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All About Mary

Ave Maria Translation

Q: Should we be praying "Rejoice, Mary" instead of "Hail, Mary"?

A: Scripture scholars agree with Pope John Paul II that the Greek word chaire in Sacred Scripture would be rendered more closely to the original with rejoice rather than hail, when translating the angel's greeting to Mary. A suggestion is to render the wording: Rejoice, Mary, the Lord is with you! [See: IDU, 28:1996] There is a similar issue in the title used to greet Mary [gratia plena, or 'full of grace' in the Latin Vulgate - kecharitomene, or 'highly favored one' in the Greek]. 

We invite you to ponder the angel's message to Mary.

Latin:
Ave Maria, gratia plena,
Dominus tecum.
Benedicta tu in mulieribus,
et benedictus fructus ventris tui,
Iesus.
Sancta Maria, Mater Dei,
ora pro nobis peccatoribus,
nunc et in hora mortis nostrae.
Amen.

English:
Hail Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with you.
Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb,
Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.
Amen.

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