Ave Maria

~The History Of The Song Ave Maria~

Ava Maria is really the way of addressing the Virgin Mary, as the Angel Gabriel did when he foretold Jesus' birth: "Hail thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women." Luke 1:28

Ave Maria has been set to music many times, but probably the most famous version was written by Franz Schubert (1797-1828). This simple, moving piece, so universally known and loved, was written about 1825 (the composer was twenty-eight years old) as part of a setting of songs from Walter Scott's "Lady of the Lake." According to Schubert, his first audience of friends was surprised at the deeply devotional character of the "Ave Maria": "I think the reason for this is that I never force myself into devotion or compose hymns or prayers unless I am truly overpowered by the feeling; that alone is true devotion." When Schubert died his friend, read a poetical farewell:

"May peace at last be with you!
Angel-pure soul! In the full bloom of Youth,
The stroke of Death has seized you
And extinguished the pure light within you!"

Another beautiful version of the music is by French composer, Charles Gounod (1818-1893), who was born in France in June 1818 and was one of the country's best composers of the late nineteenth century.

~ Gounod's Ave Maria ~

Charles Gounod Franz Schubert

Lyrics In Latin and English


Ave Maria
Gratia plena
Maria, gratia plena
Maria, gratia plena
Ave, ave dominus
Dominus tecum
Benedicta tu in mulieribus
Et benedictus
Et benedictus fructus ventris
Ventris tuae, Jesus.
Ave Maria

Ave Maria
Mater Dei
Ora pro nobis peccatoribus
Ora pro nobis
Ora, ora pro nobis peccatoribus
Nunc et in hora mortis
Et in hora mortis nostrae
Et in hora mortis nostrae
Et in hora mortis nostrae
Ave Maria


Ave Maria! Maiden mild!
Listen to a maiden's prayer!
Thou canst hear though from the wild,
Thou canst save amid despair.
Safe may we sleep beneath thy care,
Though banish'd, outcast and reviled -
Maiden! hear a maiden's prayer;
Mother, hear a suppliant child!
Ave Maria!

Ave Maria! undefiled!
The flinty couch we now must share
Shall seem this down of eider piled,
If thy protection hover there.
The murky cavern's heavy air
Shall breathe of balm if thou hast smiled;
Then, maiden! hear a maiden's prayer;
Mother, list a suppliant child!
Ave Maria!

Ave Maria! stainless styled!
Foul demons of the earth and air,
From this their wonted haunt exiled,
Shall flee before thy presence fair,
We bow us to our lot of care,
Beneath thy guidance reconciled;
Hear for a maid a maiden's prayer,
And for a father hear a child!
Ave Maria!

Featured Music: "Ave Maria"

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