About This Prayer
The Hail Mary prayer is often misunderstood by non-Catholics. It is not worship of Mary. The Hail Mary prayer asks our Blessed Mother to pray for us. She is humble, and the Lord hears the cry of the poor in spirit.
The first part of the prayer is completely from scripture.
- “Hail Mary, full of grace” comes from the greeting of the Angel Gabriel in Luke 1:28 – “Hail full of grace”.
- “The Lord is with you” also comes from this encounter in Luke 1:28 -“The Lord is with you.”
- “Blessed are you among women” comes from the visitation to Elizabeth in Luke 1:41 – “Blessed are you among women”.
- “And Blessed is the fruit of your womb Jesus” is also from the visitation in Luke 1:42 – “and blessed is the fruit of your womb”,
- “Holy Mary, Mother of God” because Elizabeth recognizes Mary as the mother of the Lord in Luke 1:43 – “And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”.
- “Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death” because we would like Mary to pray for us, much as we ask our other fellow Christians to do this. Praying for each other is advised in James 5:16 – “Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects”.
So the first part of this prayer echoes the visit from the angel Gabriel. The middle part repeats Elizabeth’s greeting to her. And in conclusion, we ask our Blessed Mother to pray for us, just as we might ask a relative or friend to do.
The Hail Mary Prayer
Hail, Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with you.
Blessed are you among women
and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.