Hail, Holy Queen Prayer
The Hail, Holy Queen Prayer is a traditional Catholic prayer that honors the Virgin Mary, also known as the Queen of Heaven. It is also referred to as the "Salve Regina," the opening words of the prayer in Latin. This prayer is recited at the end of the rosary and is commonly sung as a hymn during Marian processions and devotions.
Origins of the Hail, Holy Queen
The Hail, Holy Queen dates back to at least the 12th century. Its origins are not known exactly, but it is attributed to Hermann of Reichenau, a German monk and scholar who lived in the 11th century. Hermann of Reichenau is also known as Hermann Contractus or Hermann the Lame, as he was born with severe physical disabilities. At seven years old his parents placed him in the care of the Benedictine monks of the Reichenau abbey. Hermann is thought to have composed many works of religious music and poetry, including, perhaps, Hail, Holy Queen.
Here is the traditional English version of the prayer:
Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy,
our life, our sweetness, and our hope.
To you we cry, poor banished children of Eve;
to you we send up our sighs,
mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.
Turn then, most gracious advocate,
your eyes of mercy toward us;
and after this, our exile,
show unto us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus.
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.