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: