Three Hail Marys

Three Hail Marys is a traditional Roman Catholic devotional practice of reciting three Hail Marys as a petition for purity and other virtues. Believers recommend that it be prayed after waking in the morning, and before going to bed, following the examination of conscience at night. This devotion has been recommended by St. Anthony of Padua, St. Alphonsus Liguori, St. John Bosco and St. Leonard of Port Maurice. Two saints, Mechtilde and Gertrude, are said to have received revelations from the Blessed Virgin Mary regarding this practice.

History

St. Anthony of Padua (1195-1231), one of the first to recommend this practice.

The practice of reciting the Hail Mary three times dates at least to the 12th century. One of the first to practice and recommend it was St. Anthony of Padua (1195–1231). His purpose was "to honor the spotless Virginity of Mary and to preserve a perfect purity of mind, heart and body in the midst of the dangers of the world". The practice of saying three Hail Marys in the evening somewhere about sunset had become general throughout Europe in the first half of the fourteenth century and it was recommended and indulgenced by Pope John XXII in 1318 and 1327.[1]

Many saints have practiced and recommended the devotion of the "Three Hail Mary", such as, St. Leonard of Port Maurice, St. Bonaventure, St. John Berchmans, St. John Baptist Mary Vianney (Cure of Ars), St. Stanislaus Kostka, St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort, St. John Joseph of the Cross, St. John Baptist de Rossi, St. Gerard Majella, St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows, Blessed Marcellinus Champagnat, St. Alphonsus Liguori, St. Gemma Galgani, and St. Josemaría Escrivá.[2]

This practice was observed by Franciscans and eventually developed into the Angelus prayer.[1]