A sword shall pierce through thy own soul. Luke 2:35
Words: Variously attributed to Gregory I, Bernard of Clairvaux, Innocent III, Bonaventura, Jacopone da Todi, Pope John XXII, Pope Gregory XI, and others (Stabat mater dolorosa). English translation compiled by Louis F. Benson, 1910.
Near the cross, her vigil keeping,
Stood the mother, worn with weeping,
Where He hung, the dying Lord;
Through her soul, in anguish groaning,
Bowed in sorrow, sighing, moaning,
Passed the sharp and piercing sword.
O the weight of her affliction!
Hers, who won God’s benediction,
Hers, who bore God’s Holy One:
O that speechless, ceaseless yearning!
O those dim eyes never turning
From her wondrous, suffering Son!
Who upon that mother gazing,
In her trouble so amazing,
Born of woman, would not weep?
Who of Christ’s dear mother thinking,
While her Son that cup is drinking,
Would not share her sorrow deep?
For His people’s sin chastisèd
She beheld her Son despisèd,
Bound and bleeding ’neath the rod;
Saw the Lord’s Anointed taken,
Dying desolate, forsaken,
Heard Him yield His soul to God.
Near Thy cross, O Christ, abiding,
Grief and love my heart dividing,
I with her would take my place;
By Thy guardian cross uphold me,
In Thy dying, Christ, enfold me
With the deathless arms of grace.