Giuseppe d’Arimatea, a noble member of the city senate, wanted to have the honor of giving the burial to the body of Jesus and gave a new tomb, dug into the living stone, not far from the place where the Lord had been crucified. He bought a shroud to wrap the sacred limbs in it.
The dead Jesus was transported with maximum respect to the burial; a sad procession formed: some disciples carried the corpse, the pious women followed moved and among them was the Virgin of Sorrows; even the Angels invisibly surrounded the procession.
The corpse was placed in the sepulcher and, before being wrapped in the shroud and tied with the bandages, Mary gave Her last gaze to His Jesus. Oh, how would Our Lady wanted to remain buried with Her Divine Son, in order not to abandon Him!
It was already almost evening and it was necessary to leave the sepulcher. St. Bonaventure says that Mary returning from that place passed where the Cross was still raised; She gazed at the cross with affection and sorrow and kissed the Blood of Her Divine Son, which still embellished it.
The sorrowful mother returned home with John, the beloved Apostle. This poor Mother was so distressed and sad, says St. Bernard, the she moved while crying.
Heartbreaking is the first night for a mother who loses her child; darkness and silence lead to reflection and the awakening of memories.
On that night, says St. Alphonsus, our Lady could not rest and the terrifying scenes of the day were still alive in her mind. In so much anguish, She was held strong by Her uniformity with the will of God and by the firm hope of the near resurrection.
Consider that death will come for us too; we will be placed in a sepulcher and there we will wait for the universal resurrection. The thought that our body will gloriously rise again, give us light in life, comfort in trials and sustains us on the point of death.
Consider also that our Lady, moving away from the sepulcher, left buried Her Heart together with that of Jesus. We too bury our heart, with its affections, in the Heart of Jesus. To live and die in Jesus; to be buried with Jesus, to rise again with Him.
The sepulcher that kept the Body of Jesus for three days is a symbol of our heart that preserves Jesus alive and true with Holy Communion. This thought is recalled in the last station of the Via Crucis, when it says: O Jesus, let me receive you worthily in Holy Communion!
We have meditated on the seven sorrows of Mary. Let the memory of what Our Lady suffered for us be always present in our mind.
Our Heavenly Mother wishes that Her sons never forget Her tears for them.
In 1259 She appeared to seven of Her devotees, who were then the founders of the Congregation of the Servants of Mary; She presented them with a black robe, saying that if they wanted to please Her, they would often meditate on Her sorrows and in memory of these sorrows they would wear the black robe as their habit.
O Virgin of Sorrows, imprint in our hearts and minds the memory of the Passion of Jesus and of your sorrows!
The youthful period of one’s life is often very dangerous a moment for purity; if the heart is not dominated, it can reach as far as to commit great aberration in the way of evil.
A young man from Perugia, burning with illicit love and failing in his bad intent, invoked the devil in order to be helped. The infernal enemy presented itself in a human form.
He declared: “I promise to give you my soul if you help me commit a sin!”
The devil asked: “Are you willing to write down this promise?”
Yes; and I will sign it with my blood! The unhappy young man managed to commit that sin. Immediately afterwards the demon led him near a well; he said to him: Keep your promise now! Thrown yourself into this well; if you do not, I will take you to hell in body and soul!
The young man, believing that he could no longer free himself from the hands of the evil one, not having the courage to jump, he added: Give me the push; since I dare not throw myself in!
Our Lady then came to help. The young man was wearing the little scapular of Our Lady of Sorrows around his neck; he had been carrying it already for some time. The demon added: First remove the scapular from your neck, otherwise I cannot give you a push!
The sinner understood from these words the inferiority of Satan before the power of the Virgin and shouting aloud invoked the Sorrowful Mother. The demon, angry at seeing his prey escape, protested, tried to intimidate with threats, but eventually defeated left.
The poor man, grateful to the Mother of Sorrows, went to thank Her and, repenting of his sins, wanted to offer a vow in thanksgiving, which he expressed in a painting on an altar in the Church of S. Maria La Nuova, in Perugia.
A Little Spiritual Flower Offering to our Lady:
– Make the habit to recite seven Hail Marys each day, in honor of the seven Sorrows of Our Lady, adding: Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for me!
Prayer to Mary:
– O God, you always watch me from above. Shall I dare offend you in your presence?
Adapted and Translated from:
MARIA REGINA E MADRE DI MISERICORDIA (Mese di Maggio) – by DON GIUSEPPE TOMASELLI