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Catholic Dictionary




"Hail, Holy Queen," one of the oldest Marian antiphons in Western Christianity, used for centuries in the Divine Office. The author is not known, but was most probably Hermannus Contractus (d. 1054). The final words, "O clemens, O pia, O dulcis virgo Maria," attributed to St. Bernard, are found in manuscripts before his time and therefore seem to belong to the original prayer. The full text reads: "Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy; hail our life, our sweetness and our hope. To you do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To you do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn, then, most gracious Advocate, your eyes of mercy toward us. And after this our exile show unto us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary." A partial indulgence is gained for every recitation of this prayer.