Hail Mary

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Hail Mary:

see Ave MariaAve Maria
[Lat.,=hail, Mary], prayer to the Virgin Mary universal among Roman Catholics, also called the Ave, the Hail Mary, and the Angelic Salutation. The words in English are: "Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the
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Figure of the Virgin Mary at a roadside shrine at Mamore Gap in County Donegal, Ireland. The prayer known as “Hail Mary” began to evolve during the Middle Ages. Fortean Picture Library.

Hail Mary

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Two great prayers of the Catholic tradition are known by their opening words. The first, often called the "Our Father," is addressed to God. The second, referred to as the "Hail Mary," is addressed to Mary, the mother of Jesus.

The words come from the salutation of the angel Gabriel when he appeared to Mary to announce the birth of Jesus: "Hail, favored one, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women" (Luke 1:28). These words became the opening line of the prayer: "Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee."

The prayer seems to have begun to evolve in the Middle Ages when Mary, it is believed, began to appear to Christians, attesting to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. As years went by, the second portion of the prayer was added, a direct quote from Luke 1:42. Here, Elizabeth, "kinswoman" to Mary and the mother of John the Baptist, greets Mary with the words, "Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb."

Finally, some time in the fifteenth century, the final phrase was added: "Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death."

At the crucifixion, Jesus entrusted his mother into the care of the disciple generally thought to be Saint John, the apostle. Jesus said to her, "Woman, behold thy son." But more important, he entrusted the disciple into the care of his mother when he said, "Behold thy mother." Catholics believe that act established a precedent. So the Hail Mary is now recited as a reminder and plea to Mary that she is to bring sinners into the presence of Christ upon their death.

During the sixteenth century it became the custom to recite the Hail Mary 150 times in a series of ten repetitions called a "decade," interspersed with prayers recalling the mysteries of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection. That was the practice that evolved into the great prayer cycle called the Rosary (see Rosary).

Hail Mary

1. RC Church a prayer to the Virgin Mary, based on the salutations of the angel Gabriel (Luke 1:28) and Elizabeth (Luke 1:42) to her
2. American football Slang a very long high pass into the end zone, made in the final seconds of a half or of a game
References in periodicals archive ?
It began simply by repeating the first part of the Hail Mary, which is itself constituted of two parts: the Angel's words to Mary at the Annunciation, and her cousin Elizabeth's words to her at the Visitation.
The recitation of the Hail Mary as I have described it in its original form (that is, without the names of Mary and Jesus) is attested since the seventh century.
We prayed the Morning Offering, the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be.
Theft starts at one Our Father and one Hail Mary and rises to 10 of each.
The Rosary's 150 repetitions of prayers, first representing Our Fathers and then Hail Marys, were seen as a substitute for the 150 Psalms prayed by monks in the Divine Office.
She was a woman who fingered her rosary beads each night, not to recite the Hail Marys she had once prayed as a teenager but to count out that day's number of people, events, and moments for which she was grateful until she fell asleep.
I prayed it off and on, usually when I was in my car, counting the Hail Marys on my fingers.
We were victimized by Hail Marys (against Jacksonville) that, even though we won that game, made it closer than it should have been.
Fortunately, there were no children playing in the general vicinity because I recall my initial reaction to the blow to the nose was somewhat loud and blue enough to earn me a solid five Hail Marys and six Our Fathers at confession.
With the last ten Hail Marys dispatched to heaven, we found ourselves assembled in very neat, straight rows in front of the statue of Our Lady of Grace, perched behind the church.
When I received all of those Our Fathers, Hail Marys, Glory Bes, a rosary or two, and plentiful ejaculations, I was astounded at how good it felt.
Long lines of people waiting to confess every Saturday were considered evidence of a healthy and vigorous church despite the fact that many, if not most, penitents were popping into "the box" with their habitual laundry list of sins and popping out to say the assigned "three Our Fathers and three Hail Marys.