Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death:
By asking Mary to
pray for us, we acknowledge ourselves to be poor sinners and we address
ourselves to the “Mother of Mercy,” theAll-Holy One. We give ourselves over
to her now, in the Today of our lives. And our trust broadens further, already
at the present moment, to surrender “the hour of our death” wholly to her
care. May she be there as she was at her son’s death on the cross. May she
welcome us as our mother at the hour of our passing
to lead us to her son,
Jesus, in paradise.
Medieval piety in the West developed the prayer of the rosary as
a popular substitute for the Liturgy of the Hours. In the East, the litany
remained closer to the choral office
in the Byzantine churches, while the Armenian, Coptic, and Syriac tradi
tions preferred popular hymns and songs to the Mother of God. But in the
the hymns of St. Ephrem or St. Gregory of Narek,
the tradition of prayer is basically the same.
Mary is the perfect
(pray-er), a figure of the Church.
When we pray to her, we are adhering with her to the plan of the
Father, who sends his Son to save all men. Like the beloved disciple
we welcome Jesus’ mother into our homes,
for she has become the
mother of all the living. We can praywith and to her. The prayer of the
Church is sustainedby the prayer ofMary andunitedwith it inhope.
Prayer is primarily addressed to the Father; it can
also be directed toward Jesus, particularly by the in
vocation of his holy name: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of
God, have mercy on us sinners.”
“No one can say ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy
12:3). The Church invites us to invoke
the Holy Spirit as the interior Teacher of Christian
Because of Mary’s singular cooperation with the ac
tion of the Holy Spirit, the Church loves to pray in
communion with the Virgin Mary, to magnify with
her the great things the Lord has done for her, and to
entrust supplications and praises to her.