BY GRADY STUCKMAN
Franciscan University graduate students felt called to found a club to spread the message of the Seven Sorrows rosary after hearing the witness and testimony of Immaculée Ilibagiza regarding devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows.
Our Lady of Sorrows club kicked off this year on the feast day of Our Lady of Sorrows by hosting its first meeting and praying a Seven Sorrows rosary in the Marian Grotto.
This rosary is markedly different from the rosary to which most Catholics are accustomed. Instead of five decades, this rosary consists of seven “weeks,” each prayed with an Our Father and seven Hail Marys, accompanied by a meditation on one of the seven sorrows of Mary, each of which is found in the Gospels.
Special reflections written by Ilibagiza were read with each “week.” The rosary especially draws one into the interior life of Mary, and one learns to look upon Jesus as she did throughout the stages of his life.
After the prayer, everyone went to the International Lounge for dinner. While there, one of the vice presidents of the club, Nayda Perez, spoke about the club itself and its mission.
The club started when a group of Franciscan graduate students traveled to Colorado to hear Ilibagiza, a Rwandan genocide survivor, speak about mercy, healing and consolation. The students felt inspired to pray the Seven Sorrows rosary and consistently did so over one and a half years.
To promote devotion, the club prays the rosary in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel every Friday at 3:30 p.m. It also gives reflection booklets to those who wish to start praying the Seven Sorrows rosary regularly in a small group. To get connected with the club, like “Our Lady of Sorrows at Franciscan” on Facebook.