Sorrows of Mary

Blog Manuscript Draft Version 1.7

This blog manuscript is continually updated and expanded as time allows. So keep watching for a sneak preview of new material. The book is planned to be published either before or no later than 2020, in various formats.

The Woman of 100 Sorrows. 

The Sorrows of Mary : The Woman of Sorrows.

Copyright 2019 John N. Lupia, III

A careful study of the "Sorrows of Mary" found in the New Testament will assist us in better understanding the personality, virtues, and theological significance of Mary.

The numbering is only tentative




"She was troubled at his word." Mary, called by God to become the mother of the Messiah, the Only Begotten One. (Luke 1:26-38) 



Mary was a consecrated perpetual virgin. She and Joseph both planned to marry practicing perpetual continence living in purity. There were societies amongst the Jews that had members that lived as perpetual consecrated virgins, both male and female. Jesus will also follow this practice in which he was born and raised. Joseph and Mary were Anawim or “the poor in spirit,” like the holy ones at Qumran, who prayed throughout the day begging God to send his Messiah to fulfill his plan for our salvation. Now, an angel, the glorious St. Gabriel, the Archangel, sent from the throne of God announces she is to bear a son. His greeting and announcement caused Mary alarm and concern. But, how can this be? Mary gave herself completely to God consecrated as a perpetual virgin. She was frightened at his words. God reassured her through Gabriel : "Be not afraid!" She obeyed - and her sorrow was turned into ecstatic joy!

2. Mary felt both joy and sorrow hearing her elder cousin Elisabeth was in her sixth month. (Luke 1:36) Her compassionate heart thought more about Elizabeth's needs than anything else.

3. Mary makes haste to visit Elizabeth (Luke 1:39-56) Mary suffered the inconvenience of traveling through the hill country in order to visit Elizabeth. Mary brought with her money, foodstuffs, and various gifts and other provisions to bring during her stay. Her betrothed, Joseph, accompanies her since he is her spouse and protector under Mosaic law.

4. Zachariah Mute as a Punishment. (Luke 1:18-20) Mary felt deeply for the pain and suffering of Zachariah who was made mute by the Archangel Gabriel for his disbelief in God's divine plan.

5. Elizabeth Reveals Mary's Pregnancy. (Luke 1:43) The embarrassment Mary must have felt when Elizabeth calls her "the mother of my Lord" in front of Joseph. The deed is done. She must now find a way to explain - but instead she turns to God to do this.

6. Joseph contemplated divorcing Mary (Matthew 1:19) Mary felt deeply for her betrothed who, feeling so unworthy to be her spouse and guardian of her and the Messiah considered divorcing her privately. Who among us is worthy to receive salvation, forgiveness, mercy, and to be given grace beyond all measure in eternal life in heaven? Her prayers for Joseph brought God's immediate remedy sending an angel to reveal to him His will to keep Mary as his wife.

7. The Census (Luke 2:1) Joseph and Mary obedient to Caesar's law went to Bethel, the native town of Joseph, to record his household for the census. The hardship of an expectant mother journeying through the hill country for such a great distance caused Mary to suffer the stress of such a trip.

8. No room in the Inn.  (Luke 2:1-18) Joseph of the House of David and his wife, Mary, who is also of the House of David are rejected by their own kinsmen at the Inn. This is contrary to the Jewish custom of hospitality which welcomes strangers. Selfishness, disinterest, and cold heartedness cause such pain and suffering for those in need to be neglected.

9. Born in a Stable (Luke 2:1-18) Mary suffered the inconvenience and poverty of conditions and circumstances to bear her child in a proper place. The filth and odors of a stable confronted Mary and Joseph preparing a hygienic environment to birth the child and lay him to rest.

10. Christ Lay in a Manger (Luke 2:1-18) How Mary suffered to place her child in a manger as a crib. God wished this she knew. This sign showed her that her child would be the nourishment for our souls, broken and fallen which rendered us much like the beasts around them.

11. The Massacre of the Innocents (Matthew 2:16-18) 

12. The Prophecy of Simeon (Luke 2:34-35) Joseph and Mary obedient to God's law presented Jesus in the Temple.

13. The Holy Family forced into political exile fled into Egypt. (Matthew 2:13-14) Mary and Joseph suffered the loss of their homeland, homes, families, friends, life with all its possessions and their work at home.

14. Herod's son Archelaus ruled, and Joseph was afraid to return to Bethlehem (Matthew 2:22) Mary and Joseph knew what it was like to live in a powerful and cruel society. They lived in fear of persecution and punishment from rival authority. They returned to Israel but could not yet go into Jerusalem or any part of the kingdom of Judea because of Archelaus. 

15. Jesus is  lost in the Temple at Jerusalem (Luke 2:41-52) The memory of Simeon's prophesy "Your own heart a sword shall pierce" was continually in Mary's thoughts while searching those three days wondering where Jesus was, or if he was safe and sound, or if he had fallen victim to evil hands.

"Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you" Luke 13:34 We recall these words spoken by Jesus and found in the first Gospel ever written, Luke, assisted by Mary, the Mother of God. This particular first clause of the saying of Jesus was probably an adage at the beginning of the first century. Mary must have had these very thoughts worrying about Jesus' safety

16. John the Baptist is arrested.

17. "Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?" (John 1:46) This quote from the Apostle Nathaniel reflects the sentiment in Judean society towards Nazarenes. This bias against Galileans among the Judeans was the result of the track record Galilee had for producing revolutionaries, false messiahs, and trouble for Judea. It was hurtful for Mary to see herself, her son, and husband be labeled as trouble makers from Galilee in Judean society.

18. Nazarenes attempt to throw Jesus off a cliff (Luke 4:29) Mary was cut to the heart to see her townsmen bent of killing Jesus. 

19. Jesus predicts his Passion and death the first time. (Matthew 16:21-23)

20. They have no wine. (John 2:3) Mary's compassionate heart felt deeply for the newlyweds discovering they ran out of wine.

21. John the Baptist is beheaded by Herod.

22. Many disciples leave Jesus. (John 6:60-66) Mary was very sorrowful to see so many disciples leave her son after he taught them about the eucharist.

23. Scribes murmur Jesus blasphemes. (Matthew 9:3)

24. Jesus accused by Pharisees of keeping bad company of sinners and tax collectors. (Matthew 9:9-10)

25. Jesus accused of being a sorcerer in league with the devil.  (Luke 11:15)

26. Nazarene family of Jesus think he is insane. (Mark 3:20) Nazareth was cosmopolitan with rich culture from Greek and Roman influences and this in turn influenced religious sentiments. The piety and preaching of Jesus among his own townsmen was very mixed with some who considered him crazy. It was hurtful to Mary knowing not only her townsmen but especially family members thought Jesus crazy. Since Mary was the perfect disciple and mirror of her son these comments were certainly hurled against her as well. 

27. Woman caught in adultery. Mary grieved when Jews picked up stones to execute sinners. 

28. Nicodemus is secretly a disciple for fear of the Jews. (John 19:38)

29. Caiaphas' judgement regarding Jesus was that : "it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.” (John 11:50) When Mary learned of Caiaphas' plan to kill Jesus she was pierced through with shock and horror. 

30. "He came to His own and His own did not receive Him." (John 1:11)

31. "The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone." (Psalm 118:22; Matthew 21:42; Acts 4: 11; Mark 12:10; 1 Peter 2:7)

32. Jesus predicts his Passion and death a second time. (Matthew 17:21-23)

32. Jesus not welcome at a Samaritan village (Luke 9:51-56)

33. Jesus accused of being a glutton and a drunkard. (Luke 7:34)

34. Rich young man departs Jesus (Matthew 19:16-22)

35. Jesus condemns Capernaum. (Matthew 11:23)

36. Jesus considered filthy since he violates ritual purification customs. (Matthew 15:1-20)

37. Pharisees and Herodians protest Jesus entering the Temple by exiting. (Mark 3:1)

38. Jesus accused of breaking and violating the Sabbath. (Mark 3:2)

39. Jerusalem Temple Jews tried to stone Jesus (John 8:49) Mary was horrified that the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem wanted to have Jesus stoned to death. 

(John 10:23-31)

40. Jesus accused of abolishing the law. (Matthew 5:17)

41. Jesus predicts his Passion and death a third time. (Matthew 20:17-19)

42. The death of Lazarus. (John 11:1-44) Jesus wept hearing Lazarus died. Mary was also close to Lazarus and shared in the grief of his passing. 

43. Jews laugh at Jesus. (Luke 8:53)

44. Jews demand Jesus give a sign. (Matthew 12:38-45; 16:1-4)

45. Woes against Scribes and Pharisees (Matthew 23:13-36) see all six woes 955-956

46. Jesus condemns Chorazin and Bethsaida. (Luke 10:13-15)

47. Jewish Temple leaders corrupted the Temple like a band of thieves. (Matthew 21:13)

48. Jesus predicts destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem.

49. Belligerent Jews challenge and provoked Jesus demanding by what authority does he act?  (Matthew 21:23-24)

50. Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?" (John 12:5-6)

51. Conspiracy to betray Jesus (Matthew 26:14-16)

52. Jesus laments over Jerusalem (Matthew 23:37-39)

53. One of you is about to betray me (John 13:21, Matthew 26:21, Mark 14:18) Mary and the other women relatives of the Apostles were present during the Last Supper. Mary suffered hearing her son say that one of his intimate friends was about to betray him.

54. Judas Betrays Jesus (Luke 22:3-5) One of Mary's spiritual sons, Judas, betrayed Jesus for money.

55. Jesus is arrested and beaten by the Jewish Temple guards. 

Jesus condemned by Sanhedrin in mock trial. (Matthew 26:57-68)

And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again. (Luke 18:33) Mary heard heard son's prediction about his Passion, Death and Resurrection, time and time again whenever he reminded his apostles and disciples about it. For Mary it was a reminder harking back to the prophesy of Simeon when Christ was an infant presented in the Temple at Jerusalem that he was destined to be a sign of contradiction, rejection and be pierced. Simeon also told her that she too would have her heart pierced by this suffering and the tragedy of his Passion.

Release Barabbas! (Matthew 27:20-21) Mary suffered to hear the crowd loudly yelling for the release of Barabbas the criminal rather than see her son released.

They shouted all the louder "Crucify him!"  (Mark 15:14) Mary was cut to her very depth hearing her people demanding Jesus be executed in the most disgusting and horrible manner by crucifixion. 

We have no king but Caesar! (John 19:15) Mary remembered Gabriel's revelation "his reign will have no end." (Luke 1:32-33) She beheld her royal son, the King of Creation, now denied by the Temple leaders and totally rejected.

Peter Denies Jesus (John 18:13-27) One of Mary's spiritual sons, Peter, denied Jesus three times.

I will therefore punish him and release him.” (Luke 23:22) Mary heard Pilates decree to physically punish her beloved son with scourging and beatings. Her heart was pierced. When the Roman guards removed him into Fortress Antonia her mind raced with fear for Jesus knowing how brutal and cruel these guards could be. She stood outside with John waiting to catch sight of Jesus when he would exit, but instead, they heard the horrific sounds of the raucous inside with guards swarming on Jesus beating him, whipping him and the sounds of Jesus weeping, shouting, and crying in agony.

Jesus and Mary on the Via Crucis. (Luke 23:27; Mark 15:40) Mary and a large group of women disciples met Jesus as he carried his cross. Mary wept most bitterly since her weeping was mirrored in the words of Jesus to the women who were present "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep rather for yourselves and for your children." (Luke 23:28) By obeying Jesus these women are weeping for their children imitating Mary, who weeps for her son. Jesus hold Mary as the model to imitate as he did before in Matthew 12:48-50.

They strip Jesus and divide his garments casting lots.

The Crucifixion - Mary stood standing near the Cross. (John 19:25) Mary helplessly watched her son suffering, writhing in horrific pain, loud cries and tears, chocking, gasping for breath. 

Today you will be with me in paradise. (Luke 23:43) Mary hearing these words wept. She knew Jesus was about to die and would be gone. Her sorrow turned to joy thinking about salvation opened up to a common thief and criminal signaled in salvation opened up to everyone.

The jeering crowd scoffs at Jesus with disrespect and ridicule. (Mark 15: 29-30; Matthew 27:32-44) Mary had to bear the added torment of the arrogant sinful crowd as they exhibited their hatred and rejection of Jesus.

"I thirst"

"It is finished."

"Father into your hands I commend my spirit."

The Deposition of Jesus From the Cross - ( Ἀποκαθήλωσις) (John 19:38-42) Mary cradles her dead son in her arms her heart broken with grief, shock and horror.

The Burial of Christ. (John 19:41) Mary laid her son in his white linen tallit, i.e., his garment she wove for him for his twelfth birthday when he became "Son of the Torah" customarily used by all Jews as their burial shroud. Her tears mixed with Christ's bloodstains now preserved at Turin as his funerary memorial testament that ingeniously conserved a photographic negative of him post mortem. The swaddling cloth she also wove while visiting Elizabeth in which she wrapped Jesus at birth is now used as the cloth that covered his head in the tomb. She echoed her son's words "My soul is sorrowful to the point of death." (Matthew 26:38)

Judas commits suicide by hanging. (Matthew 27:1-10) Mary already overwhelmed by grief now must bear the shocking horror of the suicide death of Judas. 

Roman guards bribed to claim disciples took the corpse of Jesus. (Matthew 28:11-15)

Thomas incredulous. (John 20:24-31) Mary was hurt to see Thomas doubt the credulity of the the apostles who eyewitnesses Jesus' post resurrection appearance to them.

Peter was imprisoned by Temple leaders. (Acts 5:17-26) Mary wept when she heard her spiritual son Peter was arrested. She knew they wanted to kill him just as they did to her son Jesus.Mary prayed and he was miraculously freed.

St. Paul, as Rabbi Saul, persecuted the Church and had many Christians arrested and tortured. The persecution of the Church caused Mary much sorrow.

Stoning of Stephen (Acts 7:54-60) Mary wept to see her spiritual children persecuted and Stephen become the first martyr victim. 

James killed by Herod (Acts 12:2) Mary sees her dear spiritual son, James, killed. Mary understands the Church is modeled after her son, Jesus, and like him will be crucified in every age. Jesus taught they would be handed over just as he was (Matthew 10:17, 19)

Peter imprisoned by Herod. (Acts 12:5) Mary sees her dear spiritual son, Peter, like Jesus, again imprisoned. She grieves in deep sorrow for him. 

In St. Luke's Book of Acts of the Apostles we find that Peter was martyred sometime after the Council of Jerusalem in AD 49, since there is total silence about Peter following it. Although no canonical record has survived about Peter's death beginning a century later legends about it began to emerge.

Paul thwarted at Philippi (1 These 2:2) "Fresh from the humiliation we had suffered at Philippi" Mary suffered together with the apostles in their sacred commission to spread the Gospel and increase the Church throughout the whole world.