Woman, this is your son ...this is your mother.

The Pieta

And here upon the hill his mother stands
with one named John. For Jesus' pain, she cries.
The tears of sorrow stream across her hands.
Then He the fruit of your womb looks to you;
reveals to you the truth of all transpired,
"Woman, behold your son." Your heart, pierced through,
then knows He is the all of Love desired.
"Here is your Mother," Jesus says to John,
and we receive you, Queen, who bore Love's dawn. -- E. David Clifton - Meditations on the Stations of the Cross

"At the cross Our Lady embraced the whole human race, even the torturers and murderers of her Son. She forgave them just as he had. She witnessed her Son atoning for the very sins they were committing against him, and for the sins of the whole human race. How deeply his act of infinite forgiveness penetrated her whole being.
As he offered his whole self for us, so also did she take each of us into her heart, not only forgiving our sins, but interceding with the Father as she had just seen Jesus do for all sinners, even for those most closely connected to his crucifixion..." -- Our Lady of Combermere - Part 15 - The Heart of the Matter by Fr. Emile Brière "This is more than pious sentiment. It goes to the very roots of Christian belief. For our faith teaches us that by our baptism we were adopted into the family of God.
By making Mary mother of the beloved disciple (who represented every true disciple), Jesus was making himself our brother since he was sharing his mother with us - Mary." -- "And the Mother of Jesus was there..." - A Pastoral Letter Commemorating the Marian Year - from the New Zealand Catholic Bishops' Conference, 1988

At the cross her station keeping,
Stood the mournful mother weeping,
Where he hung, the dying Lord.

For her soul of joy bereaved,
Bowed with anguish, deeply grieved,
Felt the sharp and piercing sword. The medieval hymn Stabat Mater


"Mary's role in God’s plan does not end with the Incarnation. Mary was the person closest to Jesus from his birth till his death, and when she accepted to be the God’s mother, she also accepted suffering. Simeon warned Mary that “a sword will pierce your soul too” (Lk. 2:33–35). Mary stays close to her son, even as far as Calvary. She, and John (who symbolizes the Church) stood by the cross, where Jesus made her the mother of all Christians: “Jesus said to his mother, ‘Woman, this is your son.’ Then to the disciple he said, ‘This is your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.” (Jn 19:26–7). Like John, we must make room for Mary as our mother." -- “Hail, Full of Grace!”

Johan Bergstrom-Allen "Here are ordinary things: a dying son caring about his mother’s future. Yet, here also are cosmic things: the Lord of all dying for us and giving each of us a mother. This is a mother who knows that ordinary and eternal things cannot easily be divided. She is the one who stands by each of us in the excruciating hour of our passion. She allows the will of the Father to be done when it is most bitter just as when it is most dear." -- From Cana to Calvary, she was there: What Mary's last words in the scriptures were, and why they are the key to Catholic devotion - By Fr. Ronald Lawler

Thus the Blessed Virgin advanced in her pilgrimage of faith, and faithfully persevered in her union with her Son unto the cross. There she stood, in keeping with the divine plan, enduring with her only begotten Son the intensity of his suffering, joining herself with his sacrifice in her mother's heart, and lovingly consenting to the immolation of this victim, born of her: to be given, by the same Christ Jesus dying on the cross, as a mother to his disciple, with these words: "Woman, behold your son." -- Lumen Gentium quoted in the CCC #963

Virgin Mary: Posters and Art Prints

Related: Father forgive them... - Listening to the Last Words of Jesus: Meditation - 'Father, forgive them!' - A reflection on Luke 23:34 - Today you will be with me... - Woman, this is your son... - My God, my God - I am thirsty - It is finished - Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit