The Origin of the “Hail Mary” prayer

The Origin of the “Hail Mary” prayer

Actually, we owe the first half of it to the angel Gabriel and to Mary’s cousin Elizabeth. “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee," are the words of the angel when he greets Mary at the Annunciation (Luke 1:28). During the visitation, Mary’s cousin Elizabeth welcomes her with the words, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb." (Luke 1:42). The joining of the two salutations in prayer appears to have become a widespread practice in the mid-eleventh century, though there is evidence of it showing up in eastern rites as far back as the sixth century.

The second part of the “Hail Mary" is where we ask for Mary’s intercession: “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death." Various forms of this go back to the fourteenth century; the wording as we use it today became official in 1568.

So in answer to your question, it’s fair to say that the Hail Mary prayer evolved out of Scripture, as well as the lived reflection of the Church in the centuries that followed. Its popularity is a testament to the continuing appeal of Mary as a helper and guide. If we want a heavenly intercessor on our side, who is better than Mary, the mother who has a personal interest in seeing her son’s work continue? As the Catechism says, “We can pray with and to [Mary]. The prayer of the Church is sustained by the prayer of Mary and united with it in hope."

Arinze Ani

7 Comments

  1. Anu
    Sep 12, 2015 @ 21:09:29

    I love Mary as I am a fan of her since time a long back , also I had a vision of Mary while I was working in New Delhi back in 1998 I was sound asleep I truly don’t know upto this day why I saw that a lady all looking dazzling white who was pro foundly sad and tears in eyes also a vision of no : 10 I am not sure why I saw this , later I had a chance to go to UK to work and ended up in Belfast in Northern Ireland and we had a chance to visit he famous shire of knock then I understood I came to see this in live after ten years exactly , that is place where apparitions took place to some 100 people in NI back in 1800s , they have built a white statue of lamb Mary and John the Baptist there , it’s amazing to see all these in live , and I had chance to photograph it , it’s spectacular scene their u hav to go and see it yourself , and get blessed above all if you take a picture in front of all the things there I was looking really fair , the radiance of heavenly light ie something even though it’s a cold clammy day it was snowy aswell at times

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  2. Karen
    Jun 01, 2016 @ 02:30:43

    Prayer from your heart and appealing to Mary to pray for you is promoting a peaceful solution to everything.

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  3. Xavier Candelaria
    Jun 02, 2016 @ 12:53:49

    Please mother Mary help my mom and my wife !!

    Reply

  4. Irma
    Aug 27, 2016 @ 22:09:39

    Mother Mary,help us along the way to be more faithful in our God and guide us everyday,pray for my grandson Tyler to have a safe operation and that he can see the beautiful world we have,pray also my grandson Jezryl and Alwyn they both be a good person,Amen 🙏🏼

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  5. David Sants
    Aug 29, 2016 @ 22:27:06

    Blessed are They who have Faith and Believe , Amen

    Reply

  6. Maria Cruz burnheart
    May 07, 2017 @ 03:20:45

    Please pray for my mother help her not have dementia make it go away. It breaks my heart to see her and try to help her. THANK you father.

    Reply

  7. AZIAMASŌ KOMLA LAWRENCE
    May 25, 2017 @ 19:23:20

    HOLY MARY MOTHER OF GOD PRAY FOR ME AND INTERCEDE FOR ME A SINNER. AMEN AND AMEN

    Reply

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