The Memorare prayer is so called because “Memorare” (“Remember”) is the first word of the prayer in Latin. There are at least two other Memorare prayers (the Memorare to St. Anne and the Memorare to St. Joseph), but the best known is the Memorare to Our Lady. The actual author is unknown, but traditionally the prayer has been attributed to the great St. Bernard of Clairvaux.
With the well-loved Memorare prayer, we ask the Blessed Virgin Mary’s powerful intercession for our needs as we make our way through the world to our heavenly home. Mary is our mother who loves us so much and wants to lead us ever closer to Jesus, her Son and Lord.
According to Fr. Ed Broom, O.M.V., as a young man, St. Francis de Sales experienced a deep interior desolation. One day he entered the Church of Notre Dame de la Victoire (Our Lady of Victory) and saw a statue of Our Lady and a prayer…the Memorare! Through the powerful intercession of Our Lady, St. Francis de Sales experienced a wonderful interior healing. Thereafter, whenever he was tempted to discouragement, he would pray the Memorare.
Father goes on to say: “The devil, the enemy of our salvation, cannot conquer the power, the presence, and the prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Even the Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary causes the enemy mortal fear and panic, and he takes to flight….
“When all seems gray, dark, bleak, obscure, and meaningless, without any real hope, then lift up your mind, heart, and soul to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and she will never fail you! She will stretch out her gentle but firm hand and pull you out of the quicksand of your own helplessness!”
We should thank Our Lord for the great gift of His Mother to be our intercessor and Mother. What a beautiful gift to us! Our Lord and His Mother will never let us down. ““Our Lord and Our Lady are the best tag team in history. Call upon them. Lean on them. Hope in them. Trust them” (Archbishop Paul Etienne, Coadjutor Bishop of Seattle, Washington).
In our own times, one of the great promoters of the Memorare prayer was the beloved St. Teresa of Calcutta. When Mother Teresa had an immediate need, she would pray 9 Memorare prayers in a row, followed by 1 in thanksgiving. (This has been called the “Flying Novena,” the “Emergency Novena,” and the “Express Novena.”) The answers Our Lord gave to Mother’s trusting prayers were amazing! You, too, could pray this novena the next time you have an urgent need and don’t have nine days to pray a novena.
(Another prayer from Mother Teresa is appropriate to mention here: “Mary, Mother of Jesus, please be a mother to me now.” This is a beautiful prayer to pray as well in moments of need.)
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother. To thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.