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THE PRAYER,
O MARY, CROWNED WITH STARS


O Mary, crowned with stars,
who hast the moon for thy footstool
and who sittest enthroned above all the choirs of Angels,
incline thine eyes toward this vale of tears,
and hear the voice of one
who puts all his hope and trust in thee.

Now thou dost rejoice in the endless bliss of paradise;
but once thou didst endure the miseries of this our exile
and thou knowest how bitter are the days of him who eats the bread of sorrow.

On Calvary thou didst hear a voice,
well-known to thee, which said:
"Woman, behold thy son";
that is to say, "a son in my stead".
By these words thou wast appointed the Mother of all believers.

And without thee what life should we have,
who are the unhappy children of Adam?
Each of us has a sorrow that tries him,
a grief that oppresses, a wound that rankles.
All men run to thy protection,
as to the haven of safety and the fountain of healing.
When the waves rise high in the tempest,
it is to thee the mariner turns and prays for calm.
The orphan flies to thee,
for he sees himself as a plant in a thirsty land,
defenceless before all the whirlwinds of life.
To thee the poor offer their supplications
when they are in want of daily bread.
And not even one is left without thy help and consolation.

O Mary, dear Mother, enlighten our minds, and warm our hearts;
let that pure love which streams forth from thine eyes,
spread itself abroad and bring forth those wondrous fruits
which thy Son hath purchased for us by the shedding of His Blood,
the while thou didst suffer most bitter torments at the foot of His Cross.



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