Hail Mary

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Hail Mary or in Latin Ave Maria is a traditional Catholic prayer to Mary, the mother of Jesus. The first part of the prayer is the salutation of the Archangel Gabriel as reported in the Gospel of Luke 1:28 "Hail Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee". The second is from the greeting given to Mary by her cousin Elisabeth in Luke 1:42 "Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of your womb", and a reinforcement of basic Christian belief in the real divinity and real humanity of Jesus. The closing petition "Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen." is stated by the official "Catechism of the Council of Trent" to have been "framed by the Church itself" [1] (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07110b.htm).

As a separate formula for Roman Catholic devotion, the "Hail Mary"— though a pious tale has it miraculously recited to Ildephonsus of Toledo—dates to the 11th century (Catholic Encyclopedia).

The Ave Maria is the essential element of the Rosary, a prayer recited by Catholics, comprised of 4 sets of 5 Mysteries meditating upon the incarnation, life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Each of these Mysteries is prayed as a decade (literally ten), consisting of

  • One Our Father (Pater Noster or The Lord's Prayer)
  • Ten Hail Marys
  • One Doxology ('Glory be to the Father')

The words of the Hail Mary


Hail Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with thee,
blessed art thou amongst women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, mother of God,
pray for us sinners, now, and at
the hour of our death.

Ecclesiastical Latin

Ave Maria, gratia plena,
Dominus tecum,
benedicta tu in mulieribus,
et benedictus fructus ventris tui Iesus.
Sancta Maria mater Dei,
ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc, et in hora mortis nostrae.


Je vous salue, Marie, pleine de grce,
le Seigneur soit avec vous.
Vous tes bnie entre toutes les femmes
et Jesus, le fruit de vos entrailles est bni.
Sainte Marie, Mre de Dieu,
priez pour nous pauvres pcheurs maintenant
et a l'heure de ntre mort.
Ainsi soit-il.


Old version


New version



今も臨終(りんじゅう)の時も祈り給え。 アーメン

(It has been proposed that there is a heresy in the new Japanese "Hail Mary". It excludes "blessed art thou amongst women" and "blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus", implying that anyone that is a woman has the potential to be the Virgin Mary. This is explained by Fr Yasuda (Society of Divine Word) at http://www.bishop-jp.com/sankou/setukyo/no1.html.)

Tagalog (Filipino)

Aba Ginoong Maria, napupuno ka ng grasya.
Ang Panginoong Diyos ay sumasaiyo.
Bukod kang pinagpala sa babaeng lahat.
At pinagpala naman ang iyong Anak na si Hesus.
Santa Maria, Ina ng Diyos,
ipanalangin mo kaming makasalanan
ngayon at kung kami'y mamamatay.


Gegret seist Du, Maria,
voll der Gnade,
der Herr ist mit Dir.
Du bist gebenedeit unter den Frauen,
und gebenedeit ist die Frucht Deines Leibes, Jesus.
Heilige Maria, Mutter Gottes,
bitte fr uns Snder jetzt und in der Stunde unseres Todes.


Av Maria
cheia de Graa
o Senhor convosco.
Bendita sois vs entre as mulheres
e bendito o Fruto do Vosso ventre, Jesus.
Santa Maria, Me de Deus,
rogai por ns pecadores agora e na hora das nossa morte.

Irish Gaelic

S do Bheatha Mhuire,
T ln do ghrsta, T an Tiarna leat.
Is beannaithe th idir mhn
Agus is beannaithe toradh do bhironne osa.

A Naomh Mhuire, mhthair D
Ghi orainn na bpeaca
Anois agus uair mbis.


Dios te salve Mara, llena eres de gracia,
el seor es contigo,
bendita (t) eres entre todas las mujeres,
(y) bendito es el fruto de tu vientre (, Jess).
Santa Mara, madre de Dios,
ruega por nosotros pecadores,
ahora y en la hora de nuestra muerte.


Salam Maria, penuh rahmat,
Tuhan sertamu,
terpujilah engkau di antara wanita,
dan terpujilah buah tubuhmu, Yesus.
Santa Maria, bunda Allah,
doakanlah kami yang berdosa ini, sekarang, dan
waktu kami mati.


Aloha oe, e Maria, ua piha oe i ka maikai
ua noho pū ka Haku me oe;
Pomaikai oe i waena o nā wahine;
pomaikai Iesu ka hua o kou opu.
Maria Hemolele, Makuahine o ke Akua,
e pule aku oe i ka Haku no makou no
ka poe kina nui ia keia manawa a
i kou makou manawa e make ai.

Musical settings

The Ave Maria has been set to music numerous times. Among them is the version by Charles Gounod (1859), adding melody and words to Johann Sebastian Bach's first prelude from the Well-Tempered Clavier. Antonn Dvořk's version was composed in 1877. Franz Schubert's Ellens dritter Gesang (D839, Op 52 no 6, 1825) is often misidentified as "Schubert's Ave Maria" because it opens with the words "Ave Maria", even though it is not a setting of the Ave Maria. The original text is from Sir Walter Scott's The Lady of the Lake and was translated into German by Adam Storck. Adding to the confusion, the Ave Maria is often sung to the melody of Ellens dritter Gesang. Another setting of Ave Maria was written by Giuseppe Verdi for his 1887 opera Otello.

This text was also very often set by composers in the Renaissance, including Josquin Desprez, Orlando di Lasso, and Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. Before the Council of Trent there were actually different versions of the text, so the earlier composers in the period sometimes set different versions than the ones shown above. Josquin, for example, himself set more than one version of the Ave Maria. Here is an example of a text set by Josquin:

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum, Virgo serena. Ave cuius conceptio, solemni plena gaudio, celestia, terrestria, nova replet letitia. Ave cuius nativitas, nostra fuit solemnitas, ut lucifer lux oriens verum solem preveniens. Ave pia humilitas, sine viro fecunditas, cuius annunciatio nostra fuit salvatio. Ave vera virginitas, immaculata castitas, cuius purificatio nostra fuit purgatio. Ave preclara omnibus angelicis virtutibus, cuius fuit assumptio nostra glorificatio. O Mater Dei, memento mei. Amen.

External links

Other meanings

  • A "Hail Mary" or a Hail Mary pass, in American football, is a play in which the quarterback throws the ball as far downfield as possible, hoping one of his receivers can catch the ball or that a defensive player commits a penalty which allows the offense to gain possession of the ball at the point of the foul. This play usually occurs at the very end of a half, and especially when the team on offense is trailing in the score. The phrase is often used outside of the sports context to refer to a desperate measure or a final effort in a project or business setting.
  • The phrase "Hail Marys" is also used as an anti-pietist pejorative for "prayer" without "good works" as in the following quote atrributed to Msgr. Paul Marcinkus, former president of the Banco Ambrosiano, now living in Sun City, Arizona: "You can't run the Church on Hail Marys" (quoted in the May 25, 1986, Observer, London).de:Ave Maria

eo:Ave Maria es:Ave Mara fr:Je vous salue Marie la:Ave Maria ms:Salam Maria na:A kamawireij uw Maria nl:Wees Gegroet ja:アヴェ・マリア pl:Zdrowaś Mario ru:Аве Мария tl:Aba Ginoong Maria


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