I am going to record what the Blessed Virgin told me in this year – 1962. I kept it inside for a long time without daring to write it down. It is a petition of the Blessed Virgin:The Spiritual Diary (First Edition); Elizabeth Kindelmann; p. 101
Mary: “When you say the prayer that honors me, the Hail Mary, include this petition in the following manner:
‘Hail Mary, full of grace… Pray for us sinners, spread the effect of grace of thy Flame of Love over all of humanity, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.’”
One of the most common questions we are asked is how can the Hail Mary be changed. That question is quite understandable. It seems almost shocking and sacrilegious.
What is unknown to many is that the Hail Mary has been changed several times throughout the history of the Church. It is not a prayer from the Bible (although parts of it are taken from the Bible) and it is not a prayer of the most ancient Church.
The first instance we find of the Hail Mary is from around 1050 AD – one thousand years after Jesus’ death and resurrection – and it was much shorter than the Hail Mary we have today. It did not even have a fixed format. We catch a glimpse of this preserved in the Liturgy of the Hours in the Office of Readings from Thursday in the 20th week of Ordinary Time where we have an excerpt from a treatise On the Hail Mary by Baldwin of Canterbury, bishop 1184-1190. He writes:
“Every day we devoutly greet the most Blessed Virgin Mary with the angel’s greeting and we usually add: Blessed is the fruit of your womb”
Notice that the Hail Mary at that time was only the angel’s greeting and usually included Elizabeth’s greeting. The Hail Mary Saint Dominic would have prayed was simply, “Hail full of Grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.” That’s it.
It’s not until roughly 350 years later that Saint Bernardine of Siena (1380-1444) adds the names of Jesus and Mary and we have, “Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.” Still no second half of the prayer.
The second half of the Hail Mary does not appear until 1495 – three years after Columbus sailed to the Americas. We do not know who added it and why but we surmise that it was added as the outcry of the Church in the midst of the physical suffering of the great plagues.
So we see the Hail Mary changed multiple times in the past at the instigation of those on Earth. Now, in the midst of not great physical suffering but of great spiritual suffering, our Blessed Mother herself has asked that we add a plea for grace – the answer to spiritual suffering and the massive assault of Satan in our day and age. Recall that Mary said the Flame of Love of her Immaculate Heart is Jesus Himself. The effect of His grace, the grace of the Flame of Love, is conversion, literal union with Him which joins us to the very life of the Most Holy Trinity. This is what the world needs most of all today. No wonder our Blessed Mother asks us to make it part of the prayer that honors her and pray it constantly. And so we pray:
Hail Mary, full of Grace. The Lord is with Thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of they womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners; spread the effect of grace of they Flame of Love over all of humanity now and at the hour of our death. Amen!