How do we pray to Mary verses praying to Jesus?

I’ve always prayed to Jesus and never to Mary before I converted to Catholicism. But now I’m confused. When should we pray to Mary and when should we pray to Jesus? How do we address Mary when we pray to her?

Hi Scarlett,

This is something we cradle Catholics usually take for granted. It’s a good question and quite understandable for a new Catholic to ask. We pray to Jesus whenever we want to pray to Him. We never HAVE to pray to anyone else. But usually, we do like to ask other people to pray for what we need. Scripture encourages us to pray for one another. Just as we ask for each other’s prayers, so we ask those Christians who are in heaven, such as our blessed Mother.

You can address her as “Dear blessed Mother, please pray that …” or as in the Hail Mary, you can address as “Holy Mary.”

Wecome aboard!

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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