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The Fourth Dolor: Jesus and Mary Meet on the Via Dolorosa
The Fourth Dolor of Our Lady’s heart is tied to the Fourth Station of the Cross. Though not supported by Sacred Scripture, early legends of the Church tell us that Mary journeyed with Jesus on the Via Dolorosa, and “swooned away for anguish of heart” when she saw Him. What must it have been like to behold her Son in such a state of suffering?
Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman said this in his reflection on this dolor: Mary would rather have had all his sufferings herself, could that have been, than not to have known what they were by ceasing to be near him. ... He was now carrying the load of the world’s sins, and, all holy though he was, he carried the image of them on his very face. ... what a meeting of Mother and Son! Yet there was a mutual comfort, for there was a mutual sympathy.
Read St. Luke’s account of The Way of the Cross (23:26-31). Picture yourself in the scene as one of the women along the way. Imagine the encounter between Mary and Jesus. Journal your thoughts, inspirations, insights, and emotions.