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Ask the Register: is the Hail Mary in the Bible?

Q. Is the Hail Mary in the Bible?

A. Actually it is. Thanks for asking. Let’s look at this. “Hail Mary, full of grace the Lord is with you.” This comes directly from the Annunciation of the Archangel Gabriel to Mary in Luke 1:28.

When Mary heard these words she was a young unmarried girl surrounded by many religious and cultural mores. She seeks support from family – her cousin Elizabeth – who said as Mary approached her, “Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb.” This is directly from Luke 1:41 – 42.

The remainder the prayer, “Holy Mary mother of God” is from Luke 1:43 (‘And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?’) Mary is full of God’s grace; this would make her holy. Mary is the mother of the Lord Jesus Christ who is the second person of the Holy Trinity. Since Jesus is God this makes her the mother of God.

The last part of the prayer, “pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen” is from the letter of St. James 5:16, (‘Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is very powerful’).

Therefore, the entirety of the Hail Mary is right from Scripture. Sometimes we learn prayers without diving into their origin or their Scriptural basis. We are reminded, too, that the Bible was written by Catholics, about Catholics and for Catholics.

This question was answered by a priest of the Diocese of Lincoln. Write to Ask the Register using our online form, or write to 3700 Sheridan Blvd., Suite 10, Lincoln NE 68506-6100. All questions are subject to editing. Editors decide which questions to publish. Personal questions cannot be answered. People with such questions are urged to take them to their nearest Catholic priest.

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