Jack Foley

 


MATER DOLOROSA

(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,

Benedicta,

 

Of that Only Begotten,

Who sees her Sonís

Torment.

 

Who would not

Weep

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

Dies

My soul may find

 

The Glory of Paradise

 

*

 

Virgin of virgins,

Be not bitter at me

Grant

 

That I die Christís death

That I bear the Passion

And the remembrance

 

Of His wounds

Make me

Drunk

 

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