Hail Mary

The Annunciation, by Fra Angelico

The Hail Mary, also commonly called the Ave Maria (Latin), is a traditional Catholic prayer asking for the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus. In Roman Catholicism, the prayer forms the basis of the Rosary and the Angelus prayers. In the Oriental Orthodox Churches, Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches, a similar prayer is used in formal liturgies, both in Greek and in translations. It is also used by many other groups within the catholic tradition of Christianity including Anglicans, Independent Catholics, and Old Catholics.

Largely based on two phrases in the Gospel of Luke, the prayer takes different forms in various traditions. It has often been set to music.

Biblical source

The prayer incorporates two greetings to Mary in Saint Luke's Gospel: "Hail, the Lord is with thee."[1] and "Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb."[2] In mid-13th-century Western Europe the prayer consisted only of these words with the single addition of the name "Mary" after the word "Hail", as is evident from the commentary of Saint Thomas Aquinas on the prayer.[3]

The first of the two passages from Saint Luke's Gospel is the greeting of the Angel Gabriel to Mary, originally written in Koine Greek. The opening word of greeting, χαῖρε, chaíre, here translated "Hail", literally has the meaning "rejoice" or "be glad". This was the normal greeting in the language in which Saint Luke's Gospel is written and continues to be used in the same sense in Modern Greek. Accordingly, both "Hail" and "Rejoice" are valid English translations of the word ("Hail" reflecting the Latin translation, and "Rejoice" reflecting the original Greek).

The word κεχαριτωμένη, (kecharitōménē), here translated as "full of grace", admits of various translations. Grammatically, the word is the feminine perfect passive participle of the verb χαριτόω, charitóō, which means "to show, or bestow with, grace" and here, in the passive voice, "to have grace shown, or bestowed upon, one".[4]

The text also appears in the account of the annunciation contained in the apocryphal Infancy Gospel of Matthew, in chapter 9.

The second passage is taken from Elizabeth's greeting to Mary in Luke 1:42, "Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb."[5] Taken together, these two passages are the two times Mary is greeted in Chapter 1 of Luke.

Other Languages
Alemannisch: Ave Maria
aragonés: Ave María
armãneashti: Ave Maria
asturianu: Ave María
Avañe'ẽ: Maria maitei
беларуская: Авэ Марыя
Boarisch: Ave Maria
brezhoneg: Ave Maria
català: Avemaria
čeština: Zdrávas Maria
Chavacano de Zamboanga: Ave Maria
corsu: Ave Maria
Deutsch: Ave Maria
eesti: Ave Maria
Ελληνικά: Άβε Μαρία
español: Avemaría
Esperanto: Ave Maria
estremeñu: Ave María
euskara: Agur Maria
Gàidhlig: Fàilte Mhoire
galego: Avemaría
गोंयची कोंकणी / Gõychi Konknni: नमान मारये मागणें
한국어: 성모송
հայերեն: Ավե Մարիա
hornjoserbsce: Strowa sy, Marija
hrvatski: Zdravo Marijo
Bahasa Indonesia: Salam Maria
interlingua: Ave Maria
Interlingue: Ave Maria
italiano: Ave Maria
עברית: אווה מריה
Basa Jawa: Sembah Bekti
Kapampangan: Bapu Maria
ქართული: ავე მარია
kernowek: Hayl Maria
Kiswahili: Salamu Maria
Latina: Ave Maria
lietuvių: Sveika, Marija
Limburgs: Weesgegroetje
lingála: Maria Losáko
lumbaart: Ave Maria
magyar: Üdvözlégy
Dorerin Naoero: A kamawireij uw Maria
Nederlands: Weesgegroet
norsk nynorsk: Ave Maria
occitan: Ave Maria
Pangasinan: Ave Maria
português: Ave Maria
Ripoarisch: Ave Maria
română: Ave Maria
rumantsch: Ave Maria
русский: Аве Мария
Simple English: Hail Mary
SiSwati: Yetzi' Maria
slovenčina: Zdravas’ Mária
slovenščina: Zdrava Marija
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Zdravo Marijo
suomi: Ave Maria
svenska: Ave Maria
tarandíne: Àve Marije
українська: Радуйся, Маріє
vèneto: Ave Maria
Tiếng Việt: Kinh Kính Mừng
粵語: 聖母經
žemaitėška: Svēka Marėjė
中文: 聖母經