Salve Regina

Something for the weekend.  Salve Regina.  A hymn to Mary whose origins are lost in the historical mists of the Middle Ages in the Eleventh Century.  Catholics regard May as the month of Mary and thus this song is appropriate.  I have always loved it.   Martin Luther hated it, another reason for me to love it!


Here I must say a few words about the song which is called Salve Regina. It is a great blaspheme of God. For it says, “Hail you queen of mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope.” Is that not too much? Who could justify calling her our life, sweetness and mercy when she is satisfied to call herself, a “handmaiden of the LORD?” Now people sing that prayer in every corner of the world and also the bells ring out, and still today in nearly every church the Salve Regina is, unfortunately, retained and sung.
It is the same with the Regina Coeli, which is not much better, in which she is called the queen of heaven. Is that not doing Christ a disservice when you account to a creature what only belongs to and is proper to God? So forget these ungodly and unchristian words. I will gladly concede that Mary prays for me, but I deny that she must be my comfort and my life. Your prayer on my behalf is also just as precious to me and hers. Why? If you believe that Christ dwells just as much in you as He does her, your prayer can help me just as well as hers.


This all calls to mind GK Chesterton’s “And Christian hateth Mary, whom God kissed in Galilee”.  I doubt if God will ever have a problem with Christians who love the mother He loved.




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  1. Thank you for sharing this. Whenever these hymns to Our Lady are sung, this old cradle Catholic has tears in his eyes.

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