While many of the Virgin Mary’s titles originate from specific apparitions, Our Lady of Sorrows is one of her titles that is derived from a biblical passage.
The most direct reference to this title is in the Gospel of Luke, where the prophet Simeon proclaims what will happen to Mary and her son, Jesus.
“Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel,Luke 2:35
and for a sign that is spoken against
(and a sword will pierce through your own soul also),
that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed.”
This one verse highlights the pain that Mary will experience, a pain that will benefit the world.
Furthermore, Mary’s sorrows are brought to light when she is standing at the foot of the cross, witnessing the death of her son.
Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.John 19:25-27
With these biblical passages in mind, it is fitting that Mary would be called, “Our Lady of Sorrows” or “Our Sorrowful Mother.”