Jack Foley



(a free translation of Stabat Mater)


Mother stands grieving

Next to the cross

On which her Son hangs


She whose soul

Was pierced

By a sword


Grieving mother,

Pia Mater,



Of that Only Begotten,

Who sees her Sonís



Who would not


At this?


She suffers

With her sweet Son

Suffering for the Sins of his People


Whips and swords

Till, desolate, dying,

He sends his Spirit forth.


Christ, when I must go forth

Into that last exile

May I find You


Through Your mother.




O Mother,

Fountain of Love,

Let me feel these     sorrows


Grant that my heart

May burn

And that the wounds


Of crucifixion

Pierce my body

Let me


Weep for the Crucified

And stand beside you

In sorrow at the cross


That when my body


My soul may find


The Glory of Paradise




Virgin of virgins,

Be not bitter at me



That I die Christís death

That I bear the Passion

And the remembrance


Of His wounds

Make me



With the Way of the Cross

And the blood of your Son

Lest I be destroyed


By fire

Lest I be abandoned

On the Day of Judgment


Make me

Custodian of that Cross

That Grace may flood through me


On the last day,

That my soul may see

The Glory


Of Paradise

May it be.


Traditionally a form of popular devotion, this hymn, variously attributed to Innocent III (1160 or 61-1216) and Jacopone da Todi (1230-1306), is currently sung or recited on the memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows, September 15. The Latin text can be found in the Liturgy of the Hours, Volume IV, Appendix V.

Copyright ©  2009 Jack Foley