Defending Mary and the Rosary

Hello Catholics and other peeps,

I have been explaining the rosary to protestant believers and have run across a question I myself unsure of. The last prayer of the rosary is Hail Holy Queen. It is prayed as follows:

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy!

**Our life, our sweetness, and our hope!
**
To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve,
to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping. in this valley, of tears.
**Turn, then, most gracious advocate,**thine eyes of mercy toward us;
and after this our exile show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb Jesus;
O clement, O loving, O sweet virgin Mary.

Pray for us, O holy Mother of God

That we may be made worthy of the
promises of Christ.

The parts highlighted reflect the problems protestants have trouble with. They claim that Jesus should be the focus here not Mary. What is the right response? :confused:

1 Kings 2:17-20 (KJV) (3Kings in DR)

Hello, when I say this prayer, this is my understanding:

Mother of Mercy!
Our life, our sweetness, and our hope!

Isn’t Mary the mother of Jesus, who can be described as Mercy, our life, sweetness and hope?

**To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve,
to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping. in this valley, of tears.
Turn, then, most gracious advocate,thine eyes of mercy toward us; **

To me, this is just asking Mary to pray for us. It is a bit verbose and “flowerly”… but nonetheless when I say it I am asking Mary to pray for me.

That we may be made worthy of the
promises of Christ.

Not sure what the issue is here. Didn’t Paul say something to this effect?

It is not a required part of the Rosary. Even so, there’s nothing wrong with praying to Mary (or any Saint) in addition to praying to God. This prayer does not reject nor deny praying to God directly. Devotion to Mary and prayers invoking Mary existed long before the Reformation, they have been part of the Christian tradition from very early on.

In my family, we ended the rosary with an Act of Contrition. I do not know whether or not it was just a regional tradition. Today, the rosary universally ends with the Hail Holy Queen.

Many non-Catholics are familiar with the beginning of the prayers used during the rosary. In my discussions, I lead them to the end of the prayers.

Hail Mary, full of grace…blessed are you among women (from scripture), and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus…pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.

Hail, Holy Queen (in recognition of her status as mother of King Jesus)…show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus…
Pray for us…that we may be worthy of the promises of Christ.

The Memorare is a bit more difficult to defend. It does have the word “sought thy intercession was left unaided.”

At the wedding at Cana, it is Mary whose help was sought when the wine ran low. It was Mary who turned to Jesus. It was Jesus who responded to His mother’s request. [from a Deepening the Faith session].

I must have missed where Jesus is not Mercy, Life, sweetness, and hope… The problem your protestants are having here is that they are grammatically misinterpreting the text of the prayer. These words (Mercy, our life, our sweetness, our hope) refer to Christ, of whom Mary is honored because she is His mother.


To thee do we cry

*, poor banished children of Eve,
to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping. in this valley, of tears.

So? There is no problem with praying to the saints, even vehemently, provided that we don’t worship anyone other than God (which we don’t). The problem is that for many protestants their worship is so stripped of catholicity that the only thing they have in their worship toolbox is prayer and music… and they tend then to look at ALL prayer and music as worship… which is simply not the case.


Turn, then, most gracious advocate,

**thine eyes of mercy toward us; *

Again, so what? At the mount of transfiguration, Jesus demonstrated that not only are the saints alive in heaven, but that they are also cognizant of earthly events. Revelations further clarifies this: it is the saints who bring the prayers before God.

Do they have a problem with the fact that Mary is in heaven? Is their problem that Mary, like her Son, desires the will of God (aka, that we be saved) and is therefore our most gracious advocate? Is their objection that she wants mercy for sinners, just as God does?

When we are in heaven, our soul will be perfected with perfect beatific vision. As such, we will likewise desire what God desires and will likewise be gracious advocates with eyes of mercy for sinners who repent.


That we may be made worthy of the
promises of Christ.


What’s the objection to wanting to be worthy of the promises of Christ? Do these protestants you’re talking to object to the idea of living a moral and just life? Do they have a problem with wanting to be Christ-like? If so, they’re in the wrong religion, because even scripture tells us that we should strive to be holy as Christ is holy.

Bravo, Promethius! :clapping:

There is nothing whatsoever wrong with asking someone to pray for us, whether it’s your “best friend, Ray”, or Mary, the Mother of Jesus. That’s what the “Hail Holy Queen” is doing.

Thank you all. Very sound replies. I panicked at first but I know now with a clear and stress free mind. I just wish I had something to say right then and there when being challenged. I just had not idea it was coming. Time to evangelize others after myself :slight_smile:

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