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Monday, January 11, 2010

Oldest Known Image of Mary

Devotion to the Mother of God has no shortage of artistic representation.

Found in the Catacomb of Priscilla in Rome, dating from the late second century, is the oldest known image depicting the Blessed Virgin Mary. In the picture, she is nursing the Infant Jesus. The third figure in the image may be the prophet Balaam. Here he is pointing to a star which is outside of the frame. The star is a reference from Numbers 24:17
I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not near. A STAR SHALL RISE out of Jacob and a sceptre shall spring up from Israel: and shall strike the chiefs of Moab, and shall waste all the children of Seth.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Guide to Latin Prayers: Lesson 04 - Ave Maria

Hail Mary

The most popular of all Marian prayers, the Ave Maria has two distinct parts: scriptural and intercessory. The first part's use in the Church's liturgy dates back as far as the fifth century. The second part we find traces back to about the fifteenth century, but with two different endings. In the writings of St. Bernardine of Sienna and the Carthusians, the prayer ends with  pray for us sinners. In the writings of the Servites, however, we find the prayer ending with pray for us now and at the hour of our death. Pope St. Pius V gave us the ending we use today when he promulgated the reformed Breviary in 1568.

Ave Maria
(AH-vay  Mah-REE-ah)

gratia plena
(GRAH-tsee-ah  PLAY-nah)

Dominus tecum
(DOH-mee-noos  TAY-koom)

benedicta tu in mulieribus
(beh-neh-DEEK-tah  too  een  moo-lee-AIR-ee-boos)

et benedictus fructus ventris tui Iesus
(eht  beh-neh-DEEK-toos  FROOK-toos  VEHN-trees  TOO-wee  YAY-soos)

Sancta Maria Mater Dei
(SAHNC-tah  mah-REE-ah  MAH-tair  DAY-ee)

ora pro nobis peccatoribus
(OHR-rah  proh  NOH-bees  pehk-ah-TOHR-ee-boos) 

nunc et in hora mortis nostrae
(noonk  eht  een  HOHR-ah  MOHR-tees  NOH-stray)

This concludes the fourth lesson. Practice often.