Hail Holy Queen

Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life our sweetness and our hope.  To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve; To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.  Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us and after this our exile show unto us the blessed fruit of thy 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.

This prayer is also sometimes referred to as the “Salve Regina.” This concluding prayer to the Rosary is prayed according to some custom as a way of “bursting forth in praise to the Blessed Virgin”.

Although the prayer appears to date back to the 1100s, the prayer known as the  Salve Regina is well known by those who pray the official prayer of the Catholic Church, The Liturgy of the Hours. Members of religious communities, those in seminary formation, many lay groups, etc. know and sing the Salve to conclude meetings or prayer at the end of the day.

We gather, the saints and sinners of earth, with the angels and saints of heaven, to thank the woman who brought us Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life, and to ask her to graciously help us to know him, love him and serve him as she did.

Perhaps we can identify with a quote from St. Alphonsus di Liguori’s Glories of Mary:

Blessed Amadeus says, ‘that our Queen is constantly before the Divine Majesty, interceding for us with her most powerful prayers.’ And as in heaven ‘she well knows our miseries and wants, she cannot do otherwise than have compassion on us; and thus, with the affection of a mother, moved to tenderness towards us, pitying and gentle, she is always endeavoring to help and save us’. (167)

If our Lord can honor His Mother, perhaps we should also since He commanded us to honor our parents as well. (4th Commandment).


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