THE CATECHISM OF ST. PIUS X – The Hail Mary
1 Q: What prayer do we usually say after the Our Father?
A: After the Our Father we say the Angelic Salutation, that is, the Hail Mary, through which we have recourse to the Blessed Virgin.
2 Q: Why is the Hail Mary called the Angelic Salutation?
A: The Hail Mary is called the Angelic Salutation, because it begins with the salutation addressed by the Archangel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary.
3 Q: Whose are the words of the Hail Mary?
A: The words of the Hail Mary are partly the Archangel Gabriel’s, partly St. Elizabeth’s, and partly the Church’s.
4 Q: Which are the words of the Archangel Gabriel?
A: The words of the Archangel Gabriel are these: Hail, full of grace, The Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women.
5 Q: When was it that the angel said these words to Mary?
A: The angel said these words to Mary when he went to announce to her, on the part of God, the mystery of the Incarnation that was to be wrought in her.
6 Q: What is our object in saluting the Blessed Virgin with the very words of the Archangel?
A: In saluting the Blessed Virgin with the words of the Archangel we congratulate her by recalling to mind the singular privileges and gifts which God has granted her in preference to all other creatures.
7 Q: Which are the words of St. Elizabeth?
A: The words of St. Elizabeth are these: Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
8 Q: When was it that St. Elizabeth said these words?
A: St. Elizabeth, inspired by God, said these words when, three months before she gave birth to St. John the Baptist, she was visited by the Blessed Virgin, who then bore her Divine Son in her womb.
9 Q: What do we intend by saying these words?
A: In saying the words of St. Elizabeth we congratulate the Blessed Virgin on her high dignity as Mother of God, and we bless God and thank Him for having given us Jesus Christ through Mary.
10 Q: Whose are the other words of the Hail Mary?
A: All the other words of the Hail Mary have been added by the Church.
11 Q: What do we ask in the last part of the Hail Mary?
A: In the last part of the Hail Mary we beg the protection of the Blessed Virgin during this life and especially at the hour of death, when we shall have greater need of it.
12 Q: Why do we say the Hail Mary, rather than any other prayer, after the Our Father?
A: Because the Blessed Virgin is our most powerful advocate with Jesus Christ, and hence, after having said the prayer taught us by Jesus Christ, we pray the Blessed Virgin to obtain for us the graces we have asked therein.
13 Q: Why is the Blessed Virgin so powerful?
A: The Blessed Virgin is so powerful, because, being the Mother of God, she cannot but be heard by Him.
14 Q: What do the Saints teach us on devotion to Mary?
A: Regarding devotion to Mary the Saints teach us that those who are truly devout to her are loved and protected by her with a most tender Mother’s love, and that with her help they are sure to find Jesus find and obtain Paradise
15 Q: What form of devotion to Mary does the Church recommend in a very special manner?
A: The devotion to the Blessed Virgin which the Church specially recommends is the Holy Rosary.