Saint Mary

She is known by many names, Miriam, Mary of Nazareth, the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Czestochowa, of Fatima, of the Disappeared, of Knock, of Vladimir, of Lourdes, of the Rosary, Queen of Heaven, Bride of the Spirit, Mother of God.  Christian Churches throughout history are named after her with the simple title, “Notre Dame”, “Our Lady”.  Belonging to all of us, “all generations have called her blessed” and honored Mary.

Saint Mary is the spouse of Joseph and the mother of Jesus of Nazareth, Son of God and our Saviour and Lord.  Reference is made to Mary in all four Gospels. 

Luke's gospel mentions Mary most often, identifying her by name twelve times, all of these in the infancy narratives found in chapters 1 and 2 of Luke.  These include the stories of the annunciation, the visitation, the birth of Jesus, the presentation in the Temple and the finding of the boy Jesus in the Temple. 

Matthew's gospel mentions her by name five times, four of these in the infancy narratives found in chapters 1 and 2 relating the stories of the birth of Jesus, the visitation of the Magi, the flight into Egypt and the return settling into Nazareth.   Matthew also mentions Mary during Jesus’ public ministry in the form of a question, “Is he {Jesus] not the carpenter’s son?  Is not his mother named Mary and his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas?  [Matthew 13:55] Mark's gospel names her only once in the form of a question as Matthew recorded, “Is he [Jesus] not the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James and Joses, and Judas and Simon?” {Mark 6:3]  Mary is also mentioned by Mark but without formally naming her in an unusual passage that defines Jesus’ understanding of who constitutes his family.
[Jesus’] mother and his brothers arrived. Standing outside they sent word to him and called him. [and your sisters] are outside asking for you.” [my] brothers?” And looking around at those seated in the circle he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. [For] whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”[Mark 3:31-35] John's gospel refers to Mary twice but never mentions her by name. Described as Jesus' mother, she is first encountered at the wedding at Cana of Galilee [John 2:1-12].  This story is mentioned only in the fourth gospel and is the only passage in which Mary speaks to and about the adult Jesus. When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” [And] Jesus said to her, “Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.”His mother said to the servers, “Do whatever he tells you.” {John 2:3-5]  The second reference in John, also exclusively recorded in this gospel, has the mother of Jesus standing near the cross of her son together with the (also unnamed) "disciple whom Jesus loved".  [John 19;25-26] In the Book of the Acts of the Apostles, written also by Luke, Mary and his brothers are mentioned in the company of the eleven who are gathered in the upper room in prayer after the ascension awaiting the descent of the promised Spirit, the Advocate.  [Acts 1:14] In the Book of Revelation, {Revelation 12:1-6] John's apocalypse never explicitly identifies the "woman clothed with the sun" as Mary of Nazareth, the mother of Jesus. However, Catholic tradition and interpretation see in this woman an image of the Church in the Virgin Mary.  This passage is proclaimed on the Solemnity of the Assumption.


Prayers to Mary

Hail Mary (Ave Maria)

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.

Regina Coeli (prayed during the Easter Season)

O, Queen of Heaven, rejoice! Alleluia.
For He whom thou didst merit to bear, Alleluia,
Hath arisen as He said, Alleluia.
Pray for us to God, Alleluia.
Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary. Alleluia.
For the Lord hath risen indeed. Alleluia.

(Let us pray)
O God, who, through the Resurrection of your Son our Lord Jesus Christ,
did promise to fill the world with joy;
grant, we beseech You, that, through the Virgin Mother, Mary,
we may lay hold on the joys of everlasting life.
Through the same Christ our Lord.


The Magnificat (Canticle of Mary)

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit finds joy in God my savior;
for God has looked upon His servant in her lowliness;
all ages to come shall call me blessed.
God who is mighty has done great things for me, holy is God’s name;
God’s mercy is from age to age on those who fear Him.
God has shown might with His arm;
God has confused the proud in their inmost thoughts.
God has deposed the mighty from their thrones and raised the lowly to high places.
The hungry God has given every good thing,
while the rich God has sent empty away.
God has upheld Israel his servant, ever mindful of His mercy;
Even as He promised our ancestors,
promised Abraham and His descendants forever.


Hail Holy Queen (Salve Regina; for Ordinary Time)

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy,
Our life, our sweetness and our hope.
To you do we cry, poor banished children of Eve,
To you do we send up our sighs,
Mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.
Turn then, most gracious Advocate,
your eyes of mercy toward us,
And after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus.

O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!
Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God,
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.


Sub Tuum Praesidum (The oldest known prayer to Mary, 2nd century)

We fly to your patronage, O holy Mother of God;
Despise not our petitions in our necessities,
but deliver us always from all dangers,
O glorious and blessed Virgin.

The Angelus (traditionally prayed at 6am, 12pm, and 6pm each day)

The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary.
And she conceived of the Holy Ghost.
Hail Mary, etc.

Behold the handmaid of the Lord.
Be it done unto me according to Thy word.
Hail Mary, etc.

And the Word was made Flesh.
And dwelt among us.
Hail Mary, etc.

Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray.

Pour forth, we beseech you, O Lord, your grace into our hearts,
that we to whom the Incarnation of Christ your Son
was made known by the message of an angel,
may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection.
Through Christ Our Lord.


The Memorare

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary,
that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection,
implored your help or sought your intercession, was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence,
I fly unto you, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother.
To you I come, before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful.
O Mother of the Word incarnate, despise not my petitions,
but, in your mercy, hear and answer me. 

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