Beautiful and Fervent Prayers


(These Prayers are put here, not only that they may be used, but also that they may show the high idea that the saints had of the power and mercy of Mary, and the great confidence they had in her patronage.)


Prayer of St. Ephrem

O immaculate and entirely pure Virgin Mary, Mother of God, queen of the universe, our own good Lady; thou art above all the saints, the only hope of the patriarchs, and the joy of the saints.  Through thee we have been reconciled with our God.  Thou art the only advocate of sinners, and the secure haven of those who are sailing on the sea of this life.  Thou art the consolation of the world, the ransom of captives, the joy of the sick, the comfort of the afflicted, the refuge, the salvation of the whole world.

            O great Princess, Mother of God, cover us with the wings of thy mercy, and pity us.  We hope only in thee, O most pure Virgin.  We are given to thee, and consecrated to thy service; we bear the name of thy servants.  O, then, permit not that Lucifer should drag us to hell.  O immaculate Virgin, we are under thy protection, and therefore unitedly we have recourse to thee; and we beseech thee to prevent thy beloved Son, who is irritated by our sins, from abandoning us to the power of the devil.

            O thou who art full of grace, enlighten my understanding, loosen my tongue, that it may sing thy praises; and more particularly the angelic salutation, so worthy of thee.  I salue thee, O peace, O joy, O consolation of the whole world.  I salue thee, O greatest of miracles, O paradise of delights, secure haven of those who are in danger, fountain of graces, mediatress between God and men (De Laud. Dei Gen.).


Prayer of St. Bernard

We raise our eyes to thee, O Queen of the world.  We must appear before our Judge after so many sins: who will appease him?  No one can do it better than thou canst, O holy Lady, who hast loved him so much, and by whom thou art so tenderly beloved.  Open, then, O Mother of mercy, thy heart to our sighs and prayers.  We fly to thy protection; appease the wrath of thy Son, and restore us to his grace.  Thou dost not abhor a sinner, however loathsome he may be.  Thou dost not despise him, if he sends up his sighs to thee, and, repentant, asks thy intercession.  Thou, with thy compassionate hand, deliverest him from despair.  Thou animatest him to hope, and dost not leave him until thou hast reconciled him with his Judge.  Thou art that chosen Lady in whom our Lord found repose, and in whom he has deposited all his treasures without measure.  Hence the whole world, O my most holy Lady, honors thy chaste womb as the temple of God, in which the salvation of the world began.  In thee was effected the reconciliation between God and man.  Thou, O great Mother of God, art the enclosed garden, into which the hand of a sinner never entered to gather its flowers.  Thou art the beautiful garden in which God has planted all the flowers that adorn the Church, and amongst others the violet of thy humility, the lily of thy purity, the rose of thy charity.  With whom can we compare thee, O Mother of grace and beauty?  Thou art the paradise of God, from thee issued forth the fountain of living water that irrigates the whole earth.  O, how many benefits thou hast bestowed on the world by meriting to be so salutary a channel!

            Of thee it is that the question is asked, "Who is she that cometh forth like the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright a resplendent dawn, preceding with the light of thy sanctity the coming of the Sun of justice.  The day on which thou camest into the world can indeed he called a day of salvation, a day of grace.  Thou art fair as the moon; for as amongst all planets the moon it is that is most like the sun, so amongst all creatures thou art the nearest in resemblance to God.  The moon illumines the night with the light that it receives from the sun, and thou enlightenest our darkness with the splendor of thy virtues.  But thou art fairer than the moon, for in thee there is neither spot nor shadow.  Thou art bright as the sun; I mean as the Sun that created the sun; he was chosen amongst all men, and thou wast chosen amongst all women.  O sweet, O great, O all-amiable Mary, no heart can pronounce thy name but thou inflamest it with thy love; nor can they who love thee think of thee without feeling themselves strengthened to love thee more.

            O holy Lady, help our weakness.  And who is more fit to address our Lord Jesus Christ than thou, who enjoyest in such close vicinity his most sweet converse?  Speak, then, speak, O Lady; for thy Son listens to thee, and thou wilt obtain all that thou askest of him (Depr. Ad. Gl. V.).


Prayer of St. Germanus of Constantinople

O my only and sovereign Lady, who art the sole consolation that I receive from God; thou who art the only celestial dew that gives me refreshment in my pains; thou who art the light of my soul when it is surrounded with darkness; thou who art my guide in jouneyings, my strength in weakness; my treasure in poverty, the balm of my wounds, my consolation in sorrow, thou who art my refuge in miseries and the hope of my salvation; listen to my prayers, have pity on me as it becomes the Mother of a God who has such love for men" (Encom. In. S. Deip.)

            O thou who art our defence and joy, grant me all that I ask; make me worthy to enjoy with thee the great happiness that thou enjoyest in heaven.  Yes, my Lady, my refuge, my life, my help, my defence, my strength, my joy, my hope, grant that I may one day be with thee in heaven.  I know that, being the Mother of God, thou canst, if thou wilt, obtain it for me.  O Mary, thou art omnipotent to save sinners, nor needest thou any other recommendation; for thou art the Mother of true life (In Dorm. V. M. s. 2).


Prayer of Blessed Raymond Jordano, Abbot of Celles (Out of humility he surnamed himself the Idiot)

Draw me after thee, O Virgin Mary, that I may run to the odor of thy ointments.  Draw me, for I am held back by the weight of my sins and by the malice of my enemies.  As no one goes to thy Son unless the heavenly Father draws him, so do I presume to say, in a certain manner, that no one goes to him unless thou drawest him by thy holy prayers.  It is thou who teachest true wisdom, thou who obtainest grace for sinners, for thou art their advocate; it is thou who promiest glory to him who honors thee, for thou art the treasurer of graces (Cont. de V. M. in prol.).

            Thou, O most sweet Virgin, hast found grace with God, for thou wast preserved from the stain of original sin, wast filled with the Holy Ghost, and didst conceive the Son of God.  Thou, O most humble Virgin, didst receive all these graces not for thyself only, but also for us, that thou mightest assist us in all our necessities.  And this thou dost indeed; thou succorest the good, preserving them in grace, and the wicked thou preparest to receive divine mercy.  Thou assistest the dying, protecting them against the snares of the devil; and thou helpest them also after death, receiving their souls and conducting them to the kingdom of the blessed (Cont. de V. M. c. 6)


Prayer of St. Methodius

Thy name, O Mother of God, is filled with all graces and divine blessings.  Thou hast contained him who cannot be contained, and nourished him who nourishes all creatures.  He who fills heaven and earth, and is Lord of all, was pleased to stand in need of thee, for it was thou who didst clothe him with that flesh which he had not before.  Rejoice then, O Mother and handmaid of God; be glad then, with exceeding great joy, for thou has him for thy debtor who gives their being to all creatures.  We are all God's debtors, but he is a debtor to thee.  Hence it is, O most holy Mother of God, that thou hast greater goodness and greater charity than all the other saints, and hast freer access to God than any of them, for thou art his Mother.  Ah, deign, we beseech thee, to remember us in our miseries, who celebrate thy glories, and know how great is thy goodness (De Sim. et Anna).


Prayer of St. John Damascene

I salute thee, O Mary; thou art the hope of Christians; receive the supplication of a sinner who loves thee tenderly, honors thee in a special manner, and places in thee the whole hope of his salvation.  From thee I have my life.  Thou dost restore me to the favor of thy Son; thou art the certain pledge of my salvation.  I implore thee, then, deliver me from the burden of my sins, dispel the darkness of my mind, banish earthly affections from my heart, repress the temptations of my enemies, and so rule my whole life that by thy means and under thy guidance I may attain the eternal happiness of heaven (In Nat. B. V. s. 1)


Prayer of St. Andrew of Crete (Or of Jerusalem; for it is not known whether it was one person under the two titles, or two different persons.)

I salute thee, O full of grace, our Lord is with thee.  I salute thee, O cause of our joy, through whom the sentence of our condemnation was revoked and changed into one of blessings.  I salute thee, O temple of the glory of God, sacred dwelling of the King of heaven.  Thou art the reconciliation of God with men.  I salute thee, O Mother of our joy.  Truly thou art blessed, for thou alone amongst all women wast found worthy to be the Mother of thy Creator.  All nations call thee Blessed (In S. Deip. Ann.)

            O Mary, if I place my confidence in thee, I shall be saved; if I am under thy protection, I have nothing to fear, for the fact of being thy client is the possession of a certainty of salvation, which God only grants to those whom he will save.

            O Mother of mercy, appease thy beloved Son.  Whilst thou wast on earth thou didst occupy only a small part of it, but now that thou art raised above the highest heavens, the whole world considers thee as the propitiatory of all nations.  I implore thee, then, O Holy Virgin, to grant me the help of thy prayers with God; prayers which are dearer and more precious to us than all the treasures of the earth; prayers which render God propitious to us in our sins, and obtain us a great abundance of graces, both for the pardon of our offences and the practice of virtue: prayers which check our enemies, confound their designs, and triumph over their strength (In Dorm. S. M. s. 3)


Prayer of St. Ildephonsus

I come to thee, O Mother of God, and implore the to obtain for me the pardon of my sins, and that I may be cleansed from those of my whole life.  I beseech thee to grant me the grace to unite myself in affection to thy Son and to thyself: to thy Son as my God, and to thee as the Mother of my God (De Virginit. Perp. S. M. c. 12).    


Prayer of St. Athanasius

Give ear to our prayers, O most Holy Virgin, and be mindful of us.  Dispense unto us the gifts of thy riches, and the abundance of the graces with which thou art filled.  The archangel saluted thee, and called thee full of grace.  'All nations call thee blessed.  The whole hierarchy of heaven blesses thee; and we, who are of the terrestrial hierarchy, also address thee, saying, Hail, O full of grace, our Lord is with thee; pray for us, O holy Mother of God, our Lady and our Queen (In Annunt. Deip.).  


Prayer of St. Anselm

We beseech thee, O Most holy Lady, by the favor that God did thee, in raising thee so high as to make all things possible to thee with him, so to act that the plenitude of grace, which thou didst merit, may render us partakers of thy glory.  Strive, O most merciful Lady, to obtain for us that for which God was pleased to become man in thy chaste womb.  O, lend us a willing ear.  If thou deignest to pray to thy Son for this, he will immediately grant it.  It suffices that thou willest our salvation, and then we are sure to obtain it.  But who can, restrain thy great mercy?  If thou, who art our Mother, and the Mother of mercy, dost not pity us, what will become of us when thy Son comes to judge us?

            Help us, then, O most compassionate Lady, and consider not the multitude of our sins.  Remember always that our Creator took human flesh of thee, not to condemn sinners, but to save them.  If thou hadst become Mother of God only for thine own advantage, we might say that it signified little to thee whether we were lost or saved; but God clothed himself with thy flesh for thy salvation, and for that of all men.  What would thy great power and glory avail us, if thou dost not make us partakers of thy happiness?  O, help us, then, and protect us: thou knowest how greatly we stand in need of thy assistance.  We recommend ourselves to thee; O, let us not lose our souls, but make us eternally serve and love thy beloved Son, Jesus Christ (De Excell. V. c. 12)


Prayer of St. Peter Damian

Holy Virgin, Mother of God, succor those who implore thy aid.  O, turn towards us.  Hast thou, perhaps, forgotten men, because thou has been raised to so close a union with God/  Ah no, most certainly.  Thou knowest well in what danger thou didst leave us, and the wretched condition of thy servants; ah no, it would not become so great a mercy as thine to forget so great misery as ours is.  Turn towards us, then, with thy power; for he who is powerful has made thee omnipotent in heaven and on earth.  Nothing is impossible to thee, for thou canst raise even those who are in despair to the hope of salvation.  The more powerful thou art, the greater should be thy mercy.

            Turn also to us in thy love.  I know, O my Lady, that thou art all benign, and that thou lovest us with a love that can be surpassed by no other love.  How often dost thou not appease the wrath of our Judge, when he is on the point of chastising us?  All the treasures of the mercies of God are in thy hands.  Ah, never cease to benefit us; thou only seekest occasion to save all the wretched, and to shower thy mercies upon them; for thy glory is increased when, by thy means, penitents are forgiven, and thus reach heaven.  Turn, then, towards us, that we also may be able to go and see thee in heaven; for the greatest glory we can have wil be, after seeing God, to see thee, to love thee, and be under thy protection.  Be pleased, then, to grant our prayer; for thy beloved Son desires to honor thee, by denying thee nothing that thou askest (In Nat. B. M. s. 1).


Prayer of William, Bishop of Paris

O Mother of God, I have recourse to thee, and I call upon thee not to reject me; for the whole congregation of the faithful calls and proclaims thee the Mother of mercy.  Thou art that one who, from being so dear to God, art always graciously heard; thy clemency was never wanting to any one; thy most benign affability never despised any sinner who had recourse to thee, however enormous his crimes.  Can it be falsely or in vain that the Church calls thee her advocate, and the refuge of sinners?  Never let it be said that my sins could prevent thee from fulfilling the great office of mercy, which is peculiarly thine own, by which thou art the advocate and mediatress of peace, the only hope and most secure refuge of the miserable.  Never shall it be said that the Mother of God, who for the benefit of the world brought forth him who is the fountain of mercy, denied her mercy to any sinner who had recourse to her.  Thine office is that of peacemaker between God and men: let, then, the greatness of thy compassion, and which far exceeds my sins, move thee to help me (De Rhet. div. c. 18).  






To Mary, our Queen, the Mother of Mercy


Look down, O Mother Mary!

From thy bright throne above;

Cast down upon thy children

One only glance of love.


And if a heart so tender

With pity flows not o'er.

Then turn away, O Mother!

And look on us no more.


See how, ungrateful sinners,

We stand before thy Son;

His loving heart upbraids us

The evil we have done.


But if thou wilt appease him,

Speak for us,—but one word;

Thou only can'st obtain us

The pardon of our Lord.


O Mary, dearest Mother!

If thou wouldst have us live,

Say that we are thy children,

And Jesus will forgive.


Our sins make us unworthy

That title still to bear;

But thou art still our Mother,

Then show a Mother's care.


Open to us thy mantle;

There stay we without fear:

What evil can befall us

If, Mother, thou art near?


O sweetest, dearest Mother!

Thy sinful children save;

Look down on us with pity,

Who thy protection crave.




To Mary our Mother

 (By Mgr. Majello)


When I think o'er my happy lot,

That, Mary, I am a child of thine,

Then every sorrow, Mother mine,

Swift vanishes and is forgot.


Chos'n Mother of my God to be,

Thou still art mine own Mother dear;

What harm then can I ever fear,

Sweet Mary, if thou lovest me?


One only fear can make me sigh,

'Tis lest I e'er should lose thy love;

But while my heart shall faithful prove,

Living or dying, blest am I.


Deprived of thee, my lovely Rose,

Each joy doth bitter grief appear;

But pain is joy if thou wert near,

And death itself is sweet repose.


From Heaven's path he cannot stray

Who follows thee, his safest guide;

To serve thee and in thee confide,

Is of all good the surest way.


Oh, blest is he whose sole desire

Is e'er to love thee tenderly;

Yes, happy he who loveth thee,

And feels his heart with love on fire.


Then grant to me, my sweetest Queen,

Ever to burn with love of thee,

Until in heaven I come to see,

Unveil'd, thy loveliness serene.





To Mary, our Hope.


Mary, thou art Hope the brightest,

Love most pure and sweet;

Life and peace I find, reposing

At Thy blessed feet!


When I call on thee, O Mary,

When I think on thee,

Joy and pleasure all-entrancing

Fill my heart with glee.


If anon the clouds of sadness

Rise within my heart,

When they hear thy name, O Mary,

Straightway they depart.


Like a star on life's dark ocean,

Shining o'er the wave,

Thou can'st guide my bark to harbor,

Thou my soul canst save.


Under thy protecting mantle,

Queen belov'd, I fly;

There I wish to live securely,

There I hope to die.


If I chance my life to finish,

Mary, loving thee,

Then I also know, dear Lady,

Heaven is for me.


Cast thy gentle bonds arounds me,

And my heart enchain,

Prisoner of love forever

Safe will I remain.


Thus my heart, O sweetest Mary,

Is not mine, but thine;

Take it; give it all to Jesus;

Ne'er shall it be mine.





The Name of Mary.


Mother Mary, Queen most sweet!

Joy and love my heart inflame;

Gladly shall my lips repeat

Every moment thy dear name.


Ah! that name, to God so dear,

Has my heart and soul enslaved;

Like a seal it shall appear

Deep on heart and soul engraved.


When the morning gilds the skies,

I will call on Mary's name;

When at evening twilight dies,

Mary, still will I exclaim.


Sweetest Mary, bend thine ear;

Thou my own dear Mother art;

Therefore shall thy name so dear,

Never from lips depart.


If my soul is sore oppress'd

By a load of anxious care,

Peace once more will fill my breast

When thy name re-echoes there.


Waves of doubt disturb my peace,

And my heart is faint with fear;

At thy name the billows cease,

All my terrors disappear.


When the demon hosts invade,

When temptation rages high,

Crying, "Mary, Mother! aid!"

I will make the tempter fly.


This shall be my comfort sweet,

When the hand of death is nigh,

Mary! Mary! to repeat

Once again,—and then, to die.


(It must be observed that this last hymn, "The Name of Mary," is not by St. Alphonsus, but by Father Apice.—ED.)







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