The Hail Holy Queen prayer, originally known by its Latin name, Salve Regina, is recited at the end of the Rosary and is also used in night prayers. It dates back to around the 11th century and is still sung today as a hymn in various forms, among them a beautiful chant.
St. Alphonus Liguori thought so highly of the Hail Holy Queen that he analyzed it in great detail in his well-known 18th century book The Glories of Mary. In this prayer we pay homage to the Blessed Virgin Mary, our “Mother of Mercy,” and humbly ask for her assistance. Many religious over the centuries (including quite a few saints!) have considered her help to be essential for our salvation.
Crowned Queen of Heaven, Mary is a queen who wonderfully blends her majesty with her humility in her desire to be of service to us. She wants to dispense God’s graces through prayers such as, the Hail Holy Queen and the Rosary.
She wants to help us in asking for God’s forgiveness for our sins. And, contrary to a sad misconception, Mary was never meant to replace her Divine Son as the focus of our worship. She herself acknowledged, in Luke’s Gospel (Luke 1:46), that her soul magnifies the Lord. She’s always ready to point us in His direction on our path towards Eternal Life.
God has given her all His graces for us. They come from God through Mary. All we need to do is ask for them with a humble, loving, and contrite heart.
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.