The Hail Holy Queen prayer stands as a timeless hymn of reverence and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Let’s dive into its origins and Latin version to shed light on the prayer’s historical significance and resonance within the tapestry of Catholic tradition.
The Origin of the Hail, Holy Queen Prayer
For centuries Catholics have prayed or sung the Hail, Holy Queen at the end of evening prayer and also at the end of the Rosary. We don’t know exactly who composed this prayer, but it most likely came from a monastic religious order. Its current form comes from a Marian hymn from the 12th century Abbey of Cluny.
Catholics regard Mary, the Mother of Jesus, to be the Queen of Heaven. This is one of her titles and it comes from the book of revelation. It also comes from the ancient jewish practice of there being a queen-mother as the queen of Israel. In other words, the Queen of Israel was the King’s mother not his wife.
In Luke 1:46, Mary says “My soul magnifies the Lord” which Catholics take to mean that in honoring Mary and in asking her intercession we are honoring God all the more. She is truly the Mother of Mercy as Jesus is Divine Mercy incarnate.
The Hail, Holy Queen Prayer
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 towards us. And after this our exile, show unto us the blesses Fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.
Pray for us, O holy Mother of God that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Salve Regina, Hail Holy Queen in Latin
Salve, Regina, Mater misericordiæ, vita, dulcedo, et spes nostra, salve. Ad te clamamus exsules filii Hevæ, Ad te suspiramus, gementes et flentes in hac lacrimarum valle.
Eia, ergo, advocata nostra, illos tuos misericordes oculos ad nos converte; Et Jesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui, nobis post hoc exsilium ostende. O clemens, O pia, O dulcis Virgo Maria.