The Memorare

Friends in Christ, one of the most loved Catholic prayers is the Memorare. I pray it every day, and I know many do the same.
‘Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known, that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided…..’
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The introduction to this prayer reminds us, that it has never been known, that anyone was ever left unaided, who has run to Mary. Today is 1st Saturday; it is an opportunity for us to reflect on this faithful protection of Our heavenly Mother.
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St. Bonaventure says that the Blessed Virgin seems to have no other desire than that of helping those in need. ‘O Lady, he says, ‘you were made Mother of God for the wretched; you are all mercy, and your only wish is to show it.’
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When we think of people in great need, in desperate need, I think first of sinners. People who feel that they either have committed too many sins to ever be forgiven, or those who feel that what they did is too great a sin, or that they are so caught in a habit of sin, that they feel they will never escape from it. But these are the very ones that Mary wants the most.
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In the Old Testament, Rebecca was a sign, and image of Mary. When Abraham’s servant asked her for a little water to drink, Rebecca replied, that not only would she give him plenty for himself, but for all his camels as well.
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On this passage St. Bernard says: ‘O Mary, you are far more generous than Rebecca; for you are not satisfied with distributing the treasures of your mercy only to the Just, signified by Abraham’s servant; but your mercy is poured out generously on sinners, signified by the camels.’
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The generosity of Mary, says Richard of St. Lawrence, ‘is like that of her Son, who always gives more than is asked for.’ The Memorare prayer, as we have said, first states that no one was ever denied help from Mary. This was never known. The 2nd part of the prayer then goes on to ask her help; and notice that we go to her in great humility:
‘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.
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I have seen some persons on their death bed, who had said this prayer in their life – which I did not know at the time. And when I or a family member prayed it, their face lit up with peace and hope.
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Blessed Raymond Jordano used to say, ‘Mary is God’s treasure; he who finds her finds every good; and everyone can find her, even the most miserable sinner in the world.

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