Catechism of the Catholic Church

644 Part Four Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death: By asking Mary to pray for us, we acknowledge ourselves to be poor sinners and we address ourselves to the “Mother of Mercy,” theAll-Holy One. We give ourselves over to her now, in the Today of our lives. And our trust broadens further, already at the present moment, to surrender “the hour of our death” wholly to her care. May she be there as she was at her son’s death on the cross. May she welcome us as our mother at the hour of our passing 38 to lead us to her son, Jesus, in paradise. 2678 Medieval piety in the West developed the prayer of the rosary as a popular substitute for the Liturgy of the Hours. In the East, the litany called the Akathistos and the Paraclesis remained closer to the choral office in the Byzantine churches, while the Armenian, Coptic, and Syriac tradi­ tions preferred popular hymns and songs to the Mother of God. But in the Ave Maria, the theotokia, the hymns of St. Ephrem or St. Gregory of Narek, the tradition of prayer is basically the same. 2679 Mary is the perfect Orans (pray-er), a figure of the Church. When we pray to her, we are adhering with her to the plan of the Father, who sends his Son to save all men. Like the beloved disciple we welcome Jesus’ mother into our homes, 39 for she has become the mother of all the living. We can praywith and to her. The prayer of the Church is sustainedby the prayer ofMary andunitedwith it inhope. 40 IN BRIEF 2680 Prayer is primarily addressed to the Father; it can also be directed toward Jesus, particularly by the in­ vocation of his holy name: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us sinners.” 2681 “No one can say ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit” ( 1 Cor 12:3). The Church invites us to invoke the Holy Spirit as the interior Teacher of Christian prayer. 2682 Because of Mary’s singular cooperation with the ac­ tion of the Holy Spirit, the Church loves to pray in communion with the Virgin Mary, to magnify with her the great things the Lord has done for her, and to entrust supplications and praises to her. 38 Cf. Jn 19:27. 39 Cf. Jn 19:27. 40 Cf. LG 68-69. 1020 971, 1674 967 972