The Hail Mary, or Ave Maria
, is one of the most ancient prayers of the Church. It begins with the words of the angel to Mary, telling her of Jesus' coming birth, as told in the Gospel according to Luke, elevates Mary as the Mother of God, implies that Mary was conceived free of sin, and asks her to intercede for the sinner as the embodiment of compassion and mercy.
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.