The Rosary of the Seven Sorrows, also known as the Chaplet of Seven Sorrows or the Servite Rosary, is a Rosary based prayer that originated with the Servite Order.
This devotion was originated in the thirteenth century and was influenced by the penitential spirit common to the Brothers of Penance with whom they were in close contact. In 1240 they withdrew from the world to pray and serve the Lord, leading a life of penance, prayer, and service to Mary. Later, they formed the Servites (Servants of Mary).
The Servites devoted their prayer to the rosary of the Seven Sorrows. The choice of the number was derived from the symbolic value of the number seven, suggesting fullness, completeness, and abundance.
In the 1980s, this devotion has gained new popularity following the Church-approved Marian apparitions in Kibeho, Rwanda in the 1980s.
In her apparitions, Our Lady of Kibeho recommended that people pray the Rosary of the Seven Sorrows to obtain the favor of repentance.
The chaplet recalls the Sorrows the Virgin Mother of God endured in compassion for the suffering and death of her Divine Son.
It reminds us that Mary plays a key role in our Redemption and that she suffered along with her Son, Jesus, to save us.
The Rosary of the Seven Sorrows consists of a ring of seven groups of seven beads separated by a small medal depicting one of the sorrows of Mary, or a single bead.
A further series of three beads and a medal are also attached to the chain (before the first "sorrow") and these are dedicated to prayer in honor of Mary's Tears, as well as to indicate the beginning of the chaplet.
Conventionally the beads are of black wood or some other black material indicating sorrow. It has also been called the Seven Swords Rosary referring to the prophecy of Simeon:
"Behold this child is set for the fall, and for the resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be contradicted; and thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed." - (Lk.2:34-35)
The Blessed Virgin Mary grants seven graces to the souls who honor her daily by
saying seven Hail Mary's and meditating on her tears and dolors (sorrows). The devotion was passed on by St. Bridget.
HERE ARE THE SEVEN GRACES:
1. I will grant peace to their families.
2. They will be enlightened about the divine mysteries.
3. I will console them in their pains and I will accompany them in their work.
4. I will give them as much as they ask for as long as it does not oppose the adorable will of my divine Son or the sanctification of their souls.
5. I will defend them in their spiritual battles with the infernal enemy and I will protect them at every instant of their lives.
6. I will visibly help them at the moment of their death, they will see the face of their Mother.
7. I have obtained from my divine Son, that those who propagate this devotion to my tears and dolors, will be taken directly from this earthly life to eternal happiness since all their sins will be forgiven and my Son and I will be their eternal consolation and joy.
"From Mary, we learn to surrender to Gods Will in all things.
From Mary, we learn to trust even when all hope seems gone.
From Mary, we learn to love Christ her Son and the Son of God!
- St Pope John Paul -