Beautiful and Fervent Prayers
ADDRESSED BY THE
TO THE DIVINE MOTHER
(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
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.
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.
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.
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
bright throne above;
upon thy children
glance of love.
And if a
heart so tender
flows not o'er.
away, O Mother!
And look on
us no more.
before thy Son;
heart upbraids us
The evil we
But if thou
wilt appease him,
us,—but one word;
can'st obtain us
of our Lord.
wouldst have us live,
Say that we
are thy children,
make us unworthy
still to bear;
But thou art
still our Mother,
Then show a
Open to us
we without fear:
can befall us
thou art near?
Look down on
us with pity,
To Mary our Mother
(By Mgr. Majello)
When I think
o'er my happy lot,
I am a child of thine,
sorrow, Mother mine,
vanishes and is forgot.
Mother of my God to be,
art mine own Mother dear;
then can I ever fear,
if thou lovest me?
fear can make me sigh,
'Tis lest I
e'er should lose thy love;
But while my
heart shall faithful prove,
dying, blest am I.
thee, my lovely Rose,
doth bitter grief appear;
But pain is
joy if thou wert near,
itself is sweet repose.
Heaven's path he cannot stray
thee, his safest guide;
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;
he who loveth thee,
his heart with love on fire.
to me, my sweetest Queen,
Ever to burn
with love of thee,
heaven I come to see,
thy loveliness serene.
art Hope the brightest,
pure and sweet;
peace I find, reposing
When I call
on thee, O Mary,
When I think
heart with glee.
If anon the
clouds of sadness
hear thy name, O Mary,
Like a star
on life's dark ocean,
guide my bark to harbor,
Thou my soul
belov'd, I fly;
There I wish
to live securely,
There I hope
If I chance
my life to finish,
Then I also
know, dear Lady,
gentle bonds arounds me,
And my heart
Safe will I
heart, O sweetest Mary,
Is not mine,
give it all to Jesus;
it be mine.
Queen most sweet!
Joy and love
my heart inflame;
my lips repeat
thy dear name.
name, to God so dear,
Has my heart
and soul enslaved;
Like a seal
it shall appear
heart and soul engraved.
morning gilds the skies,
I will call
on Mary's name;
evening twilight dies,
will I exclaim.
Mary, bend thine ear;
Thou my own
dear Mother art;
shall thy name so dear,
If my soul
is sore oppress'd
By a load of
more will fill my breast
name re-echoes there.
doubt disturb my peace,
And my heart
is faint with fear;
At thy name
the billows cease,
demon hosts invade,
temptation rages high,
"Mary, Mother! aid!"
I will make
the tempter fly.
be my comfort sweet,
hand of death is nigh,
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.)