The Guéranger Blog

Welcome to the Gueranger Blog! You have stumbled across the notebook I use to record my thoughts as I read through Dom Prosper Gueranger's 15-volume set, The Liturgical Year. I do not have any special expertise in liturgy, but I have some general knowledge of Catholic theology and an enthusiasm for Gueranger's magnum opus. Think of it as the Liturgical Year fan site!

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The Seven Sorrows of Mary

Canisius | 07 April, 2006 14:16

In Dom Gueranger's time, today would have been--OK, by the very fact that it is today it couldn't have been in Dom Gueranger's time. Let me try again.

Back in the day, the Friday of the week before Holy Week was the Feast of the Seven Dolours of Our Lady. (There was also another feast by the same name in September.) Dom Gueranger's entry for this day is especially powerful, it seems to me. I'm sorry I couldn't find the text online and don't have time to scan it myself. It's some of the best Marian devotional stuff I've read.

A few notes on small side-points that caught my interest:

1. Gueranger imagines (VI,169) that Mary must have often shown Judas signs of motherly affection before the great betrayal. I hadn't thought about that before: what relationship did Mary have with the apostles, and therefore with Judas?

2. Gueranger insists (VI,175) that Mary did not swoon but stood by the cross, and he relates this to the fact that a priest stands at the altar while sacrificing. This bold image of Mary as a quasi-priest is striking in these days of controversy about women in the priesthood. I've often heard the argument that if Jesus had wanted women to be priests then surely he would have made Mary a priest, but one might could bolster that argument by pointing to the real way in which Mary was--and every woman can be--a priest.

3. Gueranger says to Mary in his final prayer (VI,176), "We, thy adopted children, entered into thy heart by the cruel piercing of the sword of suffering." This is a neat turn of imagery when you picture it, as though the sword piercing Mary's heart created an opening through which we could enter.


Comment Icon Father Barry

Father Barry | 07/04/2006, 19:08

Quick question:

Does G. give any reasons for the claim that Mary "must have often shown Judas signs of motherly affection?" Or does he just state it as a fact?

Comment Icon Mother Mary

Canisius | 09/04/2006, 00:44

No, he doesn't. I suspect that he imagines Mary much the way she is portrayed in Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ", where all the disciples call her "mother". If that's a good way to think about it, then she would have had the same role toward Judas before the Deed.

But there's no way to prove any of it.

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