Oil dedicated to the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrow on prayer cloth
The Feast of Our Lady of Sorrow grew in popularity in the 12th century. Although under various titles. Some writings would place its roots in the eleventh century. Especially among the Benedictine monks.The first altar to the Mater Dolorosa set up in 1221 at the Cistercian monastery of Schönau.
Ecce Homo and Mater Dolorosa Diptych, c. 1491–1520. Aelbrecht Bouts
The formal feast of the Our Lady of Sorrows originated by a provincial synod of Cologne in 1423. It designated for the Friday after the third Sunday after Easter and had the title: Commemoratio angustiae et doloris B. Mariae V. Its object the sorrow of Mary during the Crucifixion and Death of Christ. Before the sixteenth century this feast limited to the dioceses of North Germany, Scandinavia, and Scotland.
According to Fr. William Saunders, “… in 1482, the feast officially placed in the Roman Missal under the title of Our Lady of Compassion, highlighting the great love our Blessed Mother displayed in suffering with her Son. The word compassion derives from the Latin roots cum and patior which means “to suffer with”.
An annual Our Lady of Sorrows procession in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn is a tradition begun in the 1940s by immigrants from Mola di Bari, celebrating their hometown patroness. After 1600 it became popular in France and set for the Friday before Palm Sunday. By a Decree of 22 April 1727, Pope Benedict XIII extended it to the entire Latin Church, under the title “Septem dolorum B.M.V.”.In 1954, it still held the rank of major double (slightly lower than the rank of the September feast) in the General Roman Calendar. Pope John XXIII’s 1960 Code of Rubrics reduced it to the level of a commemoration.