Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows: The Franciscan Connection

As the Church celebrates the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows (September 15), it is good to know the important role that Franciscans played in promoting this particular image of Mary and why.

Cross of Christ central to Saints Francis and Clare

The Cross of Christ was central to Francis and Clare, as we know from the place the cross of San Damiano played in their lives and from Francis’s early prayer, “We adore you, Lord Jesus Christ, in all your churches throughout the whole world and we bless you, because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.”

Crucifixion frescoe Lorenzetti 700pxlsCrucifixion frescoe by Pietro Lorenzetti (c. 1315-1320) in the Basilica of Saint Francis in Assisi

Promoting the suffering humanity of Jesus

But by the 1220s this emphasis took a new turn: in their preaching of penance, Franciscans promoted devotion to the suffering humanity of Jesus to draw people to conversion.

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