The Feast of Our Lady of Seven Sorrows is a reminder that the Virgin Mary was proclaimed patron saint of Slovakia by the Holy See in 1927. The day of her Ascension, September 15, has been celebrated by Slovak Catholics since 1966 following official papal acknowledgement and the day became a national holiday in 1994, the TASR newswire wrote.
The 'Seven Sorrows' feast was promoted across the whole Roman Catholic Church by Pope Benedict XIII in the 18th century but had been celebrated long before then, even in the Middle Ages. Pope Pius X chose September 15 as the day of the feast in 1913.
The Seven Sorrows refer to the following seven events based on Biblical accounts and Catholic tradition: Simeon's prophecy concerning Jesus; the flight to Egypt; the three-day disappearance of Jesus as a 12-year-old child; the meeting between Jesus and Mary on the way to the cross; the crucifixion; the taking down of Jesus’ body from the cross into Mary's arms; and the burial of Jesus.
This event is annually marked by a national pilgrimage to the Basilica of Our Lady in Šaštín in Trnava region. On Wednesday a holy mass was celebrated by Cardinal Jozef Tomko who in his homily mentioned two important traditions that Slovakia has maintained from antiquity – honouring the Virgin Mary as well as Cyril and Methodius who brought Christianity to the country.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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16. Sep 2010 at 10:00