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St. Thomas Aquinas
Catechetical Instructions

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  • THE ANGELIC SALUTATION
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THE ANGELIC SALUTATION
 
This salutation has three parts. The Angel gave one part, namely: "Hail, 
full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou among women."1 The 
other part was given by Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, namely: 
"Blessed is the fruit of thy womb."2 The Church adds the third part, that 
is, "Mary," because the Angel did not say, "Hail, Mary," but "Hail, full of 
grace." But, as we shall see, this name, "Mary," according to its meaning 
agrees with the words of the Angels.3
 



1
. Luke i. 28.


2
. "Ibid.," 42.


3
. The Hail Mary or Angelical Salutation or Ave Maria in the time of St. 
Thomas consisted only of the present first part of the prayer. The words, 
"Mary" and "Jesus," were added by the Church to the first part, and the 
second part - "Holy Mary, Mother of God, etc." - was also added by the Church 
later. "Most fittingly has the Holy Church of God added to this 
thanksgiving [i.e., the Hail Mary] a petition also and an invocation to the 
most holy Mother of God. This is to impress upon us the need to have 
recourse to her in order that by her intercession she may reconcile God 
with us sinners, and obtain for us the blessings necessary for this life 
and for life eternal" ("Roman Catechism," "On Prayer," Chapter V, 8).
 





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