Hail Holy Queen prayer

I have seen for this prayer on various Catholic websites including EWTN that have instructions on how to pray the rosary a discrepancy in prayer. Some renditions say “vale of tears” others say “valley of tears”

What is the correct rendition?

As far as I know, “vale” and “valley” mean the same thing, so I think it does not matter.



  1. a valley.

  2. the world, or mortal or earthly life: this vale of tears.

Right. “Vale” is simply an older term for “Valley”. It’s the same way with older English translations of prayers that use terms like “Liveith and Reigneth”, which we render today as “Lives and Reigns” or saying “Holy Ghost”, which we render today as “Holy Spirit”. Most of the time, in prayers (other than the “Our Father” and “Hail Mary”), we’ve changed “Thou” and “Thy/Thine” to “You” and “Your/Yours”. There is no difference between “vale” and “valley” - just the age of the rendition, really.

The correct rendition is “lacrimarum valle”.

Neither are vale nor valley incorrect, nor vallee (french), nor valle (Spanish), nor laasko (Finnish), nor dyffryn (Welsh), etc.

They are all correct.



Indeed. Just pray the prayer often. :wink:

I ask this sincerely as I have never understood the Hail Holy Queen prayer… What is this valley of tears that it refers to? Who is sighing, mourning and weeping…

In all charity, this sounds like a prayer that someone in Hell would pray.

It is the prayer of all of us who are undergoing the tribulations of life in a fallen world. Have you not read the Old Testament?

I have read the Old Testament in light of the New Testament… Certainly don’t mean to offend… just have never held that point of view on this life. That is why there are so many different and varying devotions I suppose.

If you’re fine with your heaven being on earth, good for you. Many others long for their true home.

Jeez…Not what I’m saying at all… My view would be that this life is good!! Heaven will be Heavenly.

Why so dour AEMCPA? I asked the question sincerely in hopes of a discussion, could do without the attack…

A “Valley of Tears”, first of all, is the opposite of a “Mountain of Joy”. We humans, because of the sin of Adam, have been separated from God. Only with the grace that comes from the sacrifice of Jesus and the faith that is the acceptance of that grace are we able to come back in union with him. In addition, our fallen world is a world that suffers. “Valley of Tears”, in the context of this prayer, refers to both our fallen nature that has separated us from God (which causes spiritual tears) and the tears of suffering that we must endure in this life. The prayer also indicates that the “Valley of Tears” we are in is an “exile” - that is, an exile from God.

Then you are certainly blest! :slight_smile:

However, with death, illness, pain, poverty, fear, hunger, starvation, war, anxiety, loss, uncertainty and all other manner of ills in this fallen world, many, if not the vast majority of people, have a life that for much of it is less than good. The vale of tears is this human life in this fallen world. It’s poetic if not universal.

Yes. Note the “e” ending on all the verses except the last two.

While the anthem is in sonorous prose, the chant melody divides it into members which, although of unequal syllabic length, were doubtless intended to close with the faint rhythmic effect noticeable when they are set down in divided form:

•Salve Regina (Mater) misericordiae,
•Vita, dulcedo, et spes nostra, salve.
•Ad te clamamus, exsules filii Hevae;
•Ad te suspiramus gementes et flentes in hac lacrymarum valle.
•Eia ergo advocata nostra, illos tuos misericordes oculos ad nos converte.
•Et Jesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui, nobis post hoc exsilium ostende.
O Clemens, O pia,
O dulcis (Virgo) Maria.

Similarly, Notker Balbulus ended with the (Latin) sound of “E” all the verses of his sequence, “Laus tibi, Christe” (Holy Innocents). The word “Mater” in the first verse is found in no source, but is a late insertion of the sixteenth century. Similarly, the word “Virgo” in the last verse seems to date back only to the thirteenth century.

more at newadvent.org/cathen/13409a.htm

The Latin is normative. Any English version of the prayer is a translation and translations may vary. As far as I know, the prayer isn’t part of the Liturgy so there isn’t an ‘approved’ version. I like vale of tears myself as it’s something of a set-phrase in English.

Unrelated, but I always liked the do thou o prince of the heavenly host in the prayer to St Michael:)

I suppose one can say that, although it is required after the EF Missa Lecta (aka Low Mass). But you’re right, there is no official English version so you can say it how you want. Same for the St. Michael’s Prayer.

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