Holy Mary, Mother of God! Pray for Us Sinners, now, and in the Hour of Our Death. Amen.
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ!
The prayer of the Rosary is the combination of the Our Father, the Hail Mary, and the Glory.
The Our Father is also popularly known as the Lord’s Prayer, because it is the prayer which Jesus composed and taught his disciples, in Matthew 6:9-13. So, the Our Father is a biblical prayer.
The Hail Mary consists of three parts.
The first is the greeting by the Archangel Gabriel to the Blessed Virgin Mother at the Annunciation: “Hail, Mary! Full of grace, the Lord is with you.”
The second is the greeting by Saint Elizabeth to the Mother of Jesus during her visit to the family of Saint John the Baptist: “Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.”
So the Hail Mary, too, is a biblical prayer.
The third is the fervent and filial prayer by the Holy Church, to our loving and caring Mother, in order that She intercedes with Jesus for us: “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and in the hour of our death. Amen.”
It is very interesting to take into serious consideration the great title “Mother of God” attributed to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
This title is by no means a human invention but a divine revelation, it means to say from God.
The greeting to Mary by Saint Elizabeth, then filled with the Holy Spirit, addresses the Mother of Jesus as the Mother of God: “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”
Yes! The first generations of Christians already honored Mary as “Theotokos”, Greek for God-Bearer, or Mother of God. It is true. Mary, through the power of the Holy Spirit, conceived Jesus, the Son of God and bore Him Who is the Savior of the human race.
We firmly believe the truth that Jesus has two natures: one human and another divine. The two natures are such united in the mystery of hypostasis, Greek for “union of two natures”, that they can never be separated. So, what Jesus thinks, says and does as a human person, He also thinks, says and does as God. Only based on this theological and doctrinal ground, can the suffering and death of Jesus have the overwhelming saving power on Satan’s forces of evil, as taught by Saint Paul in Romans, 5:20: “Where sin increased, grace overflowed all the more.”
The Blessed Virgin Mary is the Mother of Christ, the Mother of God and our Mother. When Jesus was dying on the cross, He recommended His Mother to Saint John, our representative: “Behold, your mother” (Jn 19:26).
We have a powerful loving and caring Mother in heaven Who always intercedes with Jesus for us, in particular at the final minutes of our earthly pilgrimage, when we face temptations of many kinds.
We need the Blessed Virgin Mother at our side in that critical moment so that we may stay firmly faithful to Jesus to the end. To death: “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and in the hour of our death. Amen.”
Fr. Francis Xavier Nguyễn Văn Nhứt, O.P.