This prayer was a favorite during the later part of the Middle Ages and invariably appeared in Books of the Hours from the 15th century and onwards. Books of the Hours were prayer books intended for the laity and were based upon the much longer Liturgy of the Hours recited by clergy and religious. Often these books would contain three sets of Hours; the Hours of the Blessed Virgin, the Hours of the Cross, and the Hours of the Holy Spirit. In addition to the Hours, a number of other prayers and popular devotions were often included such as this one and the O Intemerata. The text of the prayer below is taken from a 15th century edition.
| OBSECRO te, Domina Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, pietate plenissima, summi regis filia, Mater gloriosissima, Mater orphanorum, consolatio desolatorum, via errantium, salus et spes in te sperantium, Virgo ante partum, Virgo in partu, et Virgo post partum, fons misericordiae, fons salutis et gratiae, fons pietatis et laetitiae, fons consolationis et indulgentiae, et per illam sanctam ineffabilem laetitiam qua exultavit spiritus tuus in illa hora quando tibi per Gabrielem Archangelum annuntiatus et conceptus Filius Dei fuit, et per illud divinum mysterium quod tunc operatus est Spiritus Sanctus, et per illam sanctam ineffabilem gratiam, pietatem, misericordiam, amorem, et humilitatem per quas Filius Dei descendit humanam carnem accipere in venerabilissimo utero tuo, et in quibus te respexit quando te commendavit sancto Ioanne apostolo et evangelista, et quando te exaltavit super choros angelorum, et per illam sanctam ineffabilem humilitatem qua respondisti Archangelo Gabrieli, "Ecce ancilla Domini. Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum."
|| I BESEECH thee, Lady Holy Mary, Mother of God, most full of piety, daughter of the Most High King, Mother most glorious, Mother of orphans, consolation of the desolate, way of the straying, health and hope of those hoping in thee, virgin before giving birth, virgin during birth, and virgin after giving birth. I beseech thee font of mercy, font of grace and well-being, font of piety and joy, font of consolation and indulgence. I beseech thee through that holy ineffable joy in which thy spirit rejoiced at that hour when the Son of God was announced to thee by the Archangel Gabriel and was conceived, and through the divine mystery worked by the Holy Spirit, and through that holy ineffabile grace, piety, mercy, love and humility by which the Son of God descended to accept human flesh in thy most venerable womb and which He saw in thee when He commended thee to St. John the apostle and evangelist, and when He exalted thee over the choirs of angels, and through that holy ineffable humility with which thou didst respond to the Archangel Gabriel, "Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Be it done according to thy word."
| Et per gloriosissima quindecim gaudia quae habuisti de Filio tuo Domino nostro Iesu Christo, et per illam sanctam maximam compassionem et acerbissimum cordis dolorem quem habuisti quando Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum ante crucem nudatum et in ipsa levatum vidisti, pendentem, crucifixum, vulneratum, sitientem fel apponi, clamantem audisti et morientem vidisti.
|| And I beseech thee through those most holy fifteen joys that thou didst have in thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and through that holy, great compassion and most bitter sorrow thou didst have when thou didst see our Lord Jesus Christ nude, lifted upon the cross, hanging, crucified, wounded, thirsty, served gall, heard Him cry out, and then saw Him die.
| Et per quinque vulnera Filii tui, et per contractionem viscerum suorum prae nimio dolore vulnerum, et per dolorem quem habuisti quando vidisti eum vulnerari, et per fontes sanguinis sui et per omnem passionem eius et per omnem dolorem cordis tui, et per fontes lacrimarum tuarum et cum omnibus sanctis et electis Dei.
|| And through the five wounds of thy Son, through the contraction of His flesh because of the great pain of His wounds, through the sorrow thou didst have when thou didst see Him wounded, through the fountains of His blood, through all His passion, through all the sorrow of thy heart, and through the fountains of thy tears, I beseech thee along with all the saints and elect of God.
| Venias et festines in auxilium et consilium meum. In omnibus orationibus et requisitis meis. Et in omnibus angustiis et in necessitatibus meis et in omnibus rebus illis in quibus ego sum facturus, locuturus, aut cogitaturus omnibus diebus ac noctibus, horis, atque momentis vitae meae. Et in famulo tuo impetres a dilecto Filio complementum omni misericordia et consolatione, omni consilio, omni auxilio et omni adiutorio, omni benedictione et sanctificatione, omni salvatione, pace et prosperitate, omni gaudio et alacritate, etiam abundantiam omnium bonorum spiritualium et corporalium et gratiam Spiritus Sancti qui me bene per omnia disponat, animam meam custodiat, corpus regat, sensus erigat, mores componat, actus probet, vota et desideria mea proficiat, cogitationes sanctas instituat, praeterita mala indulgeat, praesentia emendet, futura moderetur, vitam honestam et honorabilem mihi tribuat. Et victoriam contra omnes adversitates huius mundi, beatam pacem spiritualem et corporalem mihi tribuat. Bonam spem, caritatem fidem castitatem humilitatem et patientiam. Et quinque sensus corporis mei regat et protegat, septem opera misericordiae complere me faciat, duodecim articulos fidei1 et decem praecepta legis firmiter credere et tenere me faciat. Et a septem peccatis mortalibus me liberet et defendat usque in finem vitae meae.
|| Come and hasten to my aid and counsel, in all my prayers and requests, in all my difficulties and necessities, and in all those things that I may do, may say, or may think, in every day, hour, and moment of my life. And obtain for me, thy servant, from thy beloved Son a full measure filled with all mercy and consolation, with all counsel, with all aid and help, with all blessing and holiness, with all salvation, peace and prosperity, with all joy and eagerness. Obtain also an abundance of all good things, spiritual and bodily, and the grace of the Holy Spirit so He may set all things in good order for me, guard my soul, guide my body, uplift my senses, control my ways, approve my actions, perfect my wishes and desires, instill holy thoughts, forgive my past evils, emend those of the present and temper those in the future, and grant me an honest and honorable life. May He grant me victory over all the adversities of this world, peace of mind and body, good hope, charity, faith, chastity, humility and patience. May He guide and protect the five senses of my body, make me fulfill the seven works of mercy, make me keep the ten commandments and make me firmly believe the twelve articles of the faith1. May He keep me free and defend me from the seven deadly sins until the end of my life.
| Et in novissimis diebus meis ostende mihi faciem tuam. Et annunties mihi dies et hora obitus mei. Et hanc orationem meam supplicem suscipias et exaudias. Et vitam aeternam mihi tribuas. Audi et exaudi me dulcissime Virgo Maria, Mater Dei et misericordiae. Amen.
|| In my last days show unto me thy face. Show me the day and hour of my death. Hear and graciously listen to my humble prayer and grant me eternal life. O most sweet Virgin Mary, Mother of God and of mercy, hear and answer me. Amen.
|1 The 12 articles are the twelve statements of the Apostle's Creed.|