Ave Maria O Maiden O Mother (Mater amabilis, ora pro nobis)

The origin of this hymn about Mary is unknown.

It was included in the 1900 Catholic School and Sodality Hymnal (ref) and is here referred to in a 1862 publication, St Patrick's Catholic Hymnal.   These dates mean that the words are almost certainly now in the public domain.

The Celebration Hymnal for Everyone (1994) and the The St. Gregory Hymnal and Catholic Choir Book (1920) credit it to "Sister M", but give no clues who she was or where she was from.

With meter with refrain, tunes the words have been set to include:
  • A tune from a Slovak hymnal - set by the editor of the 1920 St Gregory Hymnal
  • AVE MARIA by Dom A Gregory Murray OSB (1905-1992) in the Westminister Hymnal 1936
  • Two other unnamed tunes, given in the Westminister Hymnal 1912 - presumed to be by Richard Runciman Terry (1865-1938) who edited that edition.


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Choir, unaccompanied - Montani tune:

Choir with organ (poor sound quality:

Solo singer, unaccompanied:

Solo singer, organ backing, tune by R R Terry:


Ave Maria, O Maiden, O Mother,
Fondly thy children are calling on thee;
Thine are the graces unclaimed by another,
Sinless and beautiful star of the sea.

Mater amabilis, ora pro nobis,
Pray for thy children who call upon thee;
Ave Sanctissima, Ave Purissima,
Sinless and beautiful star of the sea.

Ave Maria, the night shades are falling,
Softly, our voices arise unto thee;
Earth’s lonely exiles for succour are calling,
Sinless and beautiful star of the sea.

Ave Maria, thy children are kneeling,
Words of endearment are murmured to thee;
Softly thy spirit upon us is stealing,
Sinless and beautiful star of the sea.

Ave Maria! Thou portal of heaven,
Harbour of refuge, to thee do we flee:
Lost in the darkness, by stormy winds driven,
Shine on our pathway, fair star of the sea.

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1 comment:

  1. This is my best maryan song, and i feel as if am in heaven whenever i hear or sings