Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Hail Mary!

This is a special post for my Confirmation Students at St. Anthony of Padua!

Today I had a jolting experience. I learned that a certain religion teacher I know (who will forever go unnamed) told his students that the first part of “The Hail Mary” did not come from the first chapter of Luke in the New Testament. Yikes!!

So....here and now I am sending out this info to my confirmation students to MAKE SURE you know how Biblically based that wonderful prayer is. I know, I know, we have talked about this before but now you can come back to this post if you ever get hazy on the facts....or look at the apologetics sheet we gave you... or read Luke!

Remember that Catholics are good Bible Christians and all “good Bible Christians” should be Catholic (to quote Scott Hahn).

Oh, and the religion teacher was set straight by a Brother AND he is not from St. Anthony. So, never fear Barb & Mike! I think he was just having a bad memory day! We can't all have a memory like our Patron Saint (were you listening during the church tour so you know to what I am referring?)

I found a great post by Sister Mary Martha at blogspot. She is really funny and from all the posts I have read, theologically sound. I can't tell if she is a real Sister or if it just a pseudonym. You guys would love the site so check it out. http://asksistermarymartha.blogspot.com/ You will be able to readily tell I have quoted her a lot! So between Sister, the Bible and me .... here we go.....

"Hail Mary, full of grace the Lord is with Thee" are the words of the archangel Gabriel when he came to ask Mary to have Jesus. Luke 1:28

I love the wording in The King James version, “And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

How does Mary respond? Here are the exact words from Luke 1:34 “Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?” The angel Gabriel explained to Mary in Luke 1: 35 that “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God”

May I interject here? This (Luke 1: 35 ) is important to the last part of The Hail Mary and to the whole Biblical basis of Mary being the Mother of God.

And as the child's song tells us: Mary said yes to God one day. Mary said yes to God. She said, Lord I will be what you want me to be. Mary said Lord be it done unto me. Mary said yes to God one day. I will be part of your plan. And in the meantime, and in between time I'll do the best that I can. Thank you! I 'll do the best that I can.”

So Mary told Gabriel she gave God her consent.

Luke 1:38 -- The King James version, “And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.”

"Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb"
are the very words that Elizabeth says to Mary. Elizabeth was Mary's cousin.

Luke 1:42 -- The King James version, “Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb”

When Mary went to visit Elizabeth (the "visitation") her cousin was 6 months pregnant. Elizabeth and her husband, Zacharias were very old so this was quite a miracle! Elizabeth was carrying Jesus' cousin, John the Baptist.

Of course, he wasn't John the Baptist then. He was just a little unborn babe in the womb. John the Baptist and Jesus were but 6 months apart in age. Actually there is a scripture that tells us John was almost named Zacharias after his Dad. (Luke 1:59). I don't know about you but Zacharias the Baptist just doesn't sound as good as John the Baptist!

I read on Sister Mary Martha's blog that this was the whole prayer for quite some time. Eventually "Jesus" was added to the end of it. "The fruit of thy womb, Jesus.”. As Sister Mary Martha says, “That way no one is confused”.

According to Sister Mary Martha that was all there was to to the prayer until the 4th century (she's pretty sure it was the 4th century) when there was big fat heresy that maybe Jesus wasn't divine, or maybe he wasn't born divine, but sort of grew into his divinity. There was a big fight over this silly notion and when the truth won out the happy people took the streets shouting, "Holy Mary, Mother of God!" which they could now say with impunity. What a day that must have been.

Remember how I told you that Luke 1 :35 would be important? The babe Mary has “shall be called the Son of God” and remember Gabriel told her the baby she would bear would be “holy”. So it is obvious to me that Jesus was born divine. And that Mary is the Mother of God.

So now that was the whole prayer. I love how Sister ends her post:

“But then....after all of that....and as long as you have her attention...you may as well ask for something..... sooo.....

"Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death." For my Protestant Brothers and Sisters-- please note how we are asking for Mary's prayers. We are not worshipping her. We are simply asking for prayers just as we often ask our earthly brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers to pray for us.



Sister Mary Martha said...

Thanks for the plug! Your students might be interested in my post about St. Anthony himself and today's in formation about St. Valentine's Day.

Katerina Marie said...


I love your new layout! What a great post...

I don't know if Michael told you, but I would love to make the little titles for you on the sidebar like the ones we have on our website. I can use the same titles you have and add the small picture on the side. If you wish, you can save pictures you would like to have on the side and send them to our e-mail on our blog and I'll create them and send them back to your e-mail. I really love doing those little things :)

God bless you! You have a great blog! :)

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