The Sorrow-Filled Mother Stood

Another translation from Latin. Usually attributed to Fra Jacopone da Todi in the 13th century. If you have not heard Pergolesi’s setting of this poem, look it up immediately.

Stabat Mater Dolorosa

The sorrow-filled mother stood weeping near the cross,
while hung her son.

Through her spirit, moaning, saddened, and in pain,
passed a sword.

How sad and crushed down was that blessed one,
mother of the alone-begotten!

Mournful and hurting, that good mother, while she watched
the punishment of her glorious son.

Who is the man unweeping if he sees the mother of Christ
in such torture?

Who will not be saddened to contemplate Christ’s mother
grieving with her son?

For the sins of his people, she saw Jesus in torment
and subjected to whips.

She saw her sweet child about to die forsaken
until he let go his spirit

See, mother, spring of love, make me to feel the weight of that anguish
that I might mourn with you.

Make my heart burn in the love of the Christ-God
that I might please him.

Holy mother, make it so, that the crucified’s stripes
be firmly fixed on my heart

Of your wounded son, now deemed fit to suffer for me,
let me share his punishment.

Make me truly weep with thee, taste agonies with the crucified
as long as I shall live.

Near the cross to stand with you, willingly united with you
in lamentation, I desire.

Virgin, brightest of virgins, be not bitter with me now!
Make me now to lament with you.

Make me to bear Christ’s death, his lot of suffering,
and recall his stripes afresh.

Make me bear the stripes of the cross, here to be intoxicated
by the love of your son.

Inflamed and illuminated by you, virgin, let me be defended,
in the day of justice.

Make the cross to guard me, fortified by the death of Christ,
to be cared for by grace.

When the body dies, let the soul be given
the glory of Paradise.
Amen.

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