St. Alphonsus provides some practical advice for praying the simplest and most popular of Marian prayers.
Here are some ways to pray the Hail Mary. First, every morning and evening, when we get up and when we go to bed, we can say three Hail Marys lying down, or at least kneeling. Then we can add to each one this short prayer: “Mary, by your pure and immaculate conception, make my body pure, and my soul holy.” We should then, as St. Stanislaus always did, ask Mary’s blessing as our mother; place ourselves under the mantle of her protection; and beg her to guard us during the coming day or night from sin. For this purpose it’s advisable to have a beautiful image of the Blessed Virgin.
Second, we can say the Angelus, with the usual three Hail Marys, in the morning, at midday, and in the evening. Third, we can greet the Mother of God with a Hail Mary every hour on the hour. Fourth, whenever we go out of the house or return, we can greet the Blessed Virgin with a Hail Mary. That way, whether we are indoors or outdoors, she will guard us from all sin. Fifth, we should honor every image of Mary that we pass with a Hail Mary. For this purpose, those who can would do well to place a beautiful image of the Blessed Virgin on an outside wall of their houses, so that it may be venerated by those who pass by.
Sixth, we would do well to begin and end all our actions with a Hail Mary. They may be spiritual actions—prayer, Confession, Communion, spiritual read- ing, hearing sermons—or temporal, such as study, giving advice, working, or sitting down for a meal. Happy are those actions that are enclosed between two Hail Marys. Finally, we should say a Hail Mary in every temptation, in every danger, and in every inclination to anger. Do this, and you’ll see the immense advantage it brings.
—St. Alphonsus Liguori, The Glories of Mary
IN GOD’S PRESENCE, CONSIDER . . .
Do I regularly pray a Hail Mary at any of the times recommended by St. Alphonsus? Are there other times as well when it’s my habit to pray this prayer?
From the Angelus: The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary, and she conceived by the Holy Spirit. Hail, Mary . . .
Remember to subscribe to my feed so you will not miss a day! This recurring feature at The Catholic Blogger is possible through the cooperation of author Paul Thigpen and publisher Saint Benedict Press. To get your own copy of this book, click below.