prayers repeated at length.
The Hail Mary is a perfect prayer, it not only calls upon the Blessed Mother's intercession but extols her Holy Son to his proper place of being within the middle of every act of worship.
Hail Mary, Full of Grace
The LORD is with thee
Blessed are thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb
Holy Mary, Mother of God
Pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death. Amen
The name of Jesus, that is above all names, that is the source of all strength and peace, within which when two or more gather, God is present; is the very center of this prayer. It is not a worship of Mary but an acknowledgement of her holiness because she was chosen to carry the Savior, the Messiah, the Christ, the Great I AM. Mary is our garden path to the treasure of Heaven, our stepping stool to the heights of the Holy, Holy, Holy. Christ is our Redeemer, but without Mary, our salvation would not be. We know little of Mary's life apart from her carrying, delivering, and rearing the LORD on earth. She is a constant throughout His earthly journey and ministry and there at His last moments on the cross. However, consider that she may have been an accomplished baker or sought after seamstress. She may have earned accolades through the community for her sweet singing voice or creative mind. There are many facets of her life that may have been, yet we know little of them. Why? Because her entire being is wrapped up in the fulfillment of prophesy and salvation. It is not important what else she did, because she did the greatest of all acts by fully giving herself over to God for his express plan and purpose. As St Catherine of Siena said, "Be who you were created to be and you will set the world afire." At her Fiat, her autonomy ceased, and her servitude began. However, it was not a slavery of drudgery but of joy. She became the living Tabernacle and through her tenderness Christ learned to love His Bride, the Church.
In this prayer, the Name of Christ is placed directly between the biblical passages that compose the first half and the catechetical affirmation of her true identity, mother of God. In that exact position is where Christ lives, between biblical prophecy and the tradition and growth of the Church. He is the connection between the God of the old covenant and the two millennia of the Catholic Church, the hierarchy and laity, the past and the future, the Church at rest and the Church militant.
In these days of persecution when we feel evil and darkness all around, many may be searching for the prayer that will land sweetly on the Father's Ear. The Hail Mary is that prayer. She is our mother, eager to soothe and console her broken children, but she is also the mother of God and who could love Christ more than her, other than the great God of love that passes all understanding. In this persecution it is not just believers that are being broken, but her precious Son, Himself. In hating Christians, Christ is being defiled. Mary is the mother of the Son, Spouse of the Spirit and Handmaid of the Father. She is the most intimate of saints to the Heavenly Trinity.
There have been reports of the Marian statue in St Joseph's Church in Iraq weeping tears of oil that turn to blood. This is not a substantiated claim and there are plenty of cynics, but you can bet that Mary is weeping even if her statue isn't. She is crying for the mothers who have watched their children die, for the children lost and longing for their mothers, for those who are huddled scared of terror coming for them in orders to kill the followers of Christ, for those who have fled to an unknown land to try to protect their family with nothing but the clothes on their backs. She has been all of these people, she knows the pain of torment and torture, of being a refuge, of being hated and hunted.
Let us all turn to our Mother and beg her intercession and request her gently caring upon all who mourn and weep. May St Michael defend us and Our Lady of Victory pray for us!