A favorite prayer of the Daughters of Charity

by | Mar 19, 2015 | Daughters of Charity, Formation

maryandelizabeth2”Most Holy Virgin, I believe and confess,,,” has long been a favorite prayer of the Daughters of Charity but few know its origin and history…

Now available in English translation for the first time in the Vincentian Encyclopedia Antonio Orcajo, CM writes in The Prayer: ”Most Holy Virgin, I believe and confess”

 …”In 1960 while praying the Rosary with the Daughters of Charity in the former Colegio La Milagrosa in Leon, I heard for the first time this beautiful prayer in honor of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary: Most Holy Virgin, I believe and confess your holy and Immaculate Conception, pure and without stain; O most pure Virgin, through your virginal purity, your Immaculate conception, your glorious prerogative of Mother of God, obtain for me from your Divine Son humility, charity, great purity of heart, mind and body, holy perseverance in my dear vocation, the gift of prayer, a good life and a happy death. Amen . [1]

“I recall my amazement as I listened to this prayer that was recited between the mysteries of the Rosary. That prayer sounded so beautiful and complete in its spiritual content and in the manner in which its content was expressed … a content and a form that has remained substantially unchanged except for some minor details which are found in the 1995 publication that appeared in English. Since 1960 I have had the opportunity to listen to this prayer recited by Daughters from many different countries throughout the world (this was especially true when I preached retreats for the Daughters).

“It never occurred to me to investigate its origins, that is, the “why” and “when” the Daughters of Charity began to invoke the Virgin Mother of God and our Mother with the title of her immaculate conception.”

The article first presents the history that surrounds this prayer. Several theories are explored and then refuted and the conclusion is that this prayer can be dated to 1826 a time when we discover the first redaction that is now preserved in the archives of the Daughters of Charity in Paris.

The second part of this presentation focuses on the greeting and then on the seven requests. The double greeting which is found at the beginning of this prayer is compared to the double greeting of the angel Gabriel at the time of the Annunciation. The seven primary requests refer to those urgent needs of all the Daughters of Charity. It has been said that this prayer presents a synthesis of the spirit and the mission of the Daughters of Charity and the manner in which Father Orcajo presents his research into this matter we can begin to understand why this prayer has endured for so many years and why so many Daughters refer to this as their favorite prayer.