Our Lady of Sorrows by Nichole Lanthier

I have been devoted to Our Lady of Sorrows since my youth. As a teen, I experienced a profound conversion of heart and truly fell in love with Jesus.

During this time, I kept a prayer card of Our Lady of Sorrows by my bedside. I would often turn it over to reflect on the seven sorrows listed on the back. Around the same time, I discovered St. Louis de Montfort’s “Consecration to Mary" and decided to complete this consecration on the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows—a devotion that I repeated yearly for most of my young adult life. As time went on, our sorrowful mother became a constant presence in my life. She has been a witness of perfect hope and trust amidst profound suffering, and has guided me through many trials.

Around six years ago, I began my journey as an artist. I had only done a couple of drawings when a friend of mine suggested I draw Our Lady of Sorrows. I immediately knew how I wanted to portray her. I set up my easel and supplies on the kitchen counter and spent over a week praying and drawing. Being a new, inexperienced artist, it took lots of erasing and redrawing to get what I envisioned onto paper! I reworked her face several times until I was able to get her expression the way I wanted it. I knew her eyes should convey sadness, but also be visibly full of hope and trust. I also wanted to find a way to make her heart “illuminated”, because I felt that, though pierced with sorrow, it was burning with the love she had for her son and savior. I intentionally kept the rest of the composition simple to guide viewers' attention between Our Lady's eyes and her heart. In the background, vines with thorns allude to those used to crown her son.

Even after six years of creating artwork and growing as an artist, Our Lady of Sorrows remains one of my favorite pieces. I couldn't part with the original, and we keep it in the living room where it serves as a constant source for meditation. It is my sincere hope that this image may inspire those who are suffering to join Our Lady in turning their gaze to Christ, even within their most difficult moments.