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HAIL MARY

The Ave Maria; the most familiar of all prayers addressed to the Blessed Virgin. It contains the salutation of the angel Gabriel to Mary, and Elizabeth's greeting to Mary at the Visitation. The petition beginning "Holy Mary, Mother of God" was formulated by the Church and added to the Hail Mary in the Middle Ages. The full text reads:

"Hail Mary, full of grace, the 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. Amen."

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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