Prayers to Virgin Mary

From the Church's beginnings, prayers to Virgin Mary have held a place of honor for Catholics.

Here are some of the most fundamental and majestic.

These prayers prayers to Virgin Mary take varied forms. Most of them combine:

  • Prayers to God, modeled after the faith of Mary.
  • Meditations on the Incarnation, Mary's unique role in salvation history, or her perfect examples of virtues like faith, humility, and charity.
  • Prayers to Mary, asking for her help and protection.

Like all prayers to Saints, our prayers to Virgin Mary rely on the Saints' special power to intercede for us before Christ and the Father. But since Mary has a unique role in salvation, and a unique relationship to the Trinity, our prayers to the Blessed Virgin also rely on her special power of intercession.

"Mary is the perfect Orans (pray-er), a figure of the Church. When we pray to her, we are adhering with her to the plan of the Father, who sends his Son to save all men. Like the beloved disciple we welcome Jesus' mother into our homes, for she has become the mother of all the living. We can pray with and to her. The prayer of the Church is sustained by the prayer of Mary and united with it in hope." (Catechism, 2679)

"Because of Mary's singular cooperation with the action of the Holy Spirit, the Church loves to pray in communion with the Virgin Mary, to magnify with her the great things the Lord has done for her, and to entrust supplications and praises to her." (Catechism, 2682)

This is a collection of some of the more cherished Catholic prayers to Virgin Mary.

Hail Mary

The Hail Mary is a well-loved and beautiful basic Catholic prayer. It's one of the essential prayers to Virgin Mary. It combines two lines from Scripture (Lk 1:28 and Lk 1:42) with a humble request for Mary to pray for us.

(This prayer is also listed in the article about basic Catholic prayers.)

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.

The Angelus

The Angelus is a meditation on the Incarnation, and Mary's role in it. Like all prayers to Virgin Mary, we ask her for guidance and prayers. The first three verses are taken from Scripture.

The Angelus is traditionally said daily at 12 noon. Many Catholic churches ring their church bells at noon, the Angelus bells, to call the faithful to prayer.

This is often said as a group prayer, with the leader speaking the V parts and the group responding with the R lines. If you're saying it alone, just read both parts together.

(This prayer is also a part of daily Catholic prayer.)

The Angelus

V — The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary.
R — And she conceived by the Holy Spirit.

Hail Mary...    (Say The Hail Mary here.)

V — Behold the handmaid of the Lord.
R — Be it done unto me according to thy word.

Hail Mary...

V — And the Word was made Flesh.
R — And dwelt among us.

Hail Mary...

V — Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God.
R — That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

LET US PRAY: Pour forth, we beseech you, O Lord, your grace into our hearts, that we to whom the incarnation of Christ, your Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by his passion and cross be brought to the glory of his resurrection. Through the same Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Hail Holy Queen

This prayer is a constant favorite among the prayers to Virgin Mary. It has long been a part of the the Liturgy of the Hours, the Church's official daily prayer.

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. Amen.

The Magnificat

Scripture contains this prayer of Mary's joy and wonder at her role in the mystery of the Incarnation.

The Church recites this beautiful prayer daily at Evening Prayer (Vespers) in the Liturgy of the Hours.

My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden. For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. And his mercy is on those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm, he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts, he has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted those of low degree; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent empty away. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his posterity for ever.

(Luke 1:46-55)

The Memorare

The Memorare is a beautiful prayer that expresses our confidence in the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is attributed to St. Bernard of Clairvaux.

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that any one who fled to thy protection, implored thy help or sought thy intercession, was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins my Mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful; O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me, Amen.

Loving Mother of the Redeemer

This prayer is also included in the Liturgy of the Hours. It is attributed to Hermann the Lame, a German monk who died in 1054.

Loving Mother of the Redeemer, Gate of heaven, star of the sea, Assist your people of have fallen yet strive to rise again. To the wonderment of nature you bore your Creator, yet remained a virgin after as before. You who received Gabriel's joyful greeting, have pity on us poor sinners.

Miraculous Medal Prayer

One of the newer prayers to Virgin Mary. The first part appears on the Miraculous Medal, created by St. Catherine Laboure in response to her apparition of the Virgin Mary in 1830. This spurred a widespread devotion to prayers to Virgin Mary.

St. Maximilian Kolbe added the remaining part of this prayer. He was devoted to the Blessed Mother and her Miraculous Medal, and recommended frequent prayers to Virgin Mary for our own salvation and that of others.

St. Maximilian Kolbe was imprisoned by the Nazis in the Auschwitz death camp. He was killed on August 14, 1941, after offering his life so that another prisoner might be spared.

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee, and for those who do not have recourse to thee, especially the enemies of the Church and those recommended to thee. Amen.




Besides these prayers to Virgin Mary, this site has many other wonderful Catholic prayers. You'll also find sound guidance for easily developing your prayer life.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church also discusses prayers to Virgin Mary (opens a new browser window).

See our home page for more articles for the beginning Catholic.

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