Q&A

Why did the Church add Mary's name to the beginning of the Hail Mary prayer? The angel did not say her name.

By May 11, 2017 2 Comments

Full Question

Why did the Church add Mary’s name to the beginning of the Hail Mary prayer? The angel did not say her name. My Protestant friend criticized the Church for doing this.

Answer

The angel Gabriel doesn’t use Mary’s name in hailing her (Luke 1:28), but there is also no doubt that he’s hailing Mary. So adding her name for clarity in constructing the “Hail Mary” prayer is not contrary to any biblical principle. And Gabriel has no problem using Mary’s name otherwise (Luke 1:30). Rather, his initial focus is not on her name but on proclaiming her privileged status among humanity, i.e., being full of grace.


By Tom Nash