Day 33 of the 54-Day Novena: Glorious Mysteries in Thanksgiving

The Memorare – VL189


“Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary …”

Easter Monday 2018

Dear Friend of our Lady,

Enclosed is a recent reprint of a prayer card in bookmark format originally sent by Our Lady’s apostolate to supporters years ago. It contains one of the more popular and best-known Catholic prayers in supplication to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The title, Memorare, is from the Latin for “remember”. The prayer on the bookmark is from the Raccolta and is the shortened version of the prayer indulgenced by Blessed Pope Pius IX in 1846. These words are also found in the original longer version.

This beautiful prayer is known to have been in existence for more than 500 years, but its author is unknown. It is often wrongly attributed to the 12th-century monk, Saint Bernard of Clairvaux (an error arising from the fact that it was widely popularized by another Bernard — Father Claude Bernard — in the 17th Century).

Saint Francis de Sales, after many trials in his day — one of them over predestination in the Catholic sense versus the heretical sense — called upon Our Lady for assistance through the prayer of the Memorare, which he began praying daily.

During the time of that battle between Catholic and Calvinist scholars over predestination, the future saint feared the eternal loss of his soul.

Through the prayer of the Memorare, he credited Our Lady with saving him in that time of great trial, from falling into heresy or the unforgivable sin of despair. He said the prayer daily and She did not leave him unaided.

Father Claude Bernard, mentioned above and known as the “Poor Priest”, was responsible for making the prayer known on a wider scale. He dedicated himself to the preaching to, and aiding of, prisoners and criminals condemned to death, as well as to the poor.

Trusting those in his care to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title of Consolatrix Afflictorum or Comforter of the Afflicted, Father Bernard used the Memorare extensively in his work of conversion of souls with great effect. Many of the criminals he led to Our Lady were reconciled to God through his efforts.

At one time he had more than 200,000 leaflets printed with the Memorare in various languages so he could distribute the leaflets wherever he felt they would do some good – no small feat in the 1600s.

Father Bernard’s attachment to, and belief in, the efficacy of this prayer was attributed to his miraculous cure from a deadly illness after reciting the prayer just once.

Initially after his cure, feeling unworthy of such a miracle, he began attributing his cure instead, to natural causes. But Our Lady set him straight when She sent Brother Fiacre, a discalced Augustinian, to visit and deliver a message to the priest.

Brother Fiacre told Father Bernard that the Blessed Virgin had appeared to him and told him of Father’s illness and how She had cured Father Bernard of it, and that Brother Fiacre was to assure the priest of this fact.

Subsequently, Father Bernard conveyed his shame for his ingratitude in denying Our Lady of the credit for healing him that She so deserved by attributing it instead to natural causes, and appealed to almighty God asking His forgiveness.

It is also reported that the Memorare played a part in the conversion of the wealthy Jew, Alphonse Ratisbonne, who converted to the Catholic Faith after accepting the dare of a Catholic acquaintance, agreeing to wear the Miraculous Medal and recite the prayer for a month. After his conversion, Ratisbonne studied and became a Catholic priest.

In promoting this prayer, as with all other Catholic prayers, it is good to remind others that it is not a guarantee that one’s request will be granted, but rather that Heaven will hear the prayer and respond in the manner most efficacious for the petitioner’s eternal salvation.

The Current Crisis in Church and World History

There can no longer be any doubt that we live in the time of the worst crisis in the history of Our Lord’s one true Church, with millions of Catholics being led down the road to perdition by, among other things, the words of the Vicar of Christ himself – i.e. the current Pope – Francis.

This decline in the Catholic Church has caused, and continues to cause, a like crisis in the world, which is most evident by the prevalent anti-Christ laws already in place world-wide, along with the accelerating moral decay and collapse.

It is the time Our Lady of Fatima warned about and gave the solution for. And the Rosary is an essential part of that solution.

It is absolutely imperative that every Catholic — who has reached the age of reason and who is of sound mind and body – who truly wants to be saved, pray at least five decades of the Rosary daily, and preferably all 15 mysteries. Without the Rosary, salvation is virtually impossible today.

The Church has always considered the daily praying of the Rosary as a sign of predestination, but Our Lady of Fatima made it clear 101 years ago that the faithful absolutely must pray the Rosary.

So please, there are many wonderful Church-approved devotions, but NOTHING can take the place of the most holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is THE most efficacious form of prayer, second only to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

And by the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, I am referring to the Mass of the centuries, not the protestant-like service that is, and has been, taking place over the last nearly 50 years in what are supposed to be Catholic parishes.

After praying your daily Rosary, if you have an extra minute, add the Memorare. The Fatima Center receives phone calls from all across North America and emails and postal mail from around the world. It seems as if there are no Catholics who are not without a multitude of problems in their families and personal lives in general, as well as in their work environment. It is likely that you are encountering and hearing the same.

We know directly from Our Lady of Fatima Herself, that only She can help us. We must do our best to teach others about Her and these precious gifts She has given to us, specifically to help us in combating all the evils we are encountering, and that are occurring in Christ’s Church and in our own personal lives.

For more copies of The Memorare bookmark, call us at 1-800-263-8160 or 1-800-845-3047 or email

In the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts,

Joanna Swords


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