Wednesday, 17 September 2014

The Hail Mary and St. Louis de Monfort

Brief Explanation of the Hail Mary
by St. Louis de Montofort

Hail Mary, full of grace
The Lord is with thee!
Blessed art thou among 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.

Are you in the miserable state of sin?  Then call on Mary and say to her, “Ave,” which means “I greet thee with the most profound respect, thou who art without sin,” and she will deliver you from the evil of your sins.  

Are you groping in the darkness of ignorance and error?  Go to Mary and say to her, “Hail Mary,” which means “Hail, thou who art bathed in the light of the Sun of Justice,”  and she will give you a share in her light.  

Star of the Sea - Ave Stella Maris
Have you strayed from the path leading to heaven? Then call on Mary, for her name means “Star of the Sea, the Polar Star which guides the ships of our souls during the voyage of this life,”  and she will guide you to the harbour of eternal salvation.  

Are you in sorrow?  Turn to Mary, for her name means also “Sea of Bitterness which has been filled with bitterness in this world but which is now turned into a sea of purest joy in heaven,” and she will turn your sorrow into joy and your affliction into consolation.  

Have you lost the state of grace?  Praise and honour the numberless graces with which God has filled the Blessed Virgin and say to her, Thou art full of grace and filled with all the gifts of the Holy Ghost, and she will give you some of these graces.  

Are you alone, having lost God’s protection?  Pray to Mary and say, The Lord is with thee, in a nobler and more intimate way then he is with the saints and the just, because thou art one with him.  He is thy Son and his flesh is thy flesh; thou art united to the Lord because of thy perfect likeness to him and by your mutual love, for thou art his Mother.  And then say to her, “The three persons of the Godhead are with thee because thou art the Temple of the Blessed Trinity,” and she will place you once more under the protection and care of God. 

Have you become an outcast and been accursed by God?  Then say to our Lady, “Blessed art thou above all women and above all nations by thy purity and fertility; thou hast turned God’s maledictions into blessings for us.”  She will bless you.  

Jesus and His Mother, Blessed by the fruit of Thy womb
Do you hunger for the bread of grace and the bread of life?  Draw near to her who bore the living Bread which came down from heaven, and say to her, "Blessed be the fruit of thy womb, whom thou hast conceived without the slightest loss to thy virginity, whom thou didst carry without discomfort and brought forth without pain.  Blessed be Jesus who redeemed our suffering world when we were in the bondage of sin, who has healed the world of its sickness, who has raised the dead to life, brought home the banished, restored sinners to grace, and saved men from damnation.  Without doubt, your soul will be filled with the bread of grace in this life and of eternal glory in the next. Amen.”

Conclude your prayer with the Church and say, “Holy Mary,” holy because of thy incomparable and eternal devotion to the service of God, holy in thy great rank as Mother of God, who has endowed thee with eminent holiness, in keeping with this great dignity.  “Mother of God, and our Mother, our Advocate and Mediatrix, Treasurer and dispenser of God’s graces, obtain for us the prompt forgiveness of our sins and grant that we may be reconciled with the divine majesty.  

Holy Mary, Mother of God
“Pray for us sinners, thou who art always filled with compassion for those in need, who never despise sinners or turn them away, for without them you would never have been Mother of the Redeemer.  
“Pray for us now, during this short life, so fraught with sorrow and uncertainty; now, because we can be sure of nothing except the present moment; now that we are surrounded and attacked night and day by powerful and ruthless enemies.  

“And at the hour of our death, so terrible and full of danger, when our strength is waning and our spirits are sinking, and our souls and bodies are worn out with fear and pain; at the hour of our death when the devil is working with might and main to ensnare us and cast us into perdition; at that hour when our lot will be decided forever and ever, heaven or hell.  

Refuge of Sinners
“Come to the help of your poor children, gentle Mother of pity, Advocate and Refuge of sinners, at the hour of our death drive far from us our bitter enemies, the devils, our accusers, whose frightful presence fills us with dread.  

Light our path through the valley of the shadow of death.  Lead us to thy Son’s judgment-seat and remain at our side.  Intercede for us and ask thy Son to pardon us and receive us into the ranks of thy elect in the realms of everlasting glory.  Amen.” 

Read more in St. Louis de Montfort's book, The Secret of the Rosary