The Angelus is a prayer that captures the essence of Salvation History in a few sentences. When the angel Gabriel greeted Mary with his message from God, he said, “Hail, Full of Grace”! In other words, Almighty God was the first to say, “Hail Mary”. The angel did what angels do – delivered the message. The angel proposed. Mary agreed. Christ was conceived. The long awaited Messiah had come! He dwelt among us on our planet. He was crucified, died and rose again! His suffering and death opened the “gates” of Heaven … and fulfilled the promise of eternal life!
The Angelus dates from the 16th century, and was traditionally prayed at 6am – 12noon – 6pm. When the Angelus bell would ring, everyone would stop what they were doing and recite this beautiful prayer:
The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary: And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Behold the handmaid of the Lord: Be it done unto me according to Thy word. (Hail Mary)
And the Word was made Flesh: And dwelt among us. (Hail Mary)
Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray: Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.
“Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you” (Lk 1:28)
“Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb”