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Mary is at the foot of your crosses: Do you see her?

Our Lady of Sorrows

Fr. Luigi Maria Epicoco - published on 09/15/22

Is this sentence from the Gospel fulfilled in us? "And from that hour the disciple took her into his home."
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Today’s readings can be found here. Read Fr. Epicoco’s brief reflections on the daily Mass readings, Monday through Saturday, here. For Sunday Mass reading commentary from Fr. Rytel-Andrianik, see here.

“Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.”

It seems that John’s Gospel wants to propose a truth to all of us: Just as Jesus is not alone in the experience of the Cross because his Mother is at his feet, so each of us must remember that Mary – by vocation, by God’s explicit mission – is at the foot of our crosses.

Therefore, contemplating Mary in her sorrow means not only sympathizing with the terrible suffering of a mother who is watching her child die, but also looking with gratitude upon this Mother who is no longer only the Mother of Jesus, but also our Mother:

“When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son.’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother.’”

John’s attitude then becomes a great lesson for the whole Church and for every Christian: Mary is not to be left as a hostage at some shrine or some village festival. She is to be brought into our home, into our daily lives.

Simple people have always known this, which is why praying to her was what brought families together, what instilled courage, and what people turned to in times of trial.

I wonder if this is still the case for us today, if the tenderness of this sentence from the Gospel continues to be fulfilled in us: “And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.”


Father Luigi Maria Epicoco is a priest of the Aquila Diocese and teaches Philosophy at the Pontifical Lateran University and at the ISSR ‘Fides et ratio,’ Aquila. He dedicates himself to preaching, especially for the formation of laity and religious, giving conferences, retreats and days of recollection. He has authored numerous books and articles. Since 2021, he has served as the Ecclesiastical Assistant in the Vatican Dicastery for Communication and columnist for the Vatican’s daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.

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