Certainly, it is the duty of Christians towards the Blessed Virgin Mary, as children of so good a Mother, to honor unceasingly and with affectionate zeal the memory of the bitter sorrows which she underwent with admirable courage and invincible constancy especially when she stood at the foot of the Cross and offered those sorrows to the Eternal Father for our salvation.
How appropriate then the injunction which the saintly Tobias laid on his son with regard to his mother: “For thou must be mindful what and how great perils she suffered for thee” (Tob. 4:4).
What refuge and what consolation can we not promise ourselves and hope for from the Virgin Mary, when in our adversities we ourselves spontaneously desire to take part in her anguish and in her sorrows! Where can we find a greater stimulus to excite our hearts to that sorrow so justly wished for by God in order that He may grant us His mercy, than in the loving and continuous meditation on Mary’s sorrow?
Pope Pius VII, Letter to the Bishop of Cagliari, January 9, 1801, on the Concession of the Feast of Our Lady of the Seven Dolors.