The Three O'Clock Prayer

A souvenir publication to mark the twentieth anniversary of the birth of Venerable Mother Marie Therese Charlotte de Lamourous in the Lamourous Year 2003-2004 and the two-hundredth anniversary of the Chapel of the Madeleine being entrusted to Blessed William Joseph Chaminade by Archbishop d'Aviau of Bordeaux in 2004
presented by the Marianists of Villa St.Joseph in Cupertino, California, USA.

The original study, La Priere de Trois Heures: Histoire et Propositions, by Father Jean-Baptiste Armbruster, S.M., appeared in Marianist International Review, April 1985, N. 3, on the occasion of the centenary of the circular on this subject by Good Father Joseph Simler, S.M. The English translation is the work of Father Joseph Stefanelli, S.M. This presentation was prepared by Brother John Samaha, S.M. and Brother Eugene Frank, S.M.

Villa St. Joseph
Cupertino, California
November 2003


The Three O'Clock Prayer was traditionally attributed to Father Chaminade. A chronological analysis of the texts indicated that, at the initiative of Mlle. de Lamourous, it was first used at the Misericorde (1801), and later, in the Association of Adele (1804). However, by means of these two co-founders of Father Chaminade, one can trace the origin of this prayer to the Carmelites.

The Founder never used the prayer for the Sodality. Only in 1809 did he recommend it to the members of the State. From there it naturally found its way into the Daughters of Mary Immaculate and the Society of Mary.

In the beginning this was a moment of recollection, a spiritual meeting among the dispersed members that formed a fervent group in the midst of the Sodality. Slowly it became a prayer of formula, accompanied by a moment of silence, and later a formula only.

The prayer we pray today dates from 1885. It was composed by Good Father Simler for the 1885 Formulary of Prayers.

In 1985, the year of the prayer's centenary, the Madeleine Community of Bordeaux proposed a revised formula for this traditional prayer of ours.

1 of 5
Next >
Return to The Marianist Corner


This page, maintained by The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute, Dayton, Ohio 45469-1390, and created by Meena Katadi , was last modified Wednesday, 01/23/2013 13:15:59 EST by Ann Zlotnik . Please send any comments to

URL for this page is