This prayer, asking for the Blessed Virgin Mary’s help, is addressed to Jesus Christ, the source of the blessings and protection that the Blessed Virgin bestows on those who seek her intercession. As such, it illustrates an important point: All intercessory prayer, even through the saints, is directed to man’s relationship with God.
A PRAYER FOR THE HELP OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
May we be assisted, we beseech Thee, O Lord, by the worshipful intercession of Thy glorious Mother, the ever-Virgin Mary; that we, who have been enriched by her perpetual blessings, may be delivered from all dangers, and through her loving kindness made to be one heart and mind: who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.
AN EXPLANATION OF THE PRAYER FOR THE HELP OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
This prayer might initially strike us as odd. Catholics are used to praying to saints, as well as praying to God, in all Three Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; but why would we pray to our Lord Jesus Christ in order to seek the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary? After all, when the Mother of God intercedes for us, she does so by praying to God Himself. Doesn’t that mean that this prayer is a sort of circular prayer?
Well, yes, in a way. But that isn’t as odd as it might seem at first glance. For instance, imagine being stranded somewhere and needing some sort of physical help. We might pray to Christ that He would send someone to assist us. But spiritual dangers are even more hazardous than physical ones, and we, of course, are not always aware of the forces that are attacking us. By asking Jesus for the assistance of His Mother, we’re not asking for help just right now, and for those dangers that we know threaten us; we are asking Him for her intercession at all times and in all places and against all dangers, whether we recognize them or not.
And who better to intercede for us? As the prayer notes, the Blessed Virgin Mary has already provided many good things for us through her previous intercession.
DEFINITIONS OF WORDS USED IN THE PRAYER FOR THE HELP OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
Beseech: to ask with urgency, to beg, to implore
Worshipful: reverent, showing adoration
Intercession: intervening on behalf of someone else
Enriched: made richer; here, in the sense of having had one’s life improved
Perpetual: unending, repeated
Blessings: good things for which we are thankful
Delivered: set free or kept free
Loving kindness: tenderness toward others; consideration
World without end: in Latin, In saecula saeculorum; literally, “unto the ages or ages”—that is, “for ever and ever”