I had heard this prayer was powerful, it was not until I started praying it myself that I realized just how special it is. It is called the Rosary of the Seven Sorrows, the Seven Dolors of Mary Chaplet, or the Servite Rosary.
Lots of promises attached to this one. I'll list them following an explanation of the prayer. These rosaries are not as widely available as the standard five decade version, but there is a place online to purchase a seven sorrows rosary here. This site is an outstanding resource - it has a booklet explaining the rosary in detail, a CD to accompany your prayers and a book explaining the approved 20th century apparition where Our Lady specifically requested this prayer. Awesome!
There are seven mysteries, followed by seven small beads ( called weeks instead of decades)
The prayer goes like this:
1) Act of Contrition
2) Announce the First Sorrow. Our Father... then pray Seven Hail Marys while meditating on the Sorrow
3) Announce each respective Sorrow, pray the Our Father, then pray Seven Hail Marys while meditating on the Sorrow.
4) Finish with three Hail Marys for the Tears of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
5) Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be for the intentions of the Holy Father 6) Final prayer is: ' Virgin Most Sorrowful, Pray for Us' three times.
The Seven Sorrows of Our Lady, with thanks to TheGrotto.org
The First Sorrow
The Holy Prophecy of Simeon: The Blessed Virgin, filled with joy, presented her only son in the temple. How her heart must have broken to hear the prophetic words of Simeon as he foretold the suffering of the Savior and His mother.
The Second Sorrow
The Flight of the Holy Family into Egypt: On a moments notice, St. Joseph and the Blessed Virgin must take the Infant Jesus on a perilous journey to evade Herod's men who hunted Him. They endured cold, hunger and many hardships as they made their way to a foreign land.
The Third Sorrow
Mary seeks Jesus lost in Jerusalem: The Virgin Mary understands firsthand the profound sorrow of losing a child. For three agonizing days St. Joseph and the Blessed Mother searched for twelve-year-old Jesus, before finding Him among the scholars in the temple.
The Fourth Sorrow
Mary meets Jesus on the way to Calvary: Jesus, battered and condemned to crucifixion, meets His mother, on the road to Calvary. He is beaten and indescribably defiled; her sorrow is absolute as Jesus drags the cross on which He will be crucified.
The Fifth Sorrow
Mary stands at the foot of the cross: 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," a gift for all of mankind, as His Beloved Mother becomes Mother of All Peoples.
The Sixth Sorrow
Mary holds the body of Jesus: The Pieta. The passion and death are complete, but for Our Lady, grief continues. She holds His body in her arms. Meditate on her tears.
The Seventh Sorrow
Mary places the body of Jesus in the tomb: The sun goes down on the most tragic day in history. As she awaits in faith the resurrection of her Son, Mary alone in sorrow, lays the body of her Son in the tomb.
The Promises with thanks to MotherofAllPeoples.org and piercedhearts.org
According to the visions of St. Bridget of Sweden (1303-1373) our Blessed Mother promises to grant seven graces to those who honor her and draw near to her and her Son every day by meditating on her dolors (sorrows) and entering into her grief.
- "I will grant peace to their families."
- "They will be enlightened about the divine Mysteries."
- "I will console them in their pains and 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."
- "I have obtained this grace from my divine Son, that those who propagate this devotion to my tears and dolors will be taken directly from this earthly life to eternal happiness, since all their sins will be forgiven and my Son will be their eternal consolation and joy."
St. Alphonsus Liguori testifies to complementary revelations given by Our Lord to St. Elizabeth of Hungary (1207-1231) where He further promises four special graces to those dedicated to the sufferings of the co-redeeming Mother:
1. That those who before death invoke the Blessed Mother in the name of her sorrows, should obtain true repentance of all their sins.
2. That He would protect in their tribulations all who remember this devotion, and that He would protect them especially at the hour of death.
3. That He would impress upon their minds the remembrance of His Passion, and that they should have their reward for it in Heaven.
4. That He would commit such devout clients to the hands of Mary, so that she might obtain for these souls all the graces she wanted to lavish upon them.
It is hard to describe the peace I feel when I pray this rosary.
Please, Lord, let your peace remain with us always.