Is it OK to modify the Hail Mary?


I want to pray a Rosary for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, and I was wondering if it would be okay for me to modify the Hail Mary to fit this purpose. Specifically the second half. Instead of “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.” I was thinking “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for the souls in Purgatory.” Or at least something similar.

Would this be permissible? And if it is permissible, do you have any specific qualms with the idea of modifying the Hail Mary?


Yes…its a private devotion, you are not bound by liturgical rubrics.


You can do it if you want. I personally like the “tradition” of the “traditional” prayers so I tend to not modify them, plus if you have been saying it one way for several decades it is very hard to change (I have the same problem when they “adjust” the words of the Mass).

I do pray some of my Hail Marys with the “Flame of Love” modification promoted by Elizabeth Kindelmann who said that Mary asked her to add “…pray for us sinners, and spread the effect of the grace of your Flame of Love over all humanity, now and at the hour of our death, Amen.” Elizabeth said that Mary said for every three Hail Marys said with the addition, a soul is released from Purgatory, except during November when you get 10 souls released per Hail Mary said with the addition. I realize those sorts of private revelation “promises” may not be totally reliable as it is up to God who gets let out of Purgatory and when, but it doesn’t hurt to try if you are planning to say Hail Marys anyway.


Yes, I like the “tradition” too, which is why I initially felt a little hesitant and decided to ask. Thank you! I’ll probably keep the original prayer but also add something for the souls in Purgatory between “now and at the hour of our death” and “amen”.


These anecdotes make Catholicism sound like a game. What’s special about November?


Catholics have typically assigned certain devotions for each month, at least for a couple hundred years. November is the month for praying for the Holy Souls in Purgatory.


Yes, it makes sense that we alter the focus of our prayers, but why would God alter the power of prayer to specific windows, especially when He exists outside time?


No one has implied that Catholics believe there is a certain window to prayer for certain intentions. God is not limited to a window and neither are Catholics.


Actually they have, just a few posts above, and it’s not the first time I’ve heard such things.


Where is this implied. I don’t see it. The Month of November is to remeber our and pray for thosd=e in purgatory. This in no way means that it is the only month to remeber and pray for such things.

November 11th is Remembrance day in Canada. Is this the only day that I’m allowed to remeber our dead Solidiers and the sacrifices of our veterans.

Please show me where someone has implied that the church has set a window and that we believe that God will not hear these prayers at any other time.


I never said the church set any windows, only that people speak of such things. As a matter of fact, it wasn’t implied, but directly said above, “except during November when you get 10 souls released per Hail Mary said with the addition.” as opposed to one soul per three Hail Mary’s said with the addition.


There used to be a program on Immaculate Heart radio on Sunday mornings, hosted by a deacon and his wife IIRC. ONE show talked about modified prayers, and as they are private, we are free to modify them and indeed may be beneficial.

I will often pray at Adoration in my own words, talking to Jesus, and occasionally base them on a “standard” prayer.

I suspect Our Lord is happy to see/hear from us, no matter how we do it.



What Brittany said. There are a number of special devotions for the Poor Souls in Purgatory during November already for centuries. I spent the first week of November visiting cemeteries every day because you can get a special indulgence to help the Poor Souls in Purgatory by visiting a cemetery to pray, and you can get it once a day from Nov 1 to Nov 8.

One is free to not do these types of things of course, and just ask Jesus to please help the Poor Souls. But I find that having these little spiritual tasks to do helps keep my prayer life interesting and grows my spiritual life. It’s sort of like earning merit badges in the Scouts. Except if you are earning them for the Poor Souls, then you give them all away, which is nicer than feeling like you are trying to rack up “merits” for yourself.


…or like a game. Your answer is, as you stated, “what Brittany said”, and thus has the same lack of answer to my question, but I will start a new thread.


He also said that this was a private devotion given to a specific individual by what she believed was a visitation from our Lady. This is not necessarily meant for anyone else. Because we do live in time and space our good God can and will meet us and help us where we are at. Are you telling me that God would not allow this or that you believe he would not do this,


No, it’s like “Black Awareness Month” in February in the United States. People don’t ignore Black people the rest of the year.

It’s simply that each month, the Church asks us to pay a little more attention to certain things in our prayers. November just happens to be the month we are asked to pay a little more attention to Holy Souls in Purgatory than we would normally do.


“Like a game” is a little irreverent. It’s a deep spiritual practice, and some of the souls I am praying for are dearly loved relatives and friends who have passed away.

However, the 'gamification" aspect is appealing on some level to humans for many things they do in life. That is why software designers and business managers try to incorporate gamification aspects into their processes. It keeps the user engaged.


You can change the prayer if you like.

However, if you are praying a public rosary in Church, then your pastor or other parish leaders might not want you doing that so you don’t confuse people who might stop in to pray the Rosary for the first time.

But if you are praying it yourself, then no problem.

God Bless


I haven’t told you what I believe, I have only asked a question. However, nobody seems to understand it, so I’ve started a new thread.


I heard a rosary before a funeral Mass once that changed the words of the Fatima prayer. “Oh my Jesus, forgive us our sins. Save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially the soul of (name of the deceased).

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