Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blest is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.
Mary is an important figure in Roman Catholic Christian faith, because she provides an example to us of perfect faithfulness.
The first line of this prayer comes from the angel's greeting to Mary in Luke 1:28, a part of the passage that tells us how Mary was visited by the angel, and how she became the mother of Jesus. We believe that everything that the angel said about Mary is true, so we greet Mary in the same way.
We ask Mary to pray for us, because we believe that she can intercede for us in Heaven, just as all the saints in heaven can, in the same way that we here on earth can intercede for each other in prayer. People in Heaven are not asleep, nor are they dead, but they are just as alive as we are here on earth, and therefore, we can ask them to pray for us. We ask Mary to pray for us because we know that Jesus pays special attention to her, since she is his mother.
As children of God, we are brothers and sisters of Jesus, and so in a way, Mary is our mother, too, as well as our sister. We believe that Jesus gave Mary to us as our mother, when He was on the Cross, and He asked the disciple John to accept Mary as his mother, and take care of her.
We use this prayer, along with the Our Father, at the end of every session at St. Pius X.
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