The second most important prayer in the Roman Catholic Church (the

first is the Our Father). The Hail Mary is the most widely used. In

the Rosary (241), ten Hail Marys are said for every Our Father.

The prayer is: Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.

Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb

Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the

hour of our death. Amen.

The first part is taken from a mis-translation of Luke 1:28. The

second part comes from Luke 1:42. These portions were recited by

monastic groups; first lay use was in Paris in 1196. A little later

the name Jesus was added, and the last part was added about 1500. The

complete Hail Mary has been in the Church less than 500 years, and is

recited more today than any other prayer.


"Full of grace" is a mis-translation of Luke 1:28. The Greek word

means one to whom grace has been given, not one who is inherently

full of grace.

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