The Astonishing Power of One Hail Mary

Hail Mary, Full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.

TIME-HONORED PRAYER. The Hail Mary is a go-to prayer for those in need, as a Register story recounts.

My favorite story of 2023 was “The Astonishing Power of One Hail Mary,” as it focused on how a single prayer we should not take for granted can change even the lives of strangers.

Briefly, John Petrovich was jogging past a house and saw an ambulance in the driveway. He had learned in childhood to say a prayer for those in need whenever he sees or hears an ambulance or police siren. He blessed himself and this time said a Hail Mary for the person inside.

The next week, as he ran on the same street, a woman stopped him. “You saved my life,” she told him. She described how she had blacked out and was dying.

Regaining consciousness in the hospital, she had a vision of Jesus, who told her, “Everything is going to be fine; you’re going to be fine because this person prayed for you.” She told Petrovich how “on the palm of his hand was your face. And I have to thank you for saving my life.” He was speechless.

This incident is a perfect example of how earnest prayer can “move mountains,” as Jesus said in the Gospel. If one Hail Mary has that power, imagine the power in a Rosary’s 50 Hail Marys. The prayerful man told the Register he is learning to put “more emphasis on why we should be praying for one another … for other people in their needs and wants before us.”

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by Joseph Pronechen