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Gregorian Chant to Our Lady

The Memorare (Remember, O Most Gracious Virgin Mary) is a Gregorian chant and popular Catholic prayer to Our Lady attributed to St. Bernard of Clairvaux. The prayer was first indulgenced by Pope Pius IX on December 11, 1846 (see the Raccolta entry here).

At the age of 18, St. Francis de Sales was tormented by thoughts of despair and endured this suffering for one whole month. According to De Sales' Selected Letters, the "torment of despair came to a sudden end" as he knelt in prayer before the statue of Our Lady of Good Deliverance (the Black Madonna) at the church of Saint-Étienne-des-Grès, Paris, saying the Memorare. Francis credited the Blessed Virgin with "saving him from falling into despair or heresy." He continued to recited the Memorare daily and she "did not leave him unaided".

The Memorare also played a part in the conversion of Alphonse Ratisbonne; upon the dare of a Catholic acquaintance he agreed to wear the Miraculous Medal and recite the prayer for a month.

We provide two interpretations of the Memorare: the first is one by Giovanni Vianini. *Note: in this first version, Vianini sings a version with the notes la-sol, instead of the written sol-fa, seen in the second system, second measure, first two neumes. This may indicate that this was taken from a version that has implemented the modern post-Conciliar reform.

The second is a harmonized version released by the chant ensemble Neumes and Tunes. *Note: this version sings the exact melody in the traditional pre-55 version (with the notes sol-fa), which is taken from the Cantus Mariales, Solesmes, 1906.

Listen to Memorare by Giovanni Vianini

Listen to Memorare by Neumes and Tunes


Latin text:

Memorare, O piíssima Virgo Maria,
Non esse auditum a saeculo,
Quemquam ad tua currentem praesídia,
Tua implorantem auxília,
Tua petentem suffragia,
Esse derelictum.
Ego tali animatus confidentia,
Ad te, Virgo Virginum,
Mater, curro, ad te venio,
Coram te gemens peccator assisto.
Noli, Mater Verbi,
Verba mea despícere;
Sed audi propítia et exaudi.

English translation (1):

Remember, O most pious Virgin Mary,
That never was it known throughout the world,
That anyone who ran to thy protection,
Implored thy help,
Or sought thy intercession,
Was left abandoned.
Animated by such confidence,
To thee, Virgin of Virgins,
Mother, I run, to thee do I come,
A sinner weeping before thee.
Do not, Mother of the Word,
Despise my words;
But hear with favor and listen [to my pleas].

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Virgin of Mercy (Vírgen de la Merced)..

  1. English translation by TIA desk. The common English version of the prayer is as follows:

    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.
    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.

  2. Music courtesy of Gregobase, here.


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