This week’s Ask Alice: Why do Catholics pray the Hail Mary prayer. Isn’t being a Christian all about life? Not death?

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JH writes: Why do Catholics pray the Hail Mary prayer. Isn’t being a Christian all about life? Not death?

Alice responds: As Christians, we are called to live each day with our eyes fixed on Heaven, our true home. Jesus taught His disciples to live their earthly lives in preparation for Heaven..

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal. But store up treasures in Heaven……For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.” (Matthew 6:20-21)

But the “Hail Mary” isn’t a prayer for death. Actually, it’s a beautiful prayer that proclaims and celebrates life! Only the final 5 words of this prayer mentions “the hour of our death.” This pro-life prayer invokes Mary’s help and intercession in the present moment of our life. Happily, the “Hail Mary” covers all bases, since, at some point, death will be the present moment of our life.

Listen to the precious words of life prayed to Our Heavenly Mother:

1) “Hail Mary, full of grace”- Mary is recognized for her purity, grace and perfect obedience to God.

2) “the Lord is with thee”- Mary has found favor with the Lord.

3) “blessed art thou among women”- Mary was specially chosen and sanctified by God to be the Mother of His only Son.

4) “blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus”- Blessed is Jesus, our Savior, who Mary carried in her womb.

5) “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now”- We ask for Mary’s motherly intercession and help at the present moment in our life.

6) “and at the hour of our death”- Since Catholics believe that death is a homecoming, we pray for Mary’s intercession in leading us to our eternal life with God in Heaven.

How blessed we are to have our Mother Mary who dearly loves each of her children and is always ready and eager to intercede for us to our Father in Heaven.

In Christ’s Love,


Read: A True Story: The “Hail Mary” is a Powerful Prayer

 Click here to see all of Alice’s other columns

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