Hail Holy Queen Prayer – “Salve Regina”

The “Salve Regina”, also known as the “Hail Holy Queen”, is a prayer and hymn to Mother Mary and one of four Marian hymns sung at different times within the Christian liturgical calendar of the Catholic Church. The Salve Regina is traditionally chanted at Compline from the Saturday before Trinity Sunday until the Friday before the first Sunday of Advent. The Hail Holy Queen is also the final prayer of the Rosary.

Hail Holy Queen – “Salve Regina”

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy,
our life, our sweetness, and our hope.
To you do we cry,
poor banished children of Eve.
To you do 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 exile
show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb,
O clement, O loving,
O sweet Virgin Mary.

Origin and History

Hail Holy Queen was introduced in its current form at the Abbey of Cluny in the 12th century, where it was used as a processional chant on Marian feasts. The Cistercians sang the Salve Regina daily from 1218. It was popular at medieval universities as an evening song, and according to Fr. Juniper Carol, it came to be part of the ceremony for the blessing of a ship. While the hymn was featured largely in liturgical and in general popular Catholic devotion, it was particularly beloved by sailors.

In the 18th century, the Salve Regina served as the outline for the classic Roman Catholic Mariology book The Glories of Mary by Saint Alphonsus Liguori. In the first part of the book Alphonsus, a Doctor of the Church discusses the Salve Regina and explains how God gave Mary to mankind as the “Gate of Heaven”.

Hail Holy Queen has been featured in the 1992 comedy film Sister Act, starring Whoopi Goldberg. In the movie, the hymn is first sung in the traditional style, before changing into an uptempo, soul, and gospel music-influenced arrangement.

Popular Catholic Prayers

Hail Mary
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The Prayer to St. Joseph
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The Prayer to the Sacred Heart Of Jesus
Prayer to St Michael

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