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Stabat Mater

Stabat mater dolorosa – “The mournful mother was standing”. This is the opening line of the extraordinary hymn attributed to the 13th-century Franciscan friar Jacopone da Todi, which is still a popular Lenten devotion. Find the words of the original Latin and the popular English translation in this blog.

At, the Cross her station keeping,
stood the mournful Mother weeping,
close to Jesus to the last.

Through her heart, His sorrow sharing,
all His bitter anguish bearing,
now at length the sword has passed.

O how sad and sore distressed
was that Mother, highly blest,
of the sole-begotten One!

Christ above in torment hangs,
she beneath beholds the pangs
of her dying glorious Son.

Is there one who would not weep,
whelmed in miseries so deep,
Christ’s dear Mother to behold

Can the human heart refrain
from partaking in her pain,
in that Mother’s pain untold?

Bruised, derided, cursed, defiled,
she beheld her tender Child,
all with bloody scourges rent.

For the sins of His own nation,
saw Him hang in desolation,
till His spirit forth He sent.

O thou Mother! Fount of love!
Touch my spirit from above,
make my heart with thine accord:

Make me feel as thou hast felt;
make my soul to glow and melt
with the love of Christ my Lord.

Holy Mother! Pierce me through,
in my heart each wound renew
of my Saviour crucified.

Let me share with thee His pain,
who for all my sins was slain,
who for me in torments died.

Let me mingle tears with thee,
mourning Him who mourned for me,
all the days that I may live.

By the Cross with thee to stay,
there with thee to weep and pray,
is all I ask of thee to give.

Virgin of all virgins blest!,
Listen to my fond request:
let me share thy grief divine.

Let me, to my latest breath,
in my body bear the death
of that dying Son of thine.

Wounded with His every wound,
steep my soul till it hath swooned,
in His very Blood away.

Be to me, O Virgin, nigh,
lest in flames I burn and die,
in His awful Judgement Day.

Christ, when Thou shalt call me hence,
by Thy Mother my defense,
by Thy Cross my victory;

While my body here decays,
may my soul Thy goodness praise,
safe in paradise with Thee. Amen.

The original Latin

Stabat Mater dolorosa,
Juxta Crucem lacrimosa,
dum pendebat Filius.

Cuius animam gementem,
contristatam et dolentem,
pertransivit gladius.

O quam tristis et afflicta
fuit illa benedicta,
mater Unigeniti!

Quae maerebat et dolebat,
pia Mater, dum videbat
nati poenas inclyti.

Quis est homo qui non fleret,
Matrem Christi si videret,
in tanto supplicio?

Quis non posset contristari
Christi Matrem contemplari,
dolentem cum Filio?

Pro peccatis suae gentis,
vidit Iesum in tormentis,
et flagellis subditum.

Vidit suum dulcem Natum,
moriendo desolatum,
dum emisit spiritum.

Eia, Mater! Fons amoris!
me sentire vim doloris,
fac, ut tecum lugeam.

Fac, ut ardeat cor meum;
in amando Christum Deum
ut sibi complaceam.

Sancta Mater! Istud agas,
crucifixi fige plagas
cordi meo valide.

Tui Nati vulnerati,
tam dignati pro me pati,
poenas mecum divide.

Fac me tecum pie flere,
crucifixo condolere,
donec ego vixero.

Juxta Crucem tecum stare,
et me tibi sociare,
in planctu desidero.

Virgo virginum praeclara!
Mihi iam non sis amara:
fac me tecum plangere.

Fac, ut portem Christi mortem,
passionis fac consortem
et plagas recolere.

Fac me plagis vulnerari,
fac me Cruce inebriari,
et cruore Filii.

Flammis ne urar succensus,
per te, Virgo, sim defensus,
in die iudicii.

Christe, cum sit hinc exire,
da per Matrem me venire,
ad palmam victoriae.

Quando corpus morietur,
fac, ut animae donetur,
paradisi gloria. Amen.


D844 Meditations on the Stabat MaterThe Stabat Mater is extracted from our booklet Meditations on the Stabat Mater. Join our Blessed Mother at the foot of the Cross of her Son and walk with her on the road from Lent to Passiontide to Easter, by meditating upon the Stabat Mater line by line.

For guided meditations on the Stabat Mater and to enrich your prayer, order your copy of Meditations of the Stabat Mater.