enter image description here Proverbs 9:1 English Standard Version (ESV)

"Wisdom has built her house; she has hewn her seven pillars."

"HEWN" (Thesaurus)

Adj. 1. hewn - cut or shaped with hard blows of a heavy cutting instrument like an ax or chisel; "a house built of hewn logs"; "rough-hewn stone"; "a path hewn through the underbrush" hand-hewn cut - fashioned or shaped by cutting; "a well-cut suit"; "cut diamonds"; "cut velvet" Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.

The Seven Sorrows of Mary also correspond to the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit:

1.The Prophecy of Simeon – Fear of the Lord (Mary is explicitly reminded of her sorrowful vocation: “a sword shall pierced thy soul”)

2.The Flight into Egypt – Piety (Mary fulfills her duties toward Joseph and Jesus in a foreign land)

3.The Loss of the Child Jesus in the Temple – Knowledge (Mary’s knowledge of Christ’s identity as the Son of God)

4.Mary Meets Jesus on the Way to Calvary – Fortitude (Mary’s strength in seeing Christ in His Passion)

5.Jesus Dies on the Cross – Counsel (Mary is the spiritual guide and counselor for all who seek her crucified Son)

6.Mary Receives the Body of Jesus in Her Arms – Understanding (As Mary holds the dead body of her Son, she perceives His coming resurrection)

7.The Body of Jesus is Placed in the Tomb – Wisdom (Christ is hidden but Mary’s soul continues to see Christ and communicate with Him)

7 Sorrows of Mary and the 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit

My question is, since the 7 Sorrows are equated to 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit, are the 7 pillars in Proverbs 9:1 corresponding to Mary's Immaculate Heart which is pierced by a sword of sorrows as depicted in Her images particularly Her Immaculate Heart with 7 swords pierced?

I'm looking for Catholic and Church Father Teaching that Mary's Seven Sorrows is the Seven Pillars mentioned in the Proverbs 9:1 and the "Sorrowful & Immaculate Heart of Mary" become "the house of the Holy Spirit" as prophesied in Isaiah 11:2 a perfect dwelling place/tent for the Holy Spirit.

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    How did "correspond" in the first line of the quotation become "equated" in the first line after the end of the quotation? Jul 8, 2018 at 16:06
  • @Andreas Blas the word "correspond" ( meaning; have a close similarity; match or agree almost exactly.) while the meaning of "equated";(consider (one thing) to be the same as or equivalent to another.). The notion were the same "similarity & equivalent". I just put emphasis on the reflections to corresponds meaning equivalent.Godbless Jul 9, 2018 at 4:53

2 Answers 2


Are the Seven Sorrows of Mary the seven pillars in Proverbs 9:1?

Wisdom has built her house, she has set up her seven columns.

Nowhere can I find in Catholic sources that equates a remote possibility that the seven pillars mentioned in Proverbs 9:1 are the Seven Sorrows of Mary.

The Seven Sorrow of Mary are primarily a devotion for the faithful of the Church in both their personal (private) and liturgical lives of piety. This devotion is of a recent development with the Church and as such the Church Fathers will be silent on the subject.

The Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows grew in popularity in the 12th century, although under various titles. Some writings would place its roots in the eleventh century, especially among the Benedictine monks.4 The first altar to the Mater Dolorosa was set up in 1221 at the Cistercian monastery of Schönau.

The formal feast of the Our Lady of Sorrows was originated by a provincial synod of Cologne in 1423. It was designated for the Friday after the third Sunday after Easter and had the title: Commemoratio angustiae et doloris B. Mariae V. Its object was the sorrow of Mary during the Crucifixion and Death of Christ. Before the sixteenth century this feast was limited to the dioceses of North Germany, Scandinavia, and Scotland.

According to Fr. William Saunders, "... in 1482, the feast was officially placed in the Roman Missal under the title of Our Lady of Compassion, highlighting the great love our Blessed Mother displayed in suffering with her Son. The word compassion derives from the Latin roots cum and patior which means "to suffer with".

After 1600 it became popular in France and was set for the Friday before Palm Sunday. By a Decree of 22 April 1727, Pope Benedict XIII extended it to the entire Latin Church, under the title "Septem dolorum B.M.V.".2 In 1954, it still held the rank of major double (slightly lower than the rank of the September feast) in the General Roman Calendar. Pope John XXIII's 1960 Code of Rubrics reduced it to the level of a commemoration. - Our Lady of Sorrows

The pillars of Proverbs 9:1 possibly could symbolize the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit

Although Dr Taylor Marshall shows a relationship between the Seven Sorrows of Mary and the Seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, he in no way means the Mary's seven sorrows are the columns mentioned in Proverbs. The 7 Sorrows are not equated to 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit, nor are they the 7 pillars in Proverbs 9:1.

7 Sorrows of Mary and the 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit

The History and Seven Graces of the Seven Sorrows of Mary

Mary is the Vessel that God uses to help humanity come closer to union with the Blessed Trinity. Only in this way is Mary a column of the Church. Her role is unique. Yes she is the Spouse of the Holy Spirit, but devotion to Mary must remain in the realm of clear doctrine also.

St. Maximillian Kolbe, in keeping with Catholic Tradition, sees Mary as holding a preeminent place in God's plan of salvation; of being a conscious cooperator with all the grace which comes from God to man. But while Sacred Tradition, represented by writers such as St. Louis de Montfort, emphasize Mary's Divine Motherhood as being the basis for this teaching, Kolbe views Mary's universal mediation of grace as primarily being linked with and drawn from her intimate and hidden relationship with the Holy Spirit.

All grace, says the Polish saint, ultimately comes to us from God the Father, through the merits of Jesus Christ, his Son, and is distributed by the Holy Spirit; and the Holy Spirit, in distributing all grace, works in and through Mary — not because he has to do so, but precisely because in his plan of salvation, God wills to do so. And God wills to do so for a reason: Jesus, the Source of all grace, came through Mary via the work of the Holy Spirit; therefore it is fitting that all grace continue to come through Mary by the work of the Holy Spirit.

Kolbe sees Mary's preeminent role in this divine ordo — of grace and love coming from God to man, and of love returning from man to God — as flowing especially from her unique and intimate union with the Holy Spirit. He says that the Holy Spirit dwells in Mary's soul in such an ineffable manner that it goes beyond and is deeper than the union achieved between the Holy Spirit and souls by sanctifying grace in Baptism.

To convey this deep union between Mary and the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, Kolbe, in keeping with Sacred Tradition, refers to Mary as the "spouse" of the Holy Spirit. But at the same time Kolbe expresses dissatisfaction with this term, saying that "spouse" is really inadequate to describe this intimate and mysterious relationship. In matrimony a man and woman become united through sacramental grace so as to become, in a mystical way, "one flesh." But Kolbe sees the union between Mary and the Holy Spirit being even more intimate than that of spouses in marriage.

What accounts for Mary's special relationship with the Holy Spirit? Kolbe says it is her Immaculate Conception, which was accomplished through the direct work (via appropriation) of the Holy Spirit. With Mary's Immaculate Conception, God the Father and the Son willed that Mary be united to their common Spirit of Love in such a close and intimate manner that would allow the Holy Spirit to bring about the Incarnation of the Word within her womb, making Mary the Mother of God; and further, that this union would enable Mary to be the instrument or vessel through which the Holy Spirit would distribute all the graces merited by Christ. Kolbe emphasizes that the precise meaning of "Immaculate Conception" is a great mystery, too deep and mysterious to be fully understood. - The Holy Spirit And Mary

The seven pillars of Proverbs possibly symbolize the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. The Seven Sorrows are not to be equated to the seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit. There is a relationship between them according to Dr Taylor Marshall, but again the Seven Sorrows of Mary are not the seven pillar of proverbs. The Sorrows of Our Lady remain a devotional issue within the Church.

  • "A sword shall pierce your heart"...Adj. 1. hewn - cut or shaped with hard blows of a heavy cutting instrument like an ax or chisel; "a house built of hewn logs"..Mary's heart was HEWN by a sword. Unlike Jesus who can receive the fullness of the Gifts of the HS because He is Co-substantial.Mary's pure heart must be pierce 7 times means thru perfection to become a "perfect dwelling place" as it is destined to be "Seat of Wisdom" CCC721. Mary's pure heart accepted & offered all the Sorrows from "womb to tomb" to HOUSE the Sevenfold Gifts, from Overshadowed to Indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Nov 25, 2018 at 17:12
  • Is Isaiah prophecy connected to CCC721 ?A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. 2 The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him— the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord— 3 and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.10 In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his resting place will be glorious. (Isaiah11:1-10) Nov 25, 2018 at 17:19
  • @marianagustin Mary has many titles. But most of them remain at a devotional level. Few are taken up at a doctrinal level to become a dogma. The Seat of Wisdom does not carry the same theological weight as Mary, Mother of God. The title of Mary Mediatrix of All Graces for example is as of yet not defined!
    – Ken Graham
    Nov 25, 2018 at 21:40
  • Catechism teaches it, and by 2000 years Tradition the Church is guided by the Holy Spirit it cannot err. Those teaching although not yet declared officially as Dogma nonetheless it is the Divine Truth. Devotionals since it is uttered by the Church is inspired by the Holy Spirit, and all of those devotional titles are Truth otherwise the church will err. The timing of proclamation will coincides with Divine Plan in proclaiming the 5th Dogma. and the Seven Sorrows clearly is the perfection of Mary's Pure Heart to prepare a fitting dwelling place for the Holy Spirit to house the Sevenfold Gifts. Nov 26, 2018 at 3:08
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    @marianagustin Quod scripsi, scripsi.
    – Ken Graham
    Nov 26, 2018 at 23:44

Ecclesiates 1:18

"For with much wisdom comes much sorrow, and as knowledge grows, grief increases. "

Jesus the Logos/Incarnate Word the Uncreated Wisdom

"...Christ, the supreme Wisdom, has "builded His house" by taking man's flesh at His Incarnation,..."

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers


God the Father had CHOSEN from eternity her beloved daughter and predestined her for a unique role in man's salvation. God the Father sanctified & preserves her soul in the beginning to prepare a body to His Only Begotten Son.

Son of God has CHOSEN her earthly mother too, the young Jewish Woman in the words of Arch.Fulton Sheen "She is God's dream". In the fullness of time,The most "pure womb" becomes the tabernacle of the Logos.

The Holy Spirit has CHOSEN too her SPOUSE from eternity, where does the the Third Person of the Most Holy Trinity dwells? who will be the fitting dwelling place for the Holy Spirit?

The scriptures said the Holy Spirit dwells in the heart of man.

Do you not know that you yourselves are God’s temple, and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? (1Corinthians3:16)

"Wisdom has built her house; she has hewn her seven pillars." (Proverbs9:1)

Is the Seven Sorrows perfectly offered by the Theotokos enough to house the Wisdom?

Is the Seven Sorrows correspond to the Seven Pillars of the Sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit?

Let's read the reflections of the Church Fathers and the Saints on the Sea of Sorrows of the Immaculate Mother.


How much sorrow did the Mother of God suffered to be called the Mother of Sorrows?

It is only appropriate to quote the sermon of the great salvific Doctor of the Church,

St. Alphonsus Di Liguori: “The Martyrdom of Mary Was Never Equaled”.

The words of the prophet Jeremias explain my meaning on this point: To what shall I compare thee? or to what shall I liken thee, O daughter of Jerusalem?. . . for great as the sea is thy destruction; who shall heal thee? (Lam. 2:13)

No, the acuteness of the sufferings of Mary are not to be compared, even with those of all the (Catholic) martyrs united. "The Martyrdom of Mary," says Saint Bernard, "was not caused by the executioner's sword, but proceeded from bitter sorrow of heart." In other Martyrs torments were inflicted on the body; but Mary's sorrow was in her heart and soul, verifying in her the prophecy >of Simeon, Thy own soul a sword shall pierce. (Luke 2:35)

Arnold of Chartres writes that "whoever had been on Mount Calvary, to witness the great sacrifice of the Immaculate Lamb, would there have beheld two great altars, the one in the Body of Jesus, the other in the heart of Mary; for on that Mount, when the Son sacrificed His Body by death, Mary sacrificed her soul by compassion." So much so, says Saint Antoninus, that whereas other Martyrs sacrificed their own lives, the Blessed Virgin consummated her martyrdom by sacrificing the life of her Son, a life which she loved far more than her own, and which caused her to endure a torment which exceeded all other torments ever endured by any mortal on earth.

As a general rule, the sufferings of children are also the sufferings of their mothers who are present at and witness their torments.

Erasmus adds that "Mothers suffer more at the sight of the sufferings of their children than if the torments were inflicted on themselves."

as Saint Lawrence Justinian writes, "The heart of Mary, by compassion for her Son, became a mirror of His torments, in which might be seen, faithfully reflected, the spittings, the blows, the wounds, and all that Jesus suffered."

Richard of St. Lawrence says, "It is true, O Lord, that in the work of human redemption You did suffer alone, and that there was not a man that sufficiently pitied You; but there was a woman with You, and she was Your own Mother; she suffered in her heart all that You endured in Your Body." Saint Bernadine of Sienna even says, that "the sufferings of Mary were such that had they been divided among all creatures capable of suffering, they would have caused their immediate death."

Here we must repeat the words of Jeremias: As the sea is all bitterness, and has not within its bosom a single drop of water which is sweet, so also was the heart of Mary all bitterness, and without the least consolation: Who shall heal you? Her Son alone could heal her and heal her wounds; but how could Mary receive comfort in her grief from her crucified Son, since the love >she bore Him was the whole cause of her Martyrdom?

Richard of St. Victor says, ''as no other creature loved God as Mary loved Him, so there was never any sorrow like Mary's sorrow."

She stood by the Cross. The Cross was the hard bed on which Jesus Christ had to die. Mary, who stood by its side, never turned her eyes from Him; she beheld Him all torn by the scourges, thorns, and nails; she saw that her poor Son, suspended by those three iron hooks, found no repose. She, as I have already said, would have desired to give Him some relief; she would have desired, at least, that He should have expired in her arms; but no, even this is forbidden her. "Ah, Cross!" she must have said, "restore me my Son; you are a gibbet for malefactors, but my Son is innocent." But wait, O sorrowful Mother; God's will is that the Cross should only restore you your Son when He has expired. Saint Bonaventure, considering the sorrow of Mary in the death of her Son, writes, that "no grief was more bitter than hers, because no son was as dear as her Son." Since, then, there never was a son more worthy than Jesus, nor any mother who ever loved as Mary loved, what sorrow can be compared with the sorrow of Mary?

My readers, let us be devout to the sorrows of Mary. Saint Albert the Great writes, that ''as we are under great obligations to Jesus Christ for His death, so also are we under great obligations to Mary for the grief which she endured when she offered her Son to God by death for our salvation." This the Angel revealed to Saint Bridget: he said that the Blessed Virgin, to see us saved, herself offered the life of her Son to the Eternal Father: a sacrifice which, as we have already said, cost her greater suffering than all the torments of the Martyrs, or even death itself. But the Divine Mother complained to Saint Bridget that very few pitied her in her sorrows, and that the greater part of the world lived in entire forgetfulness of them. Therefore she exhorted the Saint, saying: "Though many forget me, don't you, my daughter, forget me."

A sword piercing a heart in the actual sense would cause nothing but death, this sword and the other six to follow were actually so severe that she would have died each time she experiences it. Her love for God, her Son is so great that she would give her life for God and Jesus. Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13) This statement Jesus spoke would also apply to our Blessed Mother besides Himself. These seven sorrows could have actually cause her to expire.

For this purpose the Blessed Virgin herself appeared in the year 1239 to the founder of the Order of the Servites, or Servants of Mary, requested them to institute a religious order in remembrance of her sorrows; and this they did. Our Blessed Mother confided to Bethe Petit, a humble Franciscan Tertiary on March 25, 1912, the following, “…To you I call myself the Mother of the Sorrowful Heart. This title, willed by my Son, is dear to me above all others. Accordingly, as it is spread everywhere, there will be granted graces of mercy, spiritual renewal and salvation.”* (Pieta Booklet, MLOR, LLC, Hickory Corners, MI.)


After reading several of the reflections of the Church Father and Saints we will come to realize that the Sorrowful & Immaculate Heart of Mary is the fitting "house for the Wisdom to fully dwells"

As Jesus the Son of God was given "flesh & blood" by Blessed Virgin Mary and so the Holy Spirit was "enflesh" united mystically to Her Immaculate Heart, in the very words of St.Kolbe Mary was "possessed" by the Holy Spirit.

Truly, "the highest heavens cannot contain God whom you carried in your womb"(Book of Kings)

Indeed, the Wisdom has 'HEWN" her seven pillars in the Sorrowful & Immaculate Heart of Mary.


  • What is the source of the idea that the Holy Spirit has a spouse? Isn't that only Christ?
    – curiousdannii
    Jul 13, 2018 at 11:41
  • Pope Leo XIII mentioned the spousal relationship between the Holy Spirit and the Blessed Virgin in an 1897 encyclical: "Let all Christian peoples add their prayers also, invoking the powerful and ever-acceptable intercession of the Blessed Virgin. You know well the intimate and wonderful relationship existing between her and the Holy Spirit, so that she is justly called His Spouse. May she continue to strengthen our prayers with her prayers" (Divinum Illud Munus/That Divine Gift, n.14) Jul 13, 2018 at 11:52
  • @curiousdannii That Mary is called 'spouse of the Holy Ghost' refers to His unique union with, and overshadowing her, to conceive the Son of God. It's not any official doctrine or title. As such, it's not a doctrine like that Christ and the Church are 'spouses.' It only refers to this aspect of Mary conceiving by the Holy Ghost, i.e. not by any man. And because of her faithful life with and by Him, of course. Nov 21, 2018 at 21:46

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