I began to research prayers addressed to Mary or about Mary—then I realized that I had within arm’s reach one of the best resources around: A Book of Marian Prayers: A Compilation of Marian Devotions from the Second to the Twenty-First Century. This collection is one of several excellent prayer compilations composed, edited, and translated by William G. Storey, who died in January of 2014. Today, I offer three prayers that you might not find just anywhere.
A Tribute to Mary from the Byzantine Liturgy
Let us hymn the glory of the universe, the flower of the human race, who gave birth to the Master, the Gate of heaven, the Virgin Mary; Song of the bodiless powers and Adornment of the faithful; she who appears as heaven and as the Temple of the Godhead; she who has overthrown the middle-wall of enmity; she who has brought in peace and has thrown open the Kingdom; she in whom we have an anchor of faith. In Him who is born of her, the Lord, have we a champion. Behold, therefore, O people of God, be bold, for He will war against your enemies, He who is almighty.
The oldest known prayer to Mary, from the second century.
We turn to you for protection,
holy Mother of God.
Listen to our prayers
and help us in our needs.
Save us from every danger,
O glorious and blessed Virgin.
From the Anaphora of St. Basil the Great
O woman, full of grace,
you are the joy of all creation,
of the myriad of angels,
and of the whole human race.
You are the hallowed temple,
the spiritual paradise,
and the glory of virgins
from whom God took flesh;
from whom our God,
who existed before the universe,
became a child.
Your womb he made his throne,
O Mary, full of grace!
making it wider than the heavens themselves.
You are the joy of all creation.
Glory to you!
- Read these prayers two or three times, paying attention to any phrases that stand out for you.
- Use one of those phrases as the focus of your prayer, work, or meditation today.
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