The Hail Mary

Hail Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with you.
Blessed are you among women
and blessed is the fruit of your womb Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners
now and at the hour of our death.
Amen.

The Hail Mary is our greatest prayer to Mary, who is the Mother of the Church and a spiritual mother to each of us. The first part of the Hail Mary is taken from the Gospel. It incorporates the words of the Angel Gabriel at the Annunciation ("Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you," Lk 1:28) and the words of Elizabeth to Mary at the Visitation ("Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb," Lk 1:42).

The angel's greeting to Mary can be translated "rejoice," indicating that the promised Messiah, Mary's Son, is coming to save His people. The words of Elizabeth to Mary are a benediction, echoing God's favor to the Blessed Virgin in choosing her to be the Mother of His Son.

The second part of the prayer ("Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of death. Amen") is the Church's reflection on Mary's intercessory role as the Mother of God for all of us as members of the Church. It reflects the Church's teaching on her preeminent place in the Communion of Saints in interceding for God's people.

"Our Lady of Ostra Brama" (Our Lady of Mercy) is the patroness of the Marian Province in the United States.