Q: Can you tell me about the prayer of Hail Holy Queen?

[Parish of St. John of God]

Virgin Queen
Cistercian Monastery of St. Mary of Charity
Tulebra, Navarra, Spain

A: Hail Holy Queen or Salve Regina is a choral anthem going back to the eleventh century. Since the thirteenth century it is the last evening chant in many religious communities. The authorship is not clearly defined. The Salve is first mentioned in a meditation by Anselm II, Bishop of Lucca, 1073-86 (PL 184, 1078-98) and (erroneously) to Hermannus Contractus (1013-54) of Reichenau. the "Hail, Holy Queen" is a salutation deprecatonia, a greeting of petition and intercession. Mary is called mother of mercy because Christ her Son, is the incarnation of God's love and mercy. Giving us Christ, she gave us, sinful humans, the life and hope we need (as baptized children of Eve) to survive in this vale of tears. This antiphon is not part of the rosary but represents the same spirit. It is part of the official prayer of the Church (Liturgy of the Hours: Vespers and/or Compline) and thus is even more precious than the rosary. Sung, it becomes a wonderful expression of our spiritual intimacy with Mary.

 


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