Monday, September 15, 2008

Mater Dolorosa

Today's feast of Our Lady of Sorrows reminds me of an episode from high school (Latin I class). My friend Liz (who took Spanish) was writing about a funeral at Mater Dolorosa Church, and she wanted me to translate that name for her. All I had to go by was the glossary in my Latin I textbook, which had such interesting terms as "Cocam-Colam" and "Picus-nicus" (no, I am not kidding), but no "dolorosa." So Liz suggested it meant "of the roses." I didn't think so, but what did I know? So I just said, "well, maybe."
When Liz got her corrected paper back, she was quite ticked off with me. "Dolorosa" has nothing to do with "roses." Instead, it is about "dolor," suffering. Mater Dolorosa is not "Our Lady of the Roses," but "Mother of Sorrows." (And still a very lovely church in New Orleans, too.)


Anonymous said...

Whether the translation of Dolorosa was roses or sorrows is moot considering that you became the president of the Latin club, Mater.

Fred said...

Good to hear from Winnie's been a while! Your "Mater" is such a nice lady.
I used Mater Dolorosa Church in my homily yesterday...they say there are no coincidences. And there is a Sister Dolorosa at one of our other parishes in Chicago...Pity her poor students. My Godchild, Lauren, was baptized at Mater Dolorosa in New Orleans...I used the sorrow of Mary as a theme yesterday, of course, but I also spoke of Mary's joy, seeing her son with the elders in the temple at 12, healing the blind, deaf and lame, even turning water into her suggestion...and then, at the foot of the cross, when her sorrow must have been almost overwhelming, how she somehow managed to trust in the Lord that that could not possibly be the imagine her great joy when Magdelene found her on Sunday morning to tell her that Jesus had truly risen from the he had promised!
Father Fred, CMF