The Angelus: What Is It & Why Pray It?

The Angelus: What Is It & Why Pray It?


The Angelus is a Catholic devotion commemorating the Incarnation and pay homage to Mary’s role in the history of salvation.

The name of the prayer is taken from its opening line in Latin, “Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariae” (“The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary”) and is practised by reciting as versicle and response three Biblical verses narrating the mystery; alternating with the prayer “Hail Mary”.

The devotion was traditionally recited in Roman Catholic churches, convents, and monasteries three times daily: 6:00 am, noon, and 6:00 pm (many churches still follow the devotion, and some practise it at home). The devotion is also used by some Anglican and Lutheran churches.

It is said that over the centuries workers in the fields halted their labors and prayed when they heard the Angelus bell. There are also stories that animals would automatically stop plowing and stand quietly at the bell.

Like a heavenly messenger, the Angelus calls man to interrupt his daily, earthly routines and turn to thoughts of God, of the Blessed Mother, and of eternity. As Pope Benedict XVI taught on the feast of the Annunciation: “The Angel’s proclamation was addressed to her; she accepted it, and when she responded from the depths of her heart … at that moment the eternal Word began to exist as a human being in time. From generation to generation the wonder evoked by this ineffable mystery never ceases.”


In the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

V. The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary,
R. And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.

Hail Mary …

V. Behold the handmaid of the Lord.
R. Be it done unto me according to Your Word.

Hail Mary …

V. And the Word was made flesh,
R. And dwelt among us.

Hail Mary …

V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray:

Pour forth, we beseech You, O Lord, Your Grace into our hearts;
that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, your Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection. Through the same Christ, our Lord. Amen

May divine assistance remain always with us and may the Souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God rest in peace.


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