THE WONDERS OF THE “HAIL MARY”
It is impossible for us to comprehend, says the pious Thomas à Kempis, how pleasing to the Blessed Virgin is our recitation of the Angelic Salutation (Luke 1:28). She herself revealed to Saint Mechtilde that we can address to her no more agreeable salutation. For, in truth, the Hail Mary recalls to her all the joy she experienced when the Angel Gabriel spoke those sweet and sublime words. Thus our first intention in reciting the Ave Maria (Hail Mary) should be to renew in her heart the first joys of her divine maternity.
We receive a salutation from Mary every time we recite the Hail Mary
“Hail, Bernard,” said the Blessed Virgin one day to the Abbot of Clairvaux, in return for the Hail Mary which he had just said. And we also receive a salutation from Mary every time we recite the Hail Mary, whether we look upon this salutation as a special grace, like Saint Bonaventure, or whether we choose to see in it a glance of maternal benevolence, like Richard dear Saint Laurent. Alain de LA Roche adds that at the recitation of the Ave Maria, Heaven leaps with joy, all hell trembles, and the demons flee. And what may we not hope for at the hour of death? Saint Gertrude received from the Blessed Virgin herself the assurance that at the hour of death she would receive as many graces as she had recited Ave Maria’s during this life.
– Laverty & Sons (eds), 1905