December 7

Hail Mary

Mary is the mother of our Lord Jesus Christ. She conceived Jesus as a virgin and is therefore venerated as the Holy Mary Mother of God. She was the wife of Joseph and lived with him in Nazareth. The veneration of Mary has always been of great importance in Christianity and Catholic Church. On this page, you will find the Hail Mary prayer. It is one of the basic prayers of Christianity and one of the most said prayers of Catholics. Here we offer you the Latin version in addition to other versions. If this is not enough for you, have a look at our Marian prayers!

What is a Hail Mary?

Ave Maria (Hail Mary) is the Latin beginning and at the same time the name of a basic prayer of the Catholic Church to invoke Mary, the Mother of Jesus Christ. The Hail Mary prayer is a prayer for the intercession of the Holy Mary. ​It is probably the most important prayer in Marian’s devotion. Hail Mary, also called Ave Maria, is introduced with the words of the archangel Gabriel to Mary. After the Our Father, this Marian antiphon is one of the most recited prayers in Christianity. The Ave Maria is also part of the Angelus and the Rosary.

Origin and Meaning

Ave is a Latin greeting formula used by the Romans as a salutation or greeting. In church Latin, it is pronounced [ˈave], in English-speaking countries, it is more likely to be pronounced [ˈɑːveɪ]. It is the singular form of the imperative of the verb avēre, meaning “to be good”, “to be eager”. The word was used especially to greet Caesar or some other authority. Suetonius reports on naumachiarii, in which convicted criminals greeted Caesar with the words Ave Caesar! Morituri te salutant! (“Hail Caesar! The doomed salute you!”). In other words, they wanted to point out their situation in this way. This is the only passage from the Roman period in which this expression has survived.

In the Vulgate, the angel’s greeting to Mary at the beginning of the Annunciation begins with Ave Maria, Gratia plena (“Hail Mary full of grace”). This forms the introduction to the basic Catholic prayer Ave Maria, to which there are numerous musical settings.

​Mother of God Meaning

In Christianity, Mary is venerated as the Mother of God. It is important to Christians that veneration and worship are clearly separated. God alone is worshipped, and Mary is venerated – through ​Marian festivals, icon painting, and devotional forms such as the rosary.

Among all the saints of the Catholic Church, the Mother of God Mary occupies a special position. This is clarified by the so-called Marian dogmas. Mary as the Mother of God: at the Council of Ephesus in 431, it was determined that Mary is not only the “Mother of Jesus,” but should be called the “God-bearer.” The reason given for this was the union of the divine with human nature, which could come about in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. According to the Catholic view, Mary was a virgin before, at, and after the birth of Jesus. Actually, that is, throughout her life. Mary’s immaculate conception: Through the “fall” of Adam and Eve, the original sin came into the world, in which actually every human being participates as a descendant. Therefore, Mary was saved from this original sin by God.

The traditional version of the Hail Mary Prayer

Hail Mary, full of grace.

Our 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.


A newer version

Hail Mary, full of grace.

Our 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.


Latin Version Ave Maria

Ave Maria,

gratia plena,

Dominus tecum;

benedicta tu

in mulieribus,

et benedictus fructus

ventris tui, Iesus.

Sancta Maria, Mater Dei,

ora pro nobis peccatoribus

nunc et in hora

mortis nostrae.


More prayers

“Hail Mary, full of grace. Hail Mary, our Mother, and Queen. We need your help now more than ever before. We know that you will always be with us and protect us from evil and harm. Holy Mary, please show us the way to salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord!”

“Hail Mary, full of grace.

The Lord is with thee.

Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus.

“Hail Mary, Mother of God, Our Lady of Sorrows,

Queen of Heaven.

Holy Mary, our life and our sweetness.

Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.


Why do we need to use Hail Mary?

Hail Mary is often used to ask for help when there seems to be no way out of difficult life situations. It is believed that if someone goes through this prayer, God will listen more carefully to what they are asking. Since our prayers and intercessions are offered by the purest hands of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the throne of God.

If we present our needs and worries to the Mother of God in a childlike way, she will hear our prayers.​ Thus, with great trust in God’s infinite mercy, we ask for the intercession of our Heavenly Mother, the Mediatrix of all God’s graces. Amen.

 Hail Mary in musical songs

Many famous composers have set the lyrics to music. The most famous setting is by Charles Gounod, who used a melody by Johann Sebastian Bach from the Well-Tempered Clavier. This version is called the Ave Maria by Bach/Gounod. The version by Franz Schubert is also very well known.


This is one of the most famous praises of the “Mother of God”. Many Catholics recite the Hail Mary Prayer regularly. It is a prayer that we can say when we are in need of help or hope. Today, this prayer is an effective weapon to protect us all from harm. The song has other deep meanings and bridal couples often use it at their wedding ceremonies. ​God bless you.

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