The Catholic Defender: The Memorare Prayer
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary,
“Who is this that comes forth like the dawn, beautiful as the white moon, pure as the blazing sun, fearsome as celestial visions?”
The Queens if Israel going back to King Solomon were always the Mothers of the king. 1 Kings 2:19 gives the original account:
"Then Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him for Adonijah, and the king stood up to meet her and paid her homage. Then he sat down upon his throne, and a throne was provided for the king’s mother, who sat at his right."
The Queens of Israel took an advisory/intercessory role placed on a throne sitting at the right hand of the king. As Bathsheba interceded on behalf of Adonijah, the Virgin Mary at a far greater capacity intercedes for all her children, those who follow Jesus. Revelation 12:17 states:
"Then the dragon became angry with the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring, those who keep God’s commandments and bear witness to Jesus."
As Queen and as a loving Mother, the Virgin Mary is most gracious in her role acting as an intercessor before the King of kings.
that never was it known
The promise that God gives to His people show His endurance to be there for us. It is infinite because God is infinite. Philippians 4:6-7 states, "Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."
God is faithful, Psalms 25:8-10 states, "Good and upright is the LORD, therefore he shows sinners the way, He guides the humble in righteousness, and teaches the humble his way. All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth toward those who honor his covenant and decrees."
God is faithful, the question becomes are we faithful? Sometimes we place ourselves outside the Lords protection because of sin. This is where the Virgin Mary becomes a great intercessor as she works to evangelize the cause of Christ. She is always praying on our behalf, since her Assumption and Coronation in Heaven, Mary is tirelessly reminding us to be faithful to Jesus and His Catholic Church.
Hebrews 12:1-2 gives reality of Heaven's participation for the cause of Christ, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith. For the sake of the joy that lay before him he endured the cross, despising its shame, and has taken his seat at the right of the throne of God." Heaven will never let us down.
that anyone who fled to thy protection,
Palms 45:11-13 states, "Listen, my daughter, and understand; pay me careful heed. Forget your people and your father’s house, that the king might desire your beauty. He is your lord; honor him, daughter of Tyre. Then the richest of the people will seek your favor with gifts." Talking about the rich here, spiritually speaking, this is being rich is spirit. If you are rich in spirit, you are open in your heart, mind, soul, and strength accepting the grace God offers. Not only do we flee to God's protection, when we recognize the danger we will run to God's protection.
Matthew 11:28-30 tells it all, “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” What great consolation we have in that we serve a great God who loves us. When Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Mother are with you, it is actually the evil spirits that flee and in a hurry. If we call out to Our Lord, he will not abandon us. Heaven in just on the other side of the vail.
implored thy help,
Palms 54:4 states, "O God, hear my prayer. Listen to the words of my mouth." There are times when life just beats you up. People get hopelessly in debt, they can't find a good job, it seems like the world is crashing down on you and you just can't get out of the rut. That is when we need to rely on the Lord all the more. This is what is in the norm. There are those who find themselves behind the lines of cold dark evil. We need to hold faith in the Lord against all evil, they might be able to take our body, but they can't take our soul.
Our Lady appearing all over the world is constantly calling for us to be strong in the Lord, to call out to Him. Psalms 124:8 states, "Our help is in the name of the LORD, the maker of heaven and earth." The Lord is the maker of Heaven and earth. God does not need all the angels and saints to help Him with salvation, but He chooses out of love for His creation, for you and me that Heaven exists to aid us in our need.
or sought thy intercession,
James 5:14-16 states, "Is anyone among you sick? He should summon the presbyters of the church, and they should pray over him and anoint [him] with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven." This is par excellence on intercessory prayer. Notice that the presbyter (Priest) is called to administer the Anointing of the sick. That is a sacrament. We can have faith that the Lord hears us.
As Our Lady prays and intercedes on our behalf, so is the Host of Heaven praying for us with the whole choir of angels. How Wondrous this is as the praise and glory offered to God at the third Heaven where the Altar of God is. Revelation 8:3-5 states, "Another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a gold censer. He was given a great quantity of incense to offer, along with the prayers of all the holy ones, on the gold altar that was before the throne. The smoke of the incense along with the prayers of the holy ones went up before God from the hand of the angel. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with burning coals from the altar, and hurled it down to the earth. There were peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake."
1 Timothy 2:1-4 is an important text stating, "First of all, then, I ask that supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone, for kings and for all in authority, that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life in all devotion and dignity. This is good and pleasing to God our savior, who wills everyone to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth." What is pleasing to God on earth is very much happening in Heaven.
was left unaided.
Psalms 34:18 states, "The righteous cry out, the LORD hears and he rescues them from all their afflictions." Our Joy is complete when we are secure in the Lord. People strive for happiness, but that can be a fleeting journey because joy is far more to the Christian. The Lord aids us in all our afflictions and our Joy is a great gift. Psalms 63:8 communicates this perfectly, "You indeed are my savior, and in the shadow of your wings I shout for joy."
There is so much found in the Psalms, I also look at 18:36, "You have given me your saving shield; your right and has upheld me; your favor made me great." Our Lord Jesus Christ is the seed promised that would come through the faithfulness of the woman, "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; They (She, He, or they) will strike at your head, while you strike at their (Her/His) heel". No matter how you look at this, Our Lady plays a major role in the Salvation of the world through her Son.
Inspired by this confidence
Hebrews 4:16 states, "So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help". Think about this one for a moment, the Catholic Church takes us directly to the throne of grace through the Lord's mighty Sacraments. That is a result of God's protection through His Church. Remember Jesus on the cross gives the Church another means to the throne of Grace when He gave His Mother to St. John:
John 19:26-27 states, "When Jesus saw his mother* and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home." Through the Virgin Mary's intercession, she takes us down through the Sacred Heart of Jesus where we experience in depth where Jesus Divine Mercy is endless. We have confidence in this truth. Our Lady is always calling for us to approach the throne of Grace through the Sacraments.
I fly unto thee,
As the Virgin Mary was given protection by God saving her Son Jesus from the spears of King Herod so we too are protected. Revelation 12:14 states, "But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle, so that she could fly to her place in the desert, where, far from the serpent, she was taken care of for a year, two years, and a half-year." Egypt was a temporary safe haven for the Holy Family until the danger had passed. Likewise, we can fly to Our Lady who as Our Queen takes us to the Lord and our souls can rest despite being under attack. Jesus through Mary is a sure means of spiritual aid. Pray the Rosary for the conversion of sinners.
Revelation 14:6 reports of a flying angel stating, "Then I saw another angel flying high overhead, with everlasting good news to announce to those who dwell on earth, to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people." When we fly to Our Lady, the Queen of angels, we receive the fruit of the Gospel, given to us by Jesus Christ, the Founder of the Catholic Faith.
O Virgin of virgins, my Mother.
Where Eve fell in disobedience, Our Lady was obedient. Her fiat gives us our hope. "And Mary said: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior. For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed. The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. His mercy is from age to age to those who fear him. He has shown might with his arm, dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart. He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly. The hungry he has filled with good things; the rich he has sent away empty. He has helped Israel his servant, remembering his mercy, according to his promise to our fathers, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.” Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home."
To thee do I come,
Psalms 42:2 states, "As the deer longs for streams of water, so my soul longs for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, the living God. When can I enter and see the face of God?" Anyone who seeks the Lord, He will accept you and bless you for your coming to Him. Seek the Lord while He can be found as the scripture teaches. Our Lady promises to be with you to encourage you of His love for you. Psalms 45 17-18 states, "The throne of your fathers your sons will have; you shall make them princes through all the land. I will make your name renowned through all generations; thus nations shall praise you forever." These princes who are Our Lady's sons are the same who Our Lord made a kingdom of "priests for our God, and they will reign on earth". (Revelation 5:10)
John 14:23 states, "Jesus answered and said to him, “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him." Jesus gives a Eucharistic promise very similar stating, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, [then] I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me. I will give the victor the right to sit with me on my throne, as I myself first won the victory and sit with my Father on his throne."
before thee I stand,
Acts 7:55 speaking about St. Stephens vision states, "But he, filled with the holy Spirit, looked up intently to heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” St. Stephen would be the first recognized Martyr suffered in the Catholic Faith by those opposed to Christ. We need to come before the Lord humbling ourselves before Him.
1 Chronicles 21:16 states, "When David raised his eyes, he saw the angel of the LORD standing between earth and heaven, drawn sword in hand stretched out against Jerusalem. David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, fell face down, and David prayed to God: “Was it not I who ordered the census of the people? I am the one who sinned, I did this wicked thing. But these sheep, what have they done? O LORD, my God, strike me and my father’s family, but do not afflict your people with this plague!” Here David is acting as an intercessor, for us, that is what Our Lady does.
sinful and sorrowful.
Romans 3:23 reminds us of our spiritual conditions so that we all need Jesus Christ, "all have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God." St. Paul is making it clear that we will stand before God in judgement and we plead for the Lord's mercy. We are sinful and we should be sorrowful. We are given Jesus forgiveness who reveals His glory to us. We see His glory every time Our Lady appears from Heaven, many Eucharistic Miracles we see Our Lord's glory. God's grace is the means that we can enter in His Kingdom.
1 John 1:9 states, "If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing." When you go to Confession, you receive Jesus forgiveness of sins and we are made clean. This is why Our Lady calls for us to go to Confession often, at least once of month and especially if you have Mortal sin.
O Mother of the Word Incarnate,
Jesus is the Word Incarnate, John 1:1-3 states, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be." Mary is Jesus Mother and the Angel Gabriel made this statement:
"In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, “Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” And the angel said to her in reply, “The holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived* a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God.”
despise not my petitions,
Ephesians 6:18-19 St. Paul states, "With all prayer and supplication, pray at every opportunity in the Spirit. To that end, be watchful with all perseverance and supplication for all the holy ones and also for me, that speech may be given me to open my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel." We are to pray for the Pope, for all the bishops in union with him and for all the Lord's priests and religious. We are to pray for our needs. Jesus gives this word Matthew 18:19-20, "Again, [amen,] I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Our Lady takes these petitions and submit them to Our Lord by His choice. It is a measure of His love.
St. Paul makes this statement to the Philippians 4:6, "Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God." Just looking at this beautiful prayer (The Memorare) offered to Our Lady, our hearts are presented before the Lord through Our Lady. The Lord knows what is in our hearts, but when you have his Spirit acting behind those petitions it does make a difference.
but in thy mercy hear and answer me.
It is common for Catholics to ask Our Lady for mercy, we see this here and we see this in the "Hail Holy Queen" prayer as examples. In asking for her mercy, we are not making her a deity or any kind of a goddess. Not at all. We are recognizing Jesus Christ as the King of kings and Lord of lords that has placed His Mother as His rightful Queen. Consider Esther 2:22-23, "When the plot became known to Mordecai, he told Queen Esther, who in turn informed the king in Mordecai’s name. The matter was investigated and verified, and both of them were impaled on stakes. This was written in the annals in the king’s presence." Mordecai asked for mercy and received it through Queen Esther.
I love the story of Our Lady's visit with her cousin Elizabeth, "When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed* that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”
St. John the Baptist hearing the voice of Our Lady within the womb of his mother began to dance for joy.
The basic meaning of the Semitic root from which it is derived is “firm,” “fixed,” or “sure,” and the related Hebrew verb also means “to be reliable” and “to be trusted.” The Greek Old Testament usually translates amen as “so be it”; in the English Bible it has frequently been rendered as “verily,” or “truly.”
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.