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IV.

Hail, most glorious Lady! Mary, most holy after God of all the Saints, who didst in wonderful manner, as a fruitful Virgin, and with virginal fecundity, bring forth Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world. Thou art the most acceptable temple of God. Thou art the venerable sanctuary of the Holy Ghost. Thou art the glorious resting-place of the adorable Trinity. Through Thee, O Lady, the whole world lives: at the remembrance of Thee the hearts of the faithful are refreshed and cheered. Graciously incline Thine ears, I beseech Thee, to the prayers of this Thy servant, this miserable sinner, and scatter by the rays of Thy holiness the darkness of my sins, that I may please Thee.

Hail, most gracious mother of mercy! hail, O Mary greatly longed for, that obtainest for us pardon and grace! Who does not love Thee? Who does not honour Thee? for thou art a blessed light in doubt, a comfort in sorrow, a refreshment in anguish, a refuge in dangers and temptations. Thou, after Thy only-begotten Son, art the certain salvation of all the faithful. Thou 110art called, and truly Thou art, the most excellent of women, the most gracious of all, the loveliest of all. Blessed are they that love Thee, O Lady: Blessed are they that revere Thee: thrice and four times blessed are they who are intimately united to Thee by holiness of life, I commend to Thy goodness my soul and body: direct, teach, and protect me at every moment, in every hour, O my sweet refuge.

Hail, Mary, majestic hall and splendid palace of the Eternal King! hail, Thou perfumed resting-place of the Divinity! Thou art that lovely woman, holy, prudent, generous, and elegant, and greatly to be revered. Thou art that Queen of heaven and earth, that cometh forth as the rising morn, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, and terrible to the devils as an army set in array. Grant, O Lady, that, amidst the storms of this life, I may always wait for Thee, and that, despising all visible things, I may contemplate the loveliness and beauty of Paradise.

Hail, Mary! most brilliant star, and brightest sunbeam, from whom did arise Christ our God, the sun of righteousness. Thou art that Virgin, lovely beyond all loveliness. Thou art that Mother, graceful 111beyond all grace, who, with loving eyes, lookest down upon the pious children of the Church throughout the whole world. Thy sweet name refreshes the wearied, Thy peaceful brightness giveth sight to the blind, the sweet odour of Thy perfumes gladdens the righteous, the blessed fruit of Thy womb satisfies the Saints. Thou, after the Lord, art the first to merit the praise of angels and of men. Pray for me, O Lady, that, assisted by Thy prayers, I may be found meet to see and glorify Christ the God of gods, and Thee, the Queen of angels, in the heavenly Sion.

Hail, Mary, most blessed parent of exceeding joy, through whom the blessing of heaven and everlasting happiness have flowed even unto us. Thou art blessed among women, and abounding with spiritual gifts, Thou gayest birth to our Redeemer. He, the infant Jesus Christ, took flesh of Thee, and came forth from Thy virgin womb, the only Author of salvation, than whom nothing is sweeter, nothing is more lovely, nothing is more excellent: after whom nothing can be thought of more worthy, more divine, more desirable than Thee. The pious remembrance of Thee gladdens the 112sorrowful, the chaste contemplation of Thee soothes the saints, the faithful veneration of Thee cleanses sinners: all the children of God find a welcome peace of mind in Thee. Obtain for me, I beseech Thee, O my Lady, perfect purity of heart, that I may be of the number of those who shall be found worthy to behold and praise Thy only-begotten Son, and Thee the Queen of heaven.

Hail, Mary, most lovely virgin, O virgin brighter than the sun, and more brilliant than the stars, sweeter than honey, more pleasant than balsam. O Virgin ruddier than the rose, whiter than the lily. Thou art the fountain that watereth the springtide flowers; Thou art the well of living waters; Thou art the golden throne of the true Solomon; Thou art that purest vessel free from all bitterness; Thou art that cell of wondrous cleanness which sendeth forth on all sides the most grateful perfumes. The Lord created Thee a spotless virgin: He chose Thee for His humble handmaiden, and desired Thee for His lovely spouse. Thou art the glory of the human race, and the wondrous miracle of the whole world. Turn not away Thy face, O my Lady, from me, a wretched sinner; but 113make me clean instead of unclean, diligent instead of slothful, and devout instead of cold and lukewarm.

Hail, Mary, welcome hope of the desponding and ever-present helper of the destitute, to whom Thy Son doth pay so great an honour, as to grant at once whatever Thou askest for, and to fulfil whatever Thou dost desire. To Thee are committed the treasures of the heavenly kingdom. Thou art more honourable than the cherubim, nearer to God than the seraphim. Thou art the singular glory of Thy fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Every age, and sex, and tongue, confess the glory of Thy name, the splendour of Thy dignity, the abundance of Thy goodness. Thou art exalted, O Lady, above the angelic choirs. Rose-blossoms and lilies of the valley encompass Thee, as in the time of spring. Heal me, O blessed one, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be safe, and I will bless Thee for ever and ever. Amen.

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