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

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.


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



  1. Karen Reply

    why do you contradict the teaches,if i was taught all thar at 5 years old-i dont need to anything.should i look for faults..gods says it.truth.we dont need to contradict and look for faults.ask the holy for guidance-truth..Iwas taught all that ar 5 years old why should i doubt karen morozthe teachoings.move ahead not back in time.

  2. Patrick Gannon Reply

    Of course the interesting part of the Mary story is that the issue of “virginity” over which the Church is maniacally obsessed, was due to a mistranslation. Matthew and Luke were using the Greek translation of the Torah (the OT) when they went quote-mining for prophetic passages. The passage in Isaiah that refers to a virgin, actually refers to an “almah” or a “young maiden” and not a virgin.
    ““Behold the Lord Himself will give you a sign, a Virgin shall conceive and bear a son and she shall call his name Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14 Note as well that Mary did not call him “Immanuel” and Jesus is never referred to as such in the NT.
    The word “almah” or “young maiden” was incorrectly translated to the Greek word for virgin and the rest was history. Aside from the fact that the pertinent passage in Isaiah has nothing to do with messiah’s, the author surely would have used the word “betulah” which actually means “virgin” and leaves no doubt, if that had been his intent.
    The “virgin” story was invented by Matthew and elaborated on by Luke. Mark knows of no such birth, and John who surely had access to the other gospels when he wrote his (there were actually multiple authors of that book), voted “no” on the virgin birth, by leaving it out. Paul, the first writer of the NT knows nothing of Jesus’ birth, virgin or otherwise, nor his family, baptism, disciples, mission, miracles, or sermons. All he knows is the crucifixion and that only from scriptures and visions. Whether Jesus was a historical person or not is unproven, but that he was mythicized is irrefutable.
    It’s also interesting that Mary was not asked for her consent. She acquiesced (which raises the old proverb – when rape is inevitable, lie back and enjoy it), but she wasn’t given an option. Women were property in those days and had little voice.
    The Mary story gets even better. The whole reason she had to be a virgin was so she wouldn’t pass on original sin to Jesus, who had to be “sinless.” The reason for this was that original sin is passed on by sex, but they thought back in those days that the woman merely grew the man’s seed, and did not contribute to the genetic material. When they discovered in the 1800s that in fact both sex’s contributed equally to the offspring, they had a problem, because that meant Mary passed on original sin from her own line. After all, her parents did the naughty deed and thus passed original sin on to her, which she in turn would have passed on to Jesus. To solve this problem, in 1854 the Church decided Mary had been born without original sin, thus she couldn’t pass it on to Jesus. How very convenient…. and totally lacking in biblical support, but when did that ever stop the Church!
    But what other problem does this raise? If Yahweh-Jesus is able to wave a magic wand and remove or prevent original sin from infecting Mary, why can’t he do that for all of us, instead of the silly rigmarole he used instead? That seems a much simpler solution than impregnating a young woman without her consent, in order to be born as himself, so he could sacrifice himself to himself in order to relieve us of a condition he placed on us in the first place and could have removed with a wink and a nod, as he did for Mary. It all gets to be just a bit too much to swallow, don’t you think?
    The real kicker is that the DNA evidence tells us clearly that we did not come from a single breeding pair, but from a pool of a few tens of thousands of early ancestors – otherwise our DNA would not be as diverse as it is. This means there was no Adam and Eve, no fall from grace, no original sin – it didn’t happen folks. This should be really good news. On the one hand, we don’t have to cower in fear of an imaginary, invisible being that lives in the sky; but on the other hand, the anger we should hold for those who immorally tormented us for so many centuries, deserves some outlet.

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