Hail Holy Queen (Salve Regina)

Mary is Queen of Heaven and earth because her Son is the King of Heaven and earth. Dr. Edward Sri, a prominent Catholic writer, tells us that in the Old Testament, the mother of the king of Israel–the Queen Mother–held a place of special importance in the kingdom. Thus Jesus, Our King, has a Queen Mother, Mary, who likewise plays a special role in her Son’s kingdom.

Many of the saints of our Church have left us beautiful words about Our Queen Mother Mary, who intercedes for us on our pilgrim journey:

“O sinner, be not discouraged, but have recourse to Mary in all your necessities. Call her to your assistance, for such is the divine Will that she should help in every kind of necessity” (Saint Basil the Great).

“Prayer is powerful beyond limits when we turn to the Immaculata who is queen even of God’s heart” (Saint Maximilian Kolbe).

“O Mary, you give assistance to everyone endeavoring to rise to God!” (St. Bridget of Sweden).

“After the love which we owe Jesus Christ, we must give the chief place in our heart to the love of His Mother Mary” (St. Alphonsus Liguori).

“She is more Mother than Queen” (Saint Therese of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church).

A Benedictine monk, Blessed Herman, composed this incredibly beautiful prayer in the 11th century. It asks Mary’s powerful intercession as we go through this valley of tears. Our earthly pilgrimage can be very rough at times (cf. Matthew 7:14), but the eternal joys of Heaven are so worth the daily struggle! Saint Paul said in his Letter to the Romans (8:18), “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”  Mary our Mother wants to help us reach Heaven to be with her son (and her!) forever.

Mary’s role is to lead us ever closer to her Divine Son, Jesus our Lord. Helping us along the way to Heaven is just what she wants to do! Our Lady said to St. Faustina, “I am not only the Queen of Heaven, but also the Mother of Mercy.” She brings the Divine Mercy of Jesus to us as we strive for holiness of life.

“The Blessed Virgin Mary is truly the Mother of God, because the same Divine Person who is the Son of God is also the Son of the Blessed Virgin Mary,” says the Baltimore Catechism.

In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, we read, “What the Catholic faith believes about Mary is based on what it believes about Christ, and what it teaches about Mary illumines in turn its faith in Christ” (paragraph 487).

Here are the English and the Latin versions of this amazing prayer:

Hail Holy Queen

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn, then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray. Almighty and everlasting God, Who by the working of the Holy Spirit didst prepare both the body and the soul of the glorious Virgin Mother Mary, that she might deserve to be made a worthy dwelling for Thy Son, grant that we who rejoice in her memory may, by her loving intercession, be delivered from present evils and from lasting death, through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Salve Regina

Salve, Regina, mater misericordiae;
vita, dulcedo et spes nostra, salve.
Ad te clamamus, exsules filii Hevae.
Ad te suspiramus, gementes et flentes
in hac lacrimarum valle.
Eia ergo, advocata nostra,
illos tuos misericordes oculos ad nos converte.
Et Iesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui,
nobis post hoc exsilium ostende.
O clemens, O pia, O dulcis Virgo Maria.

V. Ora pro nobis, sancta Dei Genitrix.
R. Ut digni efficamur promissionibus Christi.

Oremus. Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui gloriosae Virginis Matris Mariae corpus et animam, ut dignum Filii tui habitaculum effici mereretur, Spiritu Sancto cooperante, praeparasti, da, ut cuius commemoratione laetamur; eius pia intercessione, ab instantibus malis et a morte perpetua liberemur. Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

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