Our Morning Offering – 21 December and the Memorial of St Peter Canisius (1521-1397) Doctor of the Church
Hail Mary, the Angelic Salutation
The Hail Mary/Ave Maria
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.
Áve María, grátia pléna,
Benedícta tū in muliéribus,
et benedíctus frúctus véntris túi, Iésus.
Sáncta María, Máter Déi,
óra pro nóbis peccatóribus,
nunc et in hóra mórtis nóstrae.
On today’s Memorial of St Peter Canisius, Catholics may wish to thank this Doctor of the Church for giving us the second half of the Hail Mary prayer.
This 16th-century saint, known as the second Apostle of Germany, followed in the giant footsteps of St Boniface, who evangelised Germany a thousand years earlier. He was also active at the Council of Trent and wrote much on the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The first half of the Hail Mary, of course, comes from Scripture. What many Catholics don’t know, is that the second half of this Catholic prayer is due to the intervention of St Peter Canisius at the Council of Trent. St Peter began adding on to the scriptural part of the Hail Mary, the “Holy Mary Mother of God pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.” It was Trent that officially accepted this addition to the prayer and included it in their famous Catechism of the Council of Trent in 1566.