and visited the place where Jesus bade His friends His last adieu, where He gave them His last instructions, and left to the world the precious pledge of His love. There she prayed; her whole soul united, no doubt, to the soul of her divine Son.  Unable to fix her thoughts on any other subject, Mary visited all the places where Jesus had suffered. First she went to where Jesus received the Cross on His shoulders with joy for love of us. She unites her sorrow to His, and offers them to Him, accepting the large share of the Cross which He had reserved for her. When we can approach a particle of the true Cross, we kneel before it and kiss the holy relic; but when God sends us sorrow or suffering we do not think that that is a small portion of His Cross which He wishes us to carry.  Instead of murmuring then, let us kiss with love and respect the cross He sends us, and carry it with resignation. Mary, then, follows the way taken by Jesus and soon recognizes the place where overcome by His heavy burden He fell for the first time. The sorrowing Mother kissed the stones still stained with His blood, and could with difficulty tear herself away from the spot sanctified by the sorrows of the Son. Farther on, at the city gate, she finds the place where she had approached near to her Son and gazed on His adorable face. What a sad memory for Mary! Her heart was broken at the recollection of those eyes veiled by blood, fatigue and sorrow, which Jesus raised to His Mother with unspeakable love. She sees again the place where the man of Cyrene was compelled to carry the Cross of Jesus. O, my Son, she cries aloud, no one wishes to share Thy burden! The men for whom Thou hast suffered so much have left Thee alone loaded with the Cross which was to be their salvation. A stranger had to be compelled to aid Thee! Why could not I, O Jesus, take upon me all Thy sufferings!

Jesus falls under the cross

A short distance on, her heart was soother by the recollection of the brave woman, who, heeding not the crowd, made her way to Jesus, and falling on her knees before Him, gave Him a linen cloth wherewith to wipe His adorable face. Mary prays for her, and thanks her from the bottom of her heart for the compassion shown to Jesus.

Then other bloody marks show the place where Jesus, overwhelmed with fatigue, rudely jostled by the soldiers, fell again, and was assisted with fresh insults to arise. She thought of the sufferings of her Son and of our frequent relapses into sin, the cause of his sufferings, and she asked for pardon and strength for us.

The place where the holy women had wept over the sufferings of Jesus gave Mary some consolation but still greater fears for the fate of sinners. For Jesus had said "If so they treat green wood, how shall the dry wood be treated." And Mary shudders at the lot of those who refuse to follow Jesus and profit by His sufferings. Arrived at the summit of the Mount, Mary kneels and kisses the place where Jesus fell the third time. Long she remained there praying, sighing, mourning, for she knew that the cause of this third fall of Jesus was the thought that so much suffering would be useless to a great number of souls. She knew that many would fall into sin, and, unwilling to rise, would be lost forever! Her soul oppressed by this thought, she remained a long time praying, and then rising up soon reached the spot where the brutal soldiers tore off the clothes of Jesus. She recalled to mind Jesus filled with shame and sorrow, expiating in His divine flesh our sins of pride and sensuality, and, with tears, she prayed that repentance and forgiveness might be given to all sinners.

The sorrowful Mother again saw the place where the divine Lamb was placed upon the cross, and seemed to hear anew the sound of the cruel hammers! Then she recalled the terrible moment when the cross, raised upright with difficulty, fell with a dull heavy sound into the hole prepared for it, and Mary feels again the agony which that shock had caused her. She repeats in her heart all the words she had heard at the foot of the cross, and then proceeds to the tomb. She could not enter in, but there she stood, her eyes fixed on the stone that closed the sepulcher.

Such is the origin of the Way of the Cross. A pious tradition and numerous revelations made to holy souls inform us that Mary frequently visited all these places made holy by her Son's suffering and death.  In the first ages of the Church many pilgrims imitating the example of Mary, went over the way of the Cross so full of the memories of the God-Man. Even in the midst of the persecutions of the first three centuries, numerous pilgrims from distant countries sought the holy places. The number of pilgrims increased when peace was restored to the Church, even delicate women braved the dangers of a long voyage to pray where Jesus suffered....

However, as the great majority of Christians could not make this pilgrimage, and were thus deprived of the abundant favors the Church had granted to pilgrims, many Calvaries surrounded by the stations of the Cross were erected in the fifteenth century. Crowds of Christians frequented them to hear the Passion read, and to meditate upon it. Wherever this holy exercise was practiced, faith became so much more lively and the morals of the people did not hesitate to communicate to these representations of the way of the cross all the indulgences attached to that of Jerusalem, with the special clause that they were applicable to the souls in Purgatory. The bulls announcing that the indulgences are the same as those accorded to a pilgrimage to the holy places, intimate that they surpass all that the Church has ever accorded to any other exercise of piety.

Does not our love for Mary incite us to follow her in the Way of the Cross? This devotion will increase our love for Jesus, and inspire us with a sincere sorrow for our sins. It is consequently very dear to Mary. One of the most precious fruits of the month would be to convince ourselves that it is a great blessing for us to have the means of making the Way of the Cross so often. Let us go along it with Mary, we will find strength for our weakness, courage to support suffering, consolation in our afflictions, and we may relieve the souls of those dear to us who have not yet completely satisfied the justice of God in the flames of Purgatory.

From Ave Maria, May 23,1868.


At the Cross her station keeping,
    Stood the mournful Mother weeping,
   Close to Jesus to the last.

Through her heart, His sorrow sharing,
   All His bitter anguish bearing,
   Lo! the piercing sword had passed.

O how sad and sore distressed
    Was that Mother, highly blessed,
   Of the sole-begotten One.

Woe-begone with heart's prostration,
   Mother meek, the bitter Passion
   Saw she of her glorious Son.

Who on Christ's dear Mother gazing,
   In her trouble so amazing,
   Born of women would not weep?

Who on Christ's dear Mother thinking,
   Such a cup of sorrow drinking,
   Would not share her sorrow deep?

For His people's sins rejected,
   Saw her Jesus unprotected,
   Saw with thorns, with scourges rent:

Saw her Son from judgment taken,
    Her Beloved in death forsaken,
   Till His spirit forth He sent.

Fount of love and holy sorrow,
    Mother! may my spirit borrow
   Somewhat of thy woe profound;

Unto Christ, with pure emotion,
    Raise my contrite heart's devotion,
   Love to read in every wound.


Those five wounds on Jesus smitten,
    Mother! in my heart be written,
   Deep as in thine own they be;

Thou, thy Saviour's Cross who bearest,
    Thou, thy Son's rebuke who sharest,
   Let me share them both with thee.

In the Passion of my Maker,
   Be my sinful soul partaker,
   Weep till death and keep with thee;

Mine with thee be that sad station,
    There to watch the great salvation,
   Wrought upon the atoning tree.

Virgin, thou of virgins fairest,
    May the bitter woe thou bearest,
   Make on me impression deep.

Thus Christ's dying may I carry,
    With Him in His Passion tarry,
   And His wounds in memory keep.

May His wound both wound and heal me,
   He enkindle, cleanse, anneal me,
   Be His Cross my hope and stay.

May He, when the mountains quiver,
    From that flame which burns for ever,
   Shield me on the judgment day.

Jesus, may Thy Cross defend me,
    And Thy Mother's prayer befriend me,
   Let me die in Thy embrace;

When to dust my dust returneth,
    Grant a soul that to Thee yearneth,
   In Thy paradise a place.  Amen.