“To think that it is possible to say prayers that are finer and more beautiful than the Our Father and the Hail Mary is to fall prey to a strange illusion of the devil.” St. Louis de Montfort
As someone raised Catholic, I’ve found myself prey to this illusion: “The Our Father? The Hail Mary? That’s what you teach toddlers to pray. I’m a big boy now, and let me tell you: I can spit some seriously beautiful prayers.” Crickets.
It’s essential that when we talk about the Our Father and the Hail Mary, especially in the context of the Rosary, that we remember what these prayers actually are and where they come from.
As for the Our Father, we talked about this not too long ago in the post, Words of the Son. But to recap, the apostles ask Christ: “Teach us how to pray” and the Our Father is what He says. I don’t know if we need a better reason than that to devoutly say this prayer. It’s literally what Jesus told us to do.
The Hail Mary, or the Angelic Salutation, starts with that: the words of the angel Gabriel. Now, we must remember that Gabriel is the messenger of God, or put another way: he brings the message of God. “Hail Mary, full of grace” are the very words that God Himself chose to use for Our Lady. Followed by “blessed are thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb” the words of St. Elizabeth, who was “filled with the Holy Spirit.” In the very first line of the prayer, we see the Holy Trinity intimately present.
What greater prayers could we possibly compose? St. Louis never spoke truer words.