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III.

Hail, sweet Mary! who, amidst the rejoicings of the angels, didst bring forth the Saviour without pain or injury to Thy virginity. O Virgin Mother, Thou art the temple of the true Solomon, Thou art the ark of God and the mercy-seat, Thou art the closed door which Ezekiel saw, Thou art the closed garden and the sealed fountain. Fill, I beseech Thee, my heart and all my senses with heavenly grace, that a good spirit being renewed within me, I may lead a life that shall be well-pleasing to Thee and to Thy Son.

Hail, sweet Mary! who didst wrap in swaddling clothes Jesus, the fruit of Thy 107most chaste womb, and didst place Him sobbing in the manger. O may the love of Thee so possess me, may purity of life be in me as in a new-born babe, that I may be meet to be assisted by Thee in whatever adversity, and to be refreshed by the sweet favour of Thy visits.

Hail, sweet Mary! who didst nourish the infant Jesus from thy virgin breasts, and didst carry Him in Thy arms, and didst sweetly press Him to Thy bosom through Thy ardent love, and didst bathe Him with kisses. Grant that when I am cast down by the troubles and temptations of this exile, I may always take refuge in the bosom of Thy maternal goodness, and that, strengthened with the milk of spiritual consolation, I may eschew every impure delight.

Hail, sweet Mary! who didst carefully watch over our Saviour’s infancy and childhood with a mother’s love, and didst follow Him with great devotion when He grew up to manhood, and began to preach the gospel. Grant that I may love and follow Thee, that I may long for Thy presence, and thoroughly despise all transitory things.

Hail, sweet Mary! who wert afflicted with the keenest sorrow in thy inmost soul, by 108reason of the labours and persecutions, and the atrocious and most shameful Passion which Thy only-begotton Son endured. Grant that I may always praise Him, my God, for all that He has done anti suffered for my sake, and truly have pity on all who are in misery and trouble.

Hail, sweet Mary! whose blessed soul the sword of grief did pierce, when Thou didst stand overwhelmed with tears under that cross on which Thy Son was hanging, and was suffering the most dreadful tortures, and shedding forth His blood, and breathing out His soul unto death. Grant that I may stand with Thee, and call to mind with a grateful heart the Passion and death of Jesus Thy only-begotten Son, my Redeemer.

Hail, sweet Mary! whom Jesus Christ did gladden by His triumphant resurrection, and after His ascension to His Father, did take up with unspeakable glory into heaven, where Thou, O glorious Queen, dolt sit exalted above the angelic choirs. We humbly ask of Thee that Thou wouldest take the care of our salvation on Thyself, and wouldest mercifully plead for us by Thy prayers to Thy Son, the Judge of quick and dead. Amen.

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