Three Hail Mary's
Still on the fence with what to do for Lent? Were you over ambitious about what you could reasonably do? Are you suffering a lot already and don't want to add too much? Here is a great simple devotion that has extraordinary merit: the practice of the Three Hail Mary's. The Church has always praised devotion to Our Lady as one of the surest ways to grow in our spiritual life and enter eternal life. St. Alphonsus Liguori said: "A devout servant of Mary shall never perish."
In the 13th century, Our Lady appeared to St. Melchtilde, who was praying for her intercession at the hour of her death. In this vision, Mary asked St. Melchtilde to pray three Hail Mary's morning and night. Each Hail Mary would honor God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost respectively. Our Lady promised in turn to comfort her at the hour of death.
Words of Our Lady: "The first Hail Mary will be in honor of God the Father Whose omnipotence raised my soul so high above every other creature that after God I have the greatest power in Heaven and on earth. In the hour of your death I will use that power of God the Father to keep any hostile power far from you. The second Hail Mary will be said in honor of God the Son Who communicated His inscrutable wisdom to me. In the hour of your death I will fill your soul with the light of that wisdom so that all the darkness of ignorance and error will be dispelled. The third Hail Mary will be in honor of God the Holy Ghost Who filled my soul with the sweetness of His love and tenderness and mercy. In your last hour I will then change the bitterness of death into divine sweetness and delight."
Pope St. Pius X approved this devotion to recite morning and evening three Hail Mary's in honor of the three great privileges the Holy Trinity granted to Our Lady with this simple prayer to conclude: "O my Mother, preserve me from mortal sin during this day (night)."
"To any soul who faithfully prays the Three Hail Mary's I will appear at the hour of death in a splendor so extraordinary that it will fill the soul with heavenly consolation." ~ Our Lady to St. Gertrude the Great
Have a prayerful Lent!
[Source: Our Lady of the Rosary Library]