Understanding the "Hail Mary"

Along with the Lord’s Prayer, the Hail Mary is one of the most widely used prayers in the Catholic Church. The first half of the Hail Mary comes from Luke’s Gospel accounts of the Angel Gabriel’s annunciation to Mary that she was called to be the Mother of God’s Son (Lk 1:26-56).


St. John Paul II explains that although the Hail Mary is addressed to Our Lady, "it is to Jesus that the act of love is ultimately directed" (RVM, no. 26).  Every time we recite the Hail Mary, we are repeating the words of Gabriel and Elizabeth.  In doing so, we enter into the ecstatic joy of "heaven and earth" over the mystery of Christ: heaven, represented by Gabriel, and earth, represented by Elizabeth.


“Hail Mary, full of grace.”


800px Fra Angelico 069Annunciation - Fra Angelico

This is the greeting the Angel Gabriel spoke to Mary of Nazareth. Gabriel proclaims that Mary is full of grace, meaning that she is a sinless woman, blessed with a deep union with God, who had come to dwell in her.



In awe over that profound mystery of his eternal God becoming a little embryo in Mary's womb, Gabriel greets Mary.  The grace with which Mary is filled is the very life of God who is the source of all grace.


Reflect:  Allow yourself to greet Mary in the same way and to exult in the same joy in Mary that God had for her.  Imagine yourself bowing with the deepest respect before our Queen and Mother - imitating the reverence shown to her even by such a great being as an archangel.

One Catholic's Reflection on the Charleston Shooting

On June 17, 2015 a young man entered Emanuel AME Church in Charleston and quietly joined a group of people gathered for their weekly prayer meeting. He was a stranger to them but, never the less, they welcomed him without reservation. He prayed with them for several minutes and then quietly stood up and methodically shot all but one of them, leaving nine people dead. The tenth victims life was spared so the she could, in his words, be a witness to “what happened here.”

7 Day Virtual Marriage Retreat

Looking for a way to enrich your marriage? Sign up for our 7 Day Virtual Marriage Retreat!


How it Works:


Each day you will receive the day's retreat via email.


Plan to set aside some time for prayer each day for the seven days of the retreat.


When you get to your prayer time, open the email and read about the theme for the day, reflect on a real-life marriage scenario, and think about ways to strengthen your own marriage.


If possible, do the retreat together with your spouse!


Materials Needed:


All you need is about 15 minutes a day and access to your email!


There are questions for reflection/discussion included each day. Some retreat participants also like to have a journal available to jot down their thoughts.


Sign Up Today!






 


Retreat Schedule:


Day 1: Marriage is a Blessing and a Gift


Day 2: Marriage is the Unique Union of a Man and a Woman


Day 3: Marriage is a Communion of Love and Life


Day 4: Marriage is a Sacrament of Christ’s Love


Day 5: Marriage is the Foundation of the Family and Society


Day 6: Marriage is a Journey of Human and Spiritual Growth


Day 7: Marriage is a School of Love and Gratitude


BONUS! Day 8:  Now What?  Keep a Good Thing Going




Contact Us.

  • Write us.

    941 Starboard Ct.
    Oshkosh, WI 54901
  • Call us.

    (920) 509-0204
  • Email us.

    info@burningheartsdisciples.org
  • Follow us.

    round-white-facebook-icon-25716 round-white-twitter-icon-25856 round-white-pinterest-icon-25908
  • Burning Hearts Disciples is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) and an Approved Lay Catholic Organization of the Diocese of Green Bay.