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Powerful prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary when you really need help

The 12th-century prayer has been connected to numerous miracles throughout the centuries.

One of the most widely known Catholic prayers to the Blessed Virgin Mary, almost as popular as the Hail Mary, is the Memorare. It is an ancient powerful prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary that has a miraculous reputation. Below are the English and Latin versions.

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary,

that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection,

implored your help, or sought your intercession was left unaided.

Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto you,

O Virgin of virgins, my Mother.

To you I come, before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful.

O Mother of the Word incarnate, despise not my petitions,

but in your mercy hear and answer me. Amen.

– English version

Memoráre, o piísima Virgo María,

non esse audítum a saé­culo,

quemquam ad tua curréntem præsídia,

tua implo­rántem auxília, tua peténtem suffrágia esse derelíctum.

Ego tali animátus confidéntia ad te, Virgo Vírginum,

Mater, curro; ad te vénio; coram te gemens peccátor assísto.

Noli, Mater Verbi, verba mea despícere, sed audi propítia et exáudi. Amen.

– Latin version

An Explanation of the Memorare to the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Memorare, interestingly, is often described as a “powerful” prayer. This means that those who pray it have their prayers answered. Sometimes, though, people misunderstand the text, and think of the prayer as essentially miraculous. The words “never was it known that any one… was left unaided” does not mean that the requests that we make while praying the Memorare will be automatically granted. Nor does it mean they’ll be granted in the way we desire them to be. As with any prayer, when we humbly seek the aid of the Blessed Virgin Mary through the Memorare, we will receive that aid, but it may take a very different form from what we desire.

Who Wrote the Memorare?

The Memorare is frequently ascribed to Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, a famous monk of the 12th century who had a great devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. This attribution is incorrect; the text of the modern Memorare is a section of a much longer prayer known as the “Ad sanctitatis tuae pedes, dulcissima Virgo Maria” (literally, “At the feet of your Holiness, most sweet Virgin Mary”). That prayer, however, wasn’t composed until the 15th century, 300 years after Saint Bernard’s death. The actual author of the “Ad sanctitatis tuae pedes, dulcissima Virgo Maria” is unknown, and, thus, the author of the Memorare is unknown.

The Memorare as a Separate Prayer

By the early 16th century, Catholics had begun to treat the Memorare as a separate prayer. St Francis de Sales, bishop of Geneva in the early 17th century, was very devoted to the Memorare, and Fr. Claude Bernard, a 17th-century French priest who ministered to the imprisoned and those condemned to death, was a zealous advocate of the prayer. Father Bernard attributed the conversion of many criminals to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, invoked through the Memorare. Father Bernard’s promotion of the Memorare brought the prayer the popularity it enjoys today, and it is likely that Father Bernard’s name has led to the false attribution of the prayer to Saint Bernard of Clairvaux.

Definitions of Words Used in the Memorare to the Blessed Virgin Mary

Gracious: filled with grace, the supernatural life of God within our souls

Fled: normally, to run from something. In this context, though, it means to run to the Blessed Virgin for safety.

Implored: asked or begged sincerely or desperately

Intercession: intervening on behalf of someone else

Unaided: without help

Virgin of virgins: the most saintly of all virgins; the virgin who is the example for all others

The Word Incarnate: Jesus Christ, the Word of God made flesh

Despise: look down on, spurn

Petitions: requests; prayers

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Raphael Benedict

Raphael Benedict is a Catholic who wants nothing but to spread the catholic faith to reach the ends of the world. Make this possible by always sharing any article or prayers posted on your social media platforms. Remain blessed

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One Comment

  1. I am really struggling with addiction and am unable to stop. The obsession of the mind is overwhelming. I have lost my desire to pray and I feel I have walked away from Christ and rejected the Holy Spirit. I am in darkness and yet I don;t desire the light. Today, this moment, was different than other moments of silence. These other times the silence is alive making its demands on me. Today it was a moment of rest and window of opportunity appeared. I stumbled on this site and I felt drawn, called to prayer by the Blessed Mother, and not only did I feel called to prayer but she accompanied me and prayed with me. I don’t know what tomorrow brings or the day after but this moment was a gift. I am undeserving and yet God is merciful, loving and kind. If it wasn’t for the Blessed Virgin Mary who makes herself known to me when she is around I would not have picked myself up as many times as I have fallen and returned to Christ each time. I cannot do this on my own and so I rely on the Blessed Mother to take me by the hand to her son. I did not realize what a special and powerful prayer the Memorare is. I ask for the grace to surrender and to become docile to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit. I pray for the counsel that I may know when to get out of my way and let the Holy Spirit lead me. I pray for the desire to turn my back on those things that separate me from God. I pray for final perseverance that upon my death, I may be found in grace that I may win heaven and eternal rest in the presence of my Lord Jesus Christ.

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