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).

The Religion Book: Places, Prophets, Saints, and Seers © 2004 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.

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
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
"Since the Holy Rosary is composed, principally and in substance, of the Prayer of Christ and the Angelic Salutation; that is, the Our Father and the Hail Mary, it was without doubt the first prayer and the first devotion of the faithful and has been in use all through the centuries, from the time of the Apostles and disciples down to the present."
It was really cool, these high school guys praying Our Fathers and Hail Marys." Selva believes people often say they feel a healing power in his music because it is always grounded in prayer and sincere dedication to God.
A decade of the Rosary will now consist of: one Our Father, three Hail Marys and four Horst Wessels
"For John Paul, better than 10 national days of mourning [days off work], infinitely greater would be 10 Hail Marys and one Decade of the Rosary."
The rosary is an ancient prayer of contemplation that evolved from monks' recitation of all 150 psalms each day to the praying of 15 decades of Hail Marys punctuated by Our Fathers and Glory Be's.
A MONK caught speeding was shown mercy yesterday by a magistrate who joked: "How many Hail Marys shall we give him?"
The Angelus was the lead noontime prayer, and it contained three full Hail Marys. During the Easter season the Regina Coeli (Queen of Heaven) was recited in place of the Angelus.
Some who were travelling to an Irish shrine chanted Hail Marys and sprinkled holy water over themselves.
I would drop into a pew by the life-size Virgin Mother statue, say a few "Hail Marys," and keep watch for any small movement.
The machine then tells them what penitence they have to perform to earn forgiveness.A simple white lie is just one quick Hail Mary. Adultery will cost three Our Fathers and three Hail Marys.