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The Sorrows of Cancer joined with Mother Mary’s Sorrows

The Rosary of the Seven Sorrows recalls the most significant sorrows Our Lady endured in her life. Praying this Rosary, while meditating on her grief and pain, will lead us to Jesus. The purpose of this Rosary is to promote union with Jesus through union with the sorrows that she endured because she was His Mother.


Like the traditional Rosary, The Seven Sorrows Rosary is a “bead-prayer.” The beads are designed to keep count of the prayers. The beads are organized into seven sets of seven beads. A single bead representing one of The Seven Sorrows precedes each set. The Our Father is prayed on that bead. The seven beads in each set are used to pray the Hail Mary. In other words, The Seven Sorrow Rosary consists of one Our Father and the Hail Mary seven times for each of The Seven Sorrows. 

Act of Contrition - To be prayed on the lead medal

O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended You, and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell; but most of all because they offend You, my God, You Who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen.


Our Father - To be prayed on the red beads

Our Father, Who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation,but deliver us from evil. Amen.


Hail Mary - To be prayed on the black beads

Hail Mary, Full of Grace, The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of death. Amen.


Begin the rosary with the Act of Contrition followed by three Hail Mary's and then follow with these meditations.

Mary’s First Sorrow: The Prophesy of Simeon


The First Sorrow of Cancer -  The Prophesy of the Oncologist


The initial news and revelation that one receives from a doctor that they have cancer is nothing but shocking. It is a time of uneasiness; uncertainty and loss of control one’s one life. It is a time to trust in God and His doctors. Mary must have experienced similar emotions at the age of 14 when Simeon prophesied to her that a sword will pierce her heart because of the suffering she will endure because of her Son.

Reflection: Beloved Mother, you suffered because of us and our sins. Teach us to suffer with you and to accept all the sorrows and suffering God deems necessary to send us.


Most merciful Mother, remind us always about the Sorrows of your Son, Jesus.


Our Father, Hail Mary (x7)

Mary’s Second Sorrow: The Flight into Egypt


The Second Sorrow of Cancer - A Journey to the Unknown


Jesus, Mary and Joseph flee to Egypt leaving behind family and friends. Their faith and trust in God sustains them.

The journey of cancer begins in a similar way. It is a fight to survive and persevere to preserve the gift of life that God has given to us. The journey is long and painful, constantly looking over your shoulder for the face of cancer to show itself, knowing all along that this is God’s plan and that trusting in Him will save us. He sends His angels to watch us and guide us through this battle for life.

Reflection: Beloved Mother, you suffered because of us and our sins. Teach us to suffer with you and to accept all the sorrows and suffering God deems necessary to send us.


Most merciful Mother, remind us always about the Sorrows of your Son, Jesus.

Our Father, Hail Mary (x7)


Mary’s Third Sorrow: Losing Jesus for Three Days


The Third Sorrow of Cancer - Something Lost and then Found


The enormity of cancer in one’s life can cause great loss, in many ways, hair, health, ability to do what you want or love, freedom, friends. Losing Jesus for three days seemed like an eternity, the loss of one’s self to cancer feels the same.


Our Father, Hail Mary (x7)

Mary’s Fourth Sorrow: Meeting Jesus face to face on the road to Calvary


The Fourth Sorrow of Cancer - Coming Face to Face with Reality


The cross of cancer is carried with perseverance and strength. Mary and Jesus’ eyes meet for the last time. A terminal cancer patient looks in the mirror to realize what the future holds. Also, loved ones look into their eyes as Mary did with Jesus, wishing she could take it all away. The pain and suffering within the hearts of family and friends is overwhelming, their love is over flowing, yet they feel helpless.


Our Father, Hail Mary (x7)


Mary’s Fifth Sorrow: The Crucifixion and Death of Jesus


The Fifth Sorrow of Cancer - Death

Chemotherapy and radiation cause the loss of life at cellular levels. This treatment causes death of cancer, and at the same time, pain and suffering and illness. It is devastating to endure and difficult for loved ones to bear. The strength needed for everyone living with cancer can only be given through the grace of God The Father.


Our Father, Hail Mary (x7)


Mary’s Sixth Sorrow: Jesus is taken down from the cross and laid in Mary’s arms


The Sixth Sorrow of Cancer - The Battle with Cancer Ends


For some this may mean that they won the battle and can bury cancer. For others, they are taken down from their cross and laid in their loved one’s arms. Mary’s sorrows are joined with theirs as she holds all her children in her arms.


Our Father, Hail Mary (x7)

Mary’s Seventh Sorrow: The Burial of Jesus


The Seventh Sorrow of Cancer - Grief and Sorrow


To think of the world without the physical presence of her Son was unbearable for Mary. Even though, she knew that the resurrection was near and that it was all in God’s plan, it did not take the pain away. The Sacred Heart of Jesus was joined with hers and on this day she felt the deepest sorrow from her great loss. Similarly, our sorrows can always be united with The Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary so that we may offer them up in prayer and find peace within ourselves.

Our Father, Hail Mary (x7)

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