History of the Picture
“Standing, the Mother of Sorrows was weeping by the Cross on which her Son was crucified. Mary stands in silence. Her work, her activity, her efficacy are all infused into the depths of her love, adherence and union with her divine Son. And this activity of the Mother of God, standing at the foot of the Cross and adopting the maternity of our souls – Mother, behold your son! – continues its work, its thirst, its pleading for our souls, with and by every breath of her Immaculate Heart.” – Mother Mary of Jesus, Carmelite foundress, UK
History of the picture
(Mother Mary of Jesus, foundress of Kirk Edge Carmel and 31 other Carmels in the UK, Wales, Scotland.)
Mother Mary of Jesus wrote the following about how the image of Our Lady came into existence. She wrote: “During the month of March of the year 1916, we were at Notting Hill, visited by severe illness … Besides the anxieties and sufferings which were great and special at this time at Notting Hill, I was bearing agonies for our coming foundations and much opposition to God’s own work. In this extremity of suffering and illness, during Vespers, or rather, directly after Vespers … I saw Our Lady , just looking at me, with a compassion and love which no words could express. Her compassion and love were such as to grieve for my poor sufferings. Then, with a look of love going and passing through my whole poor soul and life, … she bowed her head towards me, and with a look of unspeakable love she added “I grant all”.
Mother Mary of Jesus wrote later during the Lent of 1918, when preparing everything for the foundation of Highbury, that Our Lady ordered her to design her face as she had appeared to her years before, “bowing her head and saying I grant all”. She wrote: “I submitted Our Lady’s wish to our Superior, His Eminence the Cardinal. His answer was for me to obey and do it. It was done, and the Mother of God alone could grant me the power to reproduce entirely the blessed face and expression of hers, when she condescended to look at me. She did it, and let my soul and love operate the work. Long after, Our Lady told me that she was the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary.”
Cardinal Bourne, who had already shared with her his own trust in Mary to protect our war-threatened country, authorized the publication of this picture, to be invoked under the title of “The Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary”. Copies of this picture have found their way round the world.
When I first saw this same drawing (like the one above with the indulgence part written below the picture) on the wall above the bed in the flat that I stayed in while visiting Kirk Edge, I was so drawn, pulled in to this drawing. I loved it right way but had no idea who drew it or where it came from or how it got an indulgence. I was so overwhelmed being in Kirk Edge that I forgot to ask the nuns while visiting but then when I returned to find the book on the life of Mother Mary of Jesus, “In the Silence of Mary”, I found a reproduction of the drawing and the story behind it in this book and knew then why I loved this picture practically immediately upon seeing it!
P.S. Sorry, I have been away or off line due to AT&T not being able to get a competent repairman to fix a simple problem! I had no internet for three weeks but a wonderful man came today and fixed the problem so I am back.