Catholics Do Not Worship Mary (Part 2): The Hail Holy Queen

The ‘Hail Holy Queen’ is a beautiful Prayer to our Lady, most often said at the end of the Holy Rosary. Just like the ‘Hail Mary’, it is not a way to worship our Blessed Mother. Rather, it is a plea to her, the one who loved our Lord so tenderly, and who is likewise loved dearly by Him, to help us in our desire to love her Son.

Hail Holy Queen,

The word ‘Hail’ is usually a way of saluting Royalty, which is why we use it for our Mother, who is also the Queen of Heaven. She humbly, obediently, and Faithfully said “Yes” to God’s Will on Earth, and offered herself as the ‘handmaid’ of the Lord. Thus, she was raised up to such an esteemed position, as the ‘Holy Queen’ of Heaven. Her Holiness is proved by the fact that she, by the Power of the Holy Spirit, conceived the Holiest of Holies, our Lord Jesus.

Mother of Mercy

Through the Death of our Lord Jesus, human beings obtained Mercy. Our Jesus did not just give us Mercy. Our Jesus IS Mercy. And Mother Mary is the beloved Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ. Thus, she is the Mother of Mercy.

Hail our Life, our Sweetness, and our Hope.

Even when we are covered with the stains of sin, Mother Mary is the one we can turn to, to intercede for us, and to beg her Son to forgive us and to accept us. How can a Son ignore the pleas of His own Mother? Thus, we have hope that even when we have committed the worst of sins, if we are truly repentant, and if we plead with Mother Mary to ask Jesus to forgive us, we WILL be forgiven. Thus, she, the chaste and beautiful she, is our life, for she can obtain for us from her Son the gift of eternal life; our sweetness, for God’s grace radiates so magnificently from her, like a sweetness to our hardened, miserable hearts; and our hope, for, as mentioned before, we have the Hope that she can obtain the Mercy of Jesus for us, even in our most wretched state of sinfulness.

To you do we cry, poor banished children of Eve.

God first created Adam and Eve and allowed them to live in His Heavenly presence, as is given in the book of Genesis. However, once Adam and Eve consumed the Fruit of the forbidden tree, they were banished from the Garden of Eden, and sent to live on the Earth. Further more, their unborn descendants were also banished, because of the disobedience of their parents. So, we, the people who live now on the Earth, are referred to as the ‘poor banished children of Eve’. We thus cry to our Heavenly Mother, begging her to Pray for us.

To you do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.

We mourn and weep out of remorse for all the sins that we commit. We cry because we know how sinful we are, and that no matter how hard we try, we keep falling over and over in to the same pit of evil. The ‘valley of tears’ is a metaphor for how guilty we feel for our inability to overcome temptation. We mourn, we weep, we sigh, with the hope that our Mother will, in her tender compassion, pity us, and in turn, plead for us to her Son, our Jesus Christ.

Turn then, oh most Gracious Advocate, thine eyes of Mercy towards us.

Mother Mary is our advocate, in the sense that she asks Jesus to accept us, sinful as we are. We ask her to show us Mercy, because if she can forgive us, then surely her Son will! As Jesus told His Disciples, “If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” (John 20:23). How much more readily will He forgive our sins then, if His loving Mother forgives us and ask Him to have Mercy on us?

And after this our exile, show unto us the Blessed Fruit of Thy Womb, Jesus.

Our life on Earth is the time we spend away from our loving Father’s presence, as a punishment for the sin of Adam and Eve. It is thus an exile that we have to live through. So we ask our beloved Lady to come and receive our souls, at the hour of our Death, which is the hour of our birth into Eternal Life and the end of our Exile, and to take us before our Savior, her Son, the fruit of her Womb. In other words, we ask Mother Mary to help us in our final agony, and to take us without delay into the Kingdom of her Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Oh Clement, oh Loving, oh most sweet Virgin Mary.

‘Clement’ is used to imply that Mother Mary is Merciful. ‘Loving’ is used because our Mother loves us so dearly. ‘Virgin’ is used because Mother Mary did not conceive Jesus through regular means, with a man on Earth. She conceived Jesus by the Power of the Holy Spirit. Hence, despite the fact that she gave birth to our Lord, she remained a Virgin. So, at the very end of this Prayer, we appeal to our Lady’s Mercy, her Love, and her Holy Purity, and we ask her to Pray for us, and never to abandon us in times of trouble, but to help us in our journey to grow in love for Jesus.

 

Thus, as you can see, just like the ‘Hail Mary’, this Prayer also does not contain any form of ‘Mary-Worship’. It only consists of honoring our Mother, and begging her to plead for us to her Son and our Lord, Jesus Christ, for Forgiveness. We ask Mother Mary to assist us in our desire to be Holy, in order to please and glorify our Jesus. Mother Mary yearns for souls to know and love her holy Son, so she will not hesitate to answer so noble a Prayer.

To Jesus, Through Mary.

God Bless You!

 

Read Part One of the ‘Catholics Do Not Worship Mother Mary’ series here:

Catholics Do Not Worship Mother Mary (Part 1): The Hail Mary

 

Catholics Do Not Worship Mary (Part 1): The Hail Mary

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.

Take a good, long look at this beautiful Prayer. Now, answer honestly, do you see any form of worship of Mother Mary in there? Do we call her God, or equal to God, or (and God forbid!) higher than God?

NO.

NOT EVEN ONCE.

But you may still be skeptical, because the fact that we even say such a Prayer makes it seem like we worship our Lady, doesn’t it?

That’s why I’m going to break down this Prayer for you, and turn it into a step-by-step guide to understanding it. Even if you’re already a devout Catholic, it’s always good to know the actual meaning behind our Prayers, isn’t it?

Hail Mary

Yes, we say ‘Hail’, not ‘Respected’ or ‘Honorable’ or ‘My Dearest’. We use the term ‘Hail’. You may wonder why, since ‘Hail’ was what people used to use when conversing with Royalty. Well, that’s just it. Mother Mary is royalty. She is the Queen of Heaven. The Archangel Gabriel himself saluted her with these words when he had come to give her the message of God’s Will for her life. This does not mean that she is superior to the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. She’s definitely not at that level either. All this means is that she – being the new Ark of the Covenant, the first Tabernacle, the New Eve who brought Salvation, the womb in which our Savior would be conceived – she deserves such an honor for being so close to the Lord, at His birth, until His death. Not once did she question God’s Will, but she humbly obeyed. She is a Queen, because she made herself the ‘handmaid’ of the Lord. She is a Queen because she is the perfect example of what any human being must strive to be – Humble, Obedient, and Faithful.

Full of Grace, the Lord is with you.

This entire phrase is taken from the words of Archangel Gabriel when he approached our beloved Mother, then a young girl, with such a great responsibility. He told her that she was filled with the Grace of the Almighty, meaning that she was specially blessed by God to undertake the role of ‘Mother of our Savior’. The Lord was with her – She needn’t be afraid. All through her life we see that the Lord really was with her. When Joseph was about to break off the Marriage with her because she was pregnant but not with his child (he did not know that she had conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit); when Herod wanted to kill the newborn baby Jesus but an Angel of the Lord warned them beforehand to flee the place; when Jesus, as a child, was left behind in the Temple, and Mother Mary and St. Joseph had to rush back to find him… The Lord never left her, and the Lord will never leave us either.

Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the Fruit of your Womb, Jesus.

These are the words of Elizabeth, the cousin of Mother Mary, who, by the Miracle of the loving Father, was granted a child even at her old age. This child, now well known as John the Baptist, was in Elizabeth’s womb for 6 months, when Mother Mary arrived, excited at the good news of her cousin’s pregnancy. Hearing Mother Mary’s voice, he leaped for joy in his mother’s womb, causing the surprised Lady to exclaim these words, which are, we can say, an apt description of our Lady. She was chosen among all the women of the World, past, present, and future, to bring our beloved Savior into the World. Elizabeth proclaims that Mary is blessed, and so is the Fruit of her womb, her child. At that time, she had no idea that Jesus was the Messiah, and the Son of God. Later in the Bible as well, there is much confusion about the identity of Jesus – Some called Him a prophet, some called Him a reincarnation of previous prophets… Nobody was absolutely sure. However, even before Jesus could be born, Elizabeth knew that He was special, because of the reaction of the child in her own womb. Hence, she uses the term ‘blessed’, for the Miraculous Child in Mary’s womb.

Holy Mary, Mother of God,

Here, we give our dear Mother the respect she deserves. She lived a pure, chaste, and Holy life, and so we honor her for it. We call her the ‘Mother of God’, because she cared for and mothered Jesus, the second Person of the Holy Trinity, also known as ‘God the Son’. Calling her the Mother of God does not make her superior to God. It only proves even more how humble, obedient, and faithful she was. She gave birth to GOD, and yet she did not boast, in Humility. She could have said “No”, and complained that she was given a difficult task, but she didn’t, in Obedience. She could have panicked and worried and been afraid each time she met with any obstacle or hardship while raising Jesus, but she trusted God’s providence, in Faith.

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

This is what the entire Prayer was leading up to. We ask our Heavenly Mother to intercede for us, through her Son and our Savior Jesus Christ, to our Heavenly Father. We ask her to Pray for us, all born with original sin (the sin of Adam and Eve), in our day to day lives and at the moment of our death. We ask this because we know and understand our human weaknesses and faults, and so we need our Mother to Pray for us, so that we may overcome such temptations and become pleasing to our Lord. The hour of our death is especially the toughest moment of our lives, and thus, we need Mother Mary’s Prayer even more. She’s the closest to our Lord, her Immaculate Heart united to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. And of course, our Jesus loved His mother so very much – So will He not hear her Prayers, even if they are for the greatest of Sinners?

 

There may still be questions and objections, or you may have points to add or change. Please feel free to correct me where I may be wrong, because in that way, you and I can both grow in a deeper understanding of our Faith.

God Bless You!

7 Beautiful Quotes on Our Lady

 

  1. “In trial or difficulty I have recourse to Mother Mary, whose glance alone is enough to dissipate every fear.” – Saint Therese of Lisieux 
  2. “Let those who think that the Church pays too much attention to Mary give heed to the fact that Our Blessed Lord Himself gave ten times as much of His life to her as He gave to His Apostles.” – Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, in ‘The World’s First Love: Mary Mother of God’ 
  3. “Love our Lady, and she will obtain abundant Grace to help you conquer in your daily struggle.” – St. Josemaria Escriva

  4. “Never be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin too much. You can never love her more than Jesus did.”- Saint Maximilian Kolbe 
  5. “The day of the Nativity of the Mother of God is a day of universal joy, because through the Mother of God, the entire human race was renewed, and the sorrow of the first mother, Eve, was transformed into joy.” – Saint John Damascene 
  6. “The day of the Nativity of the Mother of God is a day of universal joy, because through the Mother of God, the entire human race was renewed, and the sorrow of the first mother, Eve, was transformed into joy.” – Saint John Damascene 
  7. “The reason why Christ is unknown today is because His Mother is unknown.” – Blessed John Henry Newman, Cardinal deacon of San Giorgio in Velabro

Happy Mothers’ Day!

A Mother is a reflection of God’s tenderness, compassion, and love.

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And remember, Mother Mary is always there to be your Divine, Heavenly Mother. She longs to intercede for you to her beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Love her, and she will show you how to love Jesus more.

Happy Mothers’ Day!

Catholics and Mother Mary

“During this month, Christians, both in church and in the privacy of the home, offer up to Mary from their hearts an especially fervent and loving homage of prayer and veneration. In this month, too, the benefits of God’s mercy come down to us from her throne in greater abundance”

(Paul VI: Encyclical on the Month of May, no. 1)

Why should we venerate Mother Mary? Isn’t she just another human being? Why treat her like she is God?

Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home. – John 19: 25-27

First of all, I just want to make it clear here that no, we do NOT call Mother Mary “God”. We call her as she is: The “Mother of God”. Mother Mary is also called the ‘White Lily of the Holy Trinity‘. Why? Because she is the Obedient Daughter of God the Father, she is the Faithful Mother of God the Son, and she is the Chaste Spouse of God the Holy Spirit. For more information, you can take a look at this page: White Lily of the Blessed Trinity

Now, we HONOR her because she is the Queen of Saints, our Role Model, and our Mother. Mother Mary gives us an example of faith, humility, and obedience, for she humbly accepted the Words of the Angel Gabriel, and agreed to be the Mother of our Savior. And most of all, she shows us how to truly love Jesus, for what greater love exists than that of a Mother for her child?

“We never give more honour to Jesus than when we honour his Mother, and we honour her simply and solely to honour him all the more perfectly. We go to her only as a way leading to the goal we seek – Jesus, her Son.”

-Saint Louis Marie de Montfort

For those aspiring to grow closer to Jesus, no matter how far away you think you might have gone, this is a good time to cling to the feet of Mother Mary and to ask her for her help and intercession to shield you from temptation and sin. Grow closer to her, and she will bring you closer to Jesus.

Saint Dominic Savio, one of my favorite young Saints, once went up to Saint Don Bosco to ask how he should spend the month of May in honor of Mother Mary. This was Saint Don Bosco’s reply, “Do your duties carefully. Speak of Mary to your companions every day, and behave so well that you can receive Communion everyday.” Saint Dominic Savio agreed to do this. Then he asked, “What favors shall I ask for?”. Saint Don Bosco answered, “Ask Our Lady for health and the favor of becoming a saint.” (St. Dominic Savio was quite unwell at that moment, which explains St. Don Bosco’s first instruction.)

All Saint Don Bosco says is to do our duties responsibly and obediently, to spread the love of Mother Mary to people we meet, and to live such a good life that we’ll be worthy enough to receive our Jesus in the Eucharist everyday.

Also, I have to mention, it may not be possible to talk about Mother Mary as often as we’d like to, without people condemning us, either for trying to convert them, or for being hypocrites, or for ‘Worshiping she who is not God’. But preaching doesn’t necessarily require words and long sermons. We can preach by our actions, maybe by always lending a helping hand to people who need it, or by offering a shoulder to cry on, or by being quick to show mercy and forgiveness.

“Preach the Gospel at all times, use words when necessary.”

– Saint Francis of Assisi

 

We ask Mother Mary to intercede for us, for the Virtues we know we lack, like Patience, Understanding, Love, Charity, Purity, Obedience, and so on. But asking for the grace to be a Saint is really important, for in this World of great sin, it is quite easy to fall into sin ourselves. But with Mother Mary to protect us, we’ll be okay.

So start each day of this Month of May by consecrating yourself to Mother Mary, and by placing yourself under her protection. Ask her to be your Guide, Protector, and Mother. Ask her for graces you wish to receive, and for the gift of Holy Purity. Pray to her, and dedicate every kind deed and every suffering to her, and as a reparation for sins against her Immaculate Heart, which is so closely and tenderly united to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

See the difference in your life once you make her your Mother, and experience Jesus like never before.

TO JESUS, THROUGH MARY.