Wednesday, 31 October 2007

The origins of the prayer ‘Hail Mary’

we see these days that many are changing the wordings of this beautiful prayer to suite their ‘private revelations’…
whatsoever may it be, I hold firm in my opinion that the wordings Must Not be changed in any way, for it is the wisdom and grace of the Holy Catholic Church, evolved through the times with due divine interventions

The history:

The early history of the Hail Mary is not clear, as the words are
taken from Scripture and it is difficult to ascertain when the greeting/prayer was distinctly used. One source attributes the distinct use of the first half to St. Idlefonsus of Toledo in the 7th century. Its use as a salutation and prayer begin to appear from frequently in the 11th and 12th centuries, though the first half only was regarded as the 'Hail Mary'.

Here are the parts of the prayer:

· Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee (Luke 1:28 with 'Mary' gradually added by the Church)

· Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus ( Luke 1:42 with 'Jesus' being added by Pope Urban IV in 1261)

· Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen (based on the declaration of the Council of Ephesus (ie. Mary the Mother of God) in 431, this part of the prayer appeared in the mid-15th century, being codified by the Council of Trent in 1568)

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