Three Hail Marys

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Three Hail Marys is a traditional Roman Catholic devotional practice of reciting three Hail Marys as a petition for purity and other virtues. Believers recommend that it be prayed after waking in the morning, and before going to bed, following the examination of conscience at night. This devotion has been recommended by St. Anthony of Padua, St. Alphonsus Liguori, St. John Bosco and St. Leonard of Port Maurice. Two saints, Mechtilde and Gertrude, are said to have received revelations from the Blessed Virgin Mary regarding this practice.

Hail Mary traditional Catholic prayer

The Hail Mary is a traditional Catholic prayer asking for the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus. In Roman Catholicism, the prayer forms the basis of the Rosary and the Angelus prayers. In the Oriental Orthodox Churches, Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches, a similar prayer is used in formal liturgies, both in Greek and in translations. It is also used by many other groups within the catholic tradition of Christianity including Anglicans, Independent Catholics, and Old Catholics.

Examination of conscience is a review of one's past thoughts, words, actions, and omissions for the purpose of ascertaining their conformity with, or deviation from, the moral law. Among Christians, this is generally a private review; secular intellectuals have, on occasion, published autocritiques for public consumption. In the Catholic Church penitents who wish to receive the sacrament of penance are encouraged to examine their conscience using the Ten Commandments as a guide, or the Beatitudes, or the virtues and vices. A similar doctrine is taught in Lutheran churches, where penitents who wish to receive Holy Absolution are also asked to use the Ten Commandments as a guide. The process is very similar to the Islamic practice of Muhasaba, or self-reflection.

Anthony of Padua Franciscan

Saint Anthony of Padua, born Fernando Martins de Bulhões - also known as Saint Anthony of Lisbon - was a Portuguese Catholic priest and friar of the Franciscan Order. He was born and raised by a wealthy family in Lisbon, Portugal, and died in Padua, Italy. Noted by his contemporaries for his powerful preaching, expert knowledge of scripture, and undying love and devotion to the poor and the sick, he was one of the most quickly canonized saints in church history. He was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church on 16 January 1946. He is also the patron saint of lost things.

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History

St. Anthony of Padua (1195-1231), one of the first to recommend this practice. Antoniuspadua.jpg
St. Anthony of Padua (1195-1231), one of the first to recommend this practice.

The practice of reciting the Hail Mary three times dates at least to the 12th century. One of the first to practice and recommend it was St. Anthony of Padua (1195–1231). His purpose was "to honor the spotless Virginity of Mary and to preserve a perfect purity of mind, heart and body in the midst of the dangers of the world". The practice of saying three Hail Marys in the evening somewhere about sunset had become general throughout Europe in the first half of the fourteenth century and it was recommended and indulgenced by Pope John XXII in 1318 and 1327. [1]

Pope John XXII pope from 1316 to his death in 1334

Pope John XXII, born Jacques Duèze, was Pope from 7 August 1316 to his death in 1334.

Many saints have practiced and recommended the devotion of the "Three Hail Mary", such as, St. Leonard of Port Maurice, St. Bonaventure, St. John Berchmans, St. John Baptist Mary Vianney (Cure of Ars), St. Stanislaus Kostka, St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort, St. John Joseph of the Cross, St. John Baptist de Rossi, St. Gerard Majella, St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows, Blessed Marcellinus Champagnat, St. Alphonsus Liguori, St. Gemma Galgani, and St. Josemaría Escrivá. [2]

John Berchmans Catholic jesuit saint

Saint John Berchmans, SJ was a Jesuit scholastic and is a saint in the Roman Catholic Church. He is the patron saint of altar servers.

John Vianney 19th-century French Catholic priest and saint

Jean-Baptiste-Marie Vianney, T.O.S.F., commonly known in English as St. John Vianney, was a French parish priest who is venerated in the Catholic Church as a saint and as the patron saint of parish priests. He is often referred to as the "Curé d'Ars", internationally known for his priestly and pastoral work in his parish in Ars, France, because of the radical spiritual transformation of the community and its surroundings. Catholics attribute this to his saintly life, mortification, persevering ministry in the sacrament of confession, and ardent devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. His feast day is 4 August.

Stanislaus Kostka Polish Jesuit, saint, secondary patron of Poland

Stanisław Kostka S.J. was a Polish novice of the Society of Jesus. He is venerated in the Catholic Church as Saint Stanislaus Kostka.

This practice was observed by Franciscans and eventually developed into the Angelus prayer. [1]

Angelus Mediaeval prayer to the Virgin Mary

The Angelus is a Catholic devotion commemorating the Incarnation. As with many Catholic prayers, the name Angelus is derived from its incipit—the first few words of the text: Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariæ. The devotion is practised by reciting as versicle and response three Biblical verses narrating the mystery, alternating with the prayer "Hail Mary". The Angelus exemplifies a species of prayers called the "prayer of the devotee".

Revelations from the Blessed Virgin Mary

St. Mechtilde of Hackeborn (1241-1299), a Benedictine nun of the convent of Helfta, experienced three visions of the Virgin Mary. Mechtilde was distressed over her eternal salvation and prayed to the Virgin to be present at the hour of her death. In these appearances, Mary reassured her, and taught her to understand especially on how the Three Hail Marys honor the three persons of the Blessed Trinity. The first prayer recalls the power she received from the Eternal Father to intercede for sinners, the second commemorates the wisdom received from the Son; and the third, the love she bears, filled by Holy Spirit.

According to St. Gertrude (1256–1301), the Blessed Virgin Mary promised the following: "To any soul who faithfully prays the Three Hail Marys, I will appear at the hour of death in a splendor of beauty so extraordinary that it will fill the soul with heavenly consolation." [3]

Madonna and Child with Angels, Duccio, 1282 Duccio The-Madonna-and-Child-with-Angels-1.jpg
Madonna and Child with Angels, Duccio, 1282


One recommended method is as follows:

O Mary, by thy pure and Immaculate Conception, make my body pure and my soul holy.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed are 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. Amen.

O my Mother, preserve me this day from mortal sin.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed are 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. Amen.

O my Mother, preserve me this day from mortal sin.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed are 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. Amen.

O my Mother, preserve me this day from mortal sin.

Other recommendations

Later on, St. Leonard of Port Maurice "had the three Ave Marias recited morning and evening in honor of Mary Immaculate, to obtain the grace of avoiding all mortal sins during the day and night; moreover, he promised in a special manner eternal salvation to all those who proved constantly faithful to this practice."

Doctor of the Church St. Alphonsus Liguori (1696–1787) adopted this pious practice and highly recommended it. He told parents to train their children to acquire the habit of saying three Hail Marys in the morning and evening. After each Hail Mary, he advised that the following prayer be said: "By thy pure and Immaculate Conception, O Mary, make my body pure and my soul holy."

According to the St. Martha Catholic Church of the Pallottine Fathers, after Night Prayers: "Many saints have had the practice of adding three Hail Marys here in honor of Mary's purity for the grace of a chaste and holy life." Thus, it has been recommended as a daily practice for people who have received the Sacrament of Confirmation that they pray the Three Hail Marys for "purity of mind, heart and body" after examination of conscience, before going to bed.

Adaptations

St. Virgilius Council 185, Knights of Columbus, in Newtown, Connecticut, initiated a Three Hail Mary's Prayer Drive in support of those affected by the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The Council requested other Knights Councils and religious organizations to encourage the praying of one Hail Mary for the deceased and their families, one for first responders and teachers, and one for the community. [4] [5]

It is a common practice for Catholics to offer three Hail Marys for any given problem or petition.

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