The Hail Mary

The chief Catholic prayer to the Mother of God

Virgin Mary statuette at a park
Peter Glass/Photolibrary/Getty Images

The first half of the Hail Mary is straight out of the Bible. The part before the semicolon is the angel Gabriel's greeting to the Virgin Mary at the Annunciation, when he told her that she had been chosen by God to bear His Son, Jesus Christ (Luke 1:28).

And the words after the semicolon were uttered by Saint Elizabeth, the cousin of the Blessed Virgin, at the Visitation, when Saint Mary came to the aid of her pregnant cousin, and Saint Elizabeth felt Saint John the Baptist leap in her womb (Luke 1:42).

The Blessed Virgin's response to Saint Elizabeth was the beautiful canticle (a biblical hymn) that we know as the Magnificat.

The Hail Mary

Hail Mary, full of grace! the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.