How to Pray the Ave Maria: 11 Steps (with Pictures)

Table of contents:

How to Pray the Ave Maria: 11 Steps (with Pictures)
How to Pray the Ave Maria: 11 Steps (with Pictures)

The Hail Mary is a traditional Catholic prayer that pleads for the intercession of the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus. She asks Mary to pray for all sinners and communicate with God for us. Pray it whenever you need support; consider repeating it three times after waking up each morning and before going to bed at night. Many people like to use rosaries or "set up" special places dedicated to prayer - to increase their power - but using words is enough.


Part 1 of 3: Praying the Hail Mary

Say the Hail Mary Prayer Step 1

Step 1. Say the prayer:

Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women, and Blessed is the Fruit of your womb, Jesus! Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

For a more modern version of the prayer, change "you" to "you", "yours" to "yours", etc. If you want to honor the tradition, continue using the classic version of the Hail Mary; however, remember that it is an archaic Latin translation. Ask yourself which is more important: the specific words or their meaning

Say the Hail Mary Prayer Step 2

Step 2. Say the prayer in Latin:

Ave Maria, full gratia, Dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, now pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.

Say the Hail Mary Prayer Step 3

Step 3. Consider praying three Hail Marys

This is a traditional Catholic practice, in which the prayer must be repeated three times for purity and other virtues. Do this right after waking up in the morning and just before going to bed at night (after doing a soul-searching). Pray them in sequence - interspersed with regular prayers - to honor Mary's power, wisdom and mercy:

  • Say the following words before the first Hail Mary: "O Mary, Almighty Virgin, to You, to whom nothing is impossible… By that same power with which the Almighty Father has bestowed You, I beseech you: assist me in my needs in that I find myself: (Say what favor you wish to receive.) Since you can help me, do not abandon me, O you who are the advocate of the most helpless causes! souls are pledged to bestow this favor. If, then, as I think, this grace is in accord with the most amiable and most holy Will of God, I ask You, O supplicant Omnipotence, intercede for me with Your Son, who nothing can refuse You. I ask you again, in the name of the Power without limits that the Heavenly Father has communicated to You and, in honor of which, I say to You, in union with Saint Matilde, to whom You have revealed the practice of the three Hail Marys: (Pray to Holy Mary)."
  • Say the following words before the second Hail Mary: "Sovereign Virgin, who are called the Throne of Wisdom, for the uncreated wisdom, the Word of God, resided in You… You to whom this adorable Son imparted all the breadth of His science divine, inasmuch as the most perfect creature could receive it… You know the greatness of my misery and the need I have for Your assistance. all with strength and sweetness, for the greater glory of God, and the greater good of my soul. Therefore, deign to come to my aid by the means which you know are the most appropriate, to achieve this end. O Mary, Mother of the Divine Wisdom, deign, I beg You, obtain for me the precious grace that I ask for, I ask You in the name of that same incomparable Wisdom that the Word, Your Son, enlightened You, and in honor of which I say to You in union with S. Antônio de Pádua and S. Leonardo de Porto Maurício, the most zealous preachers of Your three Hail Marys: (Pray the Hail Mary)."
  • Repeat this sentence before praying the third Hail Mary: "O good and tender Mother, and true Mother of Mercy, whom in these last times You have called Yourself 'Mother of all Mercy', I come to implore You to use Your goodness toward me The greater my misery, the more it must arouse Your compassion. I know, I absolutely do not deserve the precious grace that I ask of You, I who have grieved You so many times, offending Your Divine Son. guilty, very guilty, I sincerely regret having wounded the tender Heart of Jesus and Yours. Besides, are you not, as You revealed to one of Your servants, Saint Bridget, the Mother of repentant sinners? for my past ingratitudes, and considering only Your Goodness and mercy, as well as the glory that will come to God and You, obtaining for me from Divine mercy the grace that I implore through Your intercession. 'Oh Clement, O Pious, O Sweet Virgin Mary!' Deign to help me, I ask You, for that merciful goodness with which the Holy Spirit has filled You for our good, in honor of which I say to You, with St. Alphonsus M. of Liguori, the apostle of Your mercy and the author of the three Hail Marys: (Pray the Hail Mary)."

Part 2 of 3: Preparing to Pray

Say the Hail Mary Prayer Step 4

Step 1. Find a place where you can pray

Any place will do, but you can reach an even greater level of reflection if you organize a calm and specific space to say the words. Some people like to say the prayer in quiet, solitary places, while others prefer to say it in a church or in group sessions. Find a place and a time where you feel peaceful, comfortable, and thoughtful.

Say the Hail Mary Prayer Step 5

Step 2. Kneel or stand

Leaning on your knees to say the Hail Mary is traditional, although you can also stand up. Either way, keep your back straight and your head held high. Envision something of meaning: an altar, an image or statue of Mary, or another object that, for you, increases the power of words.

If you choose to kneel, do so on a prayer bench, pillow, or floor. If you choose to stand, try to keep your legs straight and your posture solid. Take the focus off these members - focus on the words and their meaning

Say the Hail Mary Prayer Step 6

Step 3. Consider using a third

The rosary is a sequence of prayers from the Catholic religion that Mary, mother of Jesus, asked us to memorize; it is meditation on the mysteries of Christ's life. Ave Maria is said with a set of beads, used to mark the number of each repetition. Buy a rosary online, in a church, in religious stores, etc. If you can't find this item, make your own.

Say the Hail Mary Prayer Step 7

Step 4. Say "In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost."

This phrase is said before the Hail Mary and serves to "create the mood" of the prayer itself. By dedicating your words to the Holy Trinity, you are saying that you are not praying to the Virgin Mary per se, but rather asking her to pray to God for you.

Say the Hail Mary Prayer Step 8

Step 5. Bring your palms together and place them in front of your chest

Point your fingers up to do the classic "prayer pose". This way, you will concentrate your physical and spiritual energies in one point, making prayer even more meaningful.

Part 3 of 3: Understanding the Hail Mary

Say the Hail Mary Prayer Step 9

Step 1. Think about which religious groups pray the Hail Mary

This prayer, also called the Angelic Greeting, is part of the Catholic tradition and asks for the intercession of the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus. In Catholicism, it forms the basis of the Rosary and Angelus prayers. Furthermore, there is, in the Orthodox and Catholic Churches, a similar prayer that is used in formal liturgies, in Greek and in translated versions. It is also used by many groups that fit into the Catholic tradition of Christianity - including Anglicans, Independent Catholics and Old Catholics.

Some Protestant denominations, such as the Lutherans, also use certain types of prayer

Say the Hail Mary Prayer Step 10

Step 2. Understand that this prayer is not necessarily meant to worship the Virgin Mary

Many Catholics believe that although Mary was a young woman devoted to God and chosen to carry the Savior, Mary was not divine. According to this narrative, she committed sins; therefore, it should not be worshiped or prayed for. Others, however, revere the Virgin and believe that devotion to her brings them closer to the Lord.

Say the Hail Mary Prayer Step 11

Step 3. Study the biblical roots of the Hail Mary

The text of the Hail Mary prayer incorporates two passages from the Bible: "Hail, most blessed; the Lord is with thee" (Luke 1:28) and "Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb" (Luke 1:42). The third part of the prayer does not come from the Bible; moreover, many believe that it directly contradicts the precepts of Scripture: "Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen."

  • The first passage (Luke 1:28) was spoken by the Angel Gabriel when he told Mary that she had been chosen to carry the Messiah in her womb.
  • The second passage (Luke 1:42) cites the welcome given to Mary by her cousin Elizabeth during a visit. Isabel was also pregnant at the time - her son would become John the Baptist.


  • Prayer forms the foundation of several other devotions to Mary, such as the Angelus and the Rosary.
  • It can also be helpful to have the image of the Virgin Mary close by when reciting the prayer.


  • Don't confuse the Hail Mary with prayers to the Virgin Mary. The purpose of reciting it is to sincerely ask her to pray with us and for us before God - who is the only source of holiness and blessing.

Popular by topic