"...for my house will be called a house of prayer for all peoples." Isaiah 56:7

"O Lord,...you have been pleased to bless this house of your servant, so that it will always remain. It is you, O Lord, who blessed it, and it will be blessed forever." 1 Chr 17: 26-27

Sr. Marie De Mandat-Grancey Foundation
P.O.Box 275
Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724 USA

" I am not a priest and cannot bless them, but all that the heart of a mother can ask of God for her children, I ask of Him and will never cease to ask Him." ~ Sister Marie

“The grace of our Lord be with us forever.” ~ Sr. Marie

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Via Crucis at Mary's House

Holy Ground.  Those are the simplest words one can use to describe the place of Mary’s House, and in a special way today on the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, the path behind it where Our Lady herself marked out and prayed the Stations of the Cross.  Each day Our Lady would pray and walk and climb the little hill behind her house, saturating the Via Crucis of her Son with her tears.  Meditate on this for a moment.  See Our Lady of Tears.  Give her your heart.  Console her.  This is what Sr. Marie did.  Sr. Marie had such devotion to the Blessed Mother that upon reading the following excerpt in the writings of Bl Anne Catherine Emmerch, she was filled with a holy desire to find this holy ground, this place where Our Lady lived, prayed and wept for Her Son.  She wished to pray in the footsteps of Our Lady and with her to revere the memory of the Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Follow link below labelled "Read More>>" to find the excerpt from the book The Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary From the Visions of  Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich (pg 351-352) that so deeply touched the soul of Sr. Marie.

From Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich:
Behind the house, at a little distance up the hill, the Blessed Virgin had made a kind of Way of the Cross.  When she was living in Jerusalem, she had never failed, ever since Our Lord’s death, to follow His path to Calvary with tears of compassion.  She had paced out and measured all the distances between the Stations of that Via Crucis, and her love for her Son made her unable to live without this constant contemplation of His sufferings.  Soon after her arrival at her new home [in Ephesus] I saw her every day climbing part of the way up the hill behind her house to carry out this devotion.  At first she went by herself, measuring the number of steps, so often counted by her, which separated the places of Our Lord’s different sufferings.  At each of these places she put up a stone, or, if there was already a tree there, she made a mark upon it.  The way led into the wood, and upon a hill in this would she parked the place of Calvary, and the grave of Christ in a little cave in another hill. After she marked this Way of the Cross with twelve Stations, she went there with her maidservant in quiet meditation:  at each Station they sat down and renewed the mystery of its significance in their hearts, praising the Lord for His love with tears of compassion. Afterwards she arranged the Stations better, and I saw her inscribing on the stones the meaning of each Station, the number of paces and so forth.  I saw, too, that she cleaned out the cave of the Holy Sepulchre and made it a place for prayer.  At that time I saw no picture and no fixed cross to designate the Stations, nothing but plains memorial stones with inscriptions, but afterwards, as the result of constant visits and attention, I saw the place becoming increasingly beautiful and easy of approach.  After the Blessed Virgin’s death I saw this Way of the Cross being visited by Christians, who threw themselves down and kissed the ground.

There exists today historical evidence of these Stations of the Cross but sadly what we consider precious relics are held in a public museum in Turkey.  Thankfully though we can still see them.  Here is a photo of them. 

 Imagine the Blessed Virgin’s hands marking these stones through her tears with her own hands…the same hands that swaddled, fed, and rocked the Little Lord Jesus now inscribing stones marking his suffering and death.    
Imagine the reverence with which Sr. Marie prayed at one of these Stations that she was blessed to help find.  Imagine the grace that the Lord God poured forth into her soul in thanksgiving to her for persevering in the search for Mary’s House with the Via Crucis so that His Mother might receive the devotion of her children and consolation to her Sorrowful Heart.    Here is a photo of Sr. Marie kneeling on the Via Crucis 

To this day in a small niche in Mary's House in Ephesus there is an image of Our Lady of Tears (below). Please join us at the Sr. Marie de Mandat-Grancey Foundation as we pray with Sr. Marie, Foundress of Mary's House, with the Via Crucis made by the Blessed Virgin herself, this prayer to Our Lady of Tears.

Prayer to Our Lady of Tears
Oh, our dear Lady of Tears,
Look with maternal goodness
At the sorrows of the world!
Dry the tears of those who suffer:
The sick, the poor,
The hopeless, in despair,
The abandoned, the confused,
The lonely forgotten,
All victims of violence.
Obtain for all of us
Tears of repentence,
That we may open our hearts to receive
The life-giving grace of God' love,
And with tears of joy,
Receive new life.

Thank you for this precious gift, Sr. Marie.  May the Blessed Virgin's tears always remind us of the price paid for our Redemption!  
Below are two previous posts on Our Lady's Tears, the second of which includes the Chaplet of Our Lady's Tears.