Spiritual Weapons: 3 Hail Marys for Purity

August 22, 2013

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty to God unto the pulling down of fortifications…” St. Paul

Every day, we face various temptations to sin. These temptations take many forms. Some of us struggle with an explosive temper, others with selfishness, others with pornography, still others with greed and materialism. By God’s grace, we must overcome these sins and put them death. Sheer will power is not enough, however.

In the spiritual combat, we need spiritual weapons, so today, I am beginning a series on supernatural instruments we can use to fight sin and grow in holiness. These weapons have been handed down to us by the great saints of the Catholic faith, and they have been tested and proven on the field of spiritual battle.

3 Hail Marys

Since today is the feast of the Queenship of Mary, I thought it would be appropriate to discuss a devotion that calls on the Queen of Heaven for aid—the practice of saying three Hail Marys each morning and before bed.

This simple yet powerful devotion was encouraged by many great saints, including St. Anthony of Padua, St. Leonard of Port-Maurice, and St. Alphonsus Liguori.

The point of the devotion is to ask Our Lady for the graces to live a holy life each and every day. Each Hail Mary is in honor of a Person of the Holy Trinity and asks for a specific grace.

In a vision given to St. Mechtilde, the Blessed Mother described the devotion in these terms:

By the first Hail Mary, you will ask me in virtue of the supreme power which God the Father has given me to strengthen you in all your combats and to defend you against the power of the malignant enemy.

By the second Hail Mary, you will beseech me, through the admirable wisdom which I have received from my Son, to let the truth shine upon your soul and to banish from it the darkness of ignorance and error.

By the third Hail Mary, you will ask me by the burning fire of love with which the Holy Spirit has inflamed me, to give you such ardent charity as will enable you to overcome the fear and struggle of death.

This devotion is an especially powerful weapon in combatting sins of lust. St. Alphonsus, one of the greatest promoters of this devotion, recommended adding the following prayer at the end: “By thy pure and Immaculate Conception, O Mary, make my body pure and my soul holy.” Another option is to pray, “Mother, keep me this day from mortal sin.”

No matter how busy we are, we can all make time for this simple, fast, and powerful devotion. It is an excellent piece of spiritual armor, and if you practice it faithfully, you will grow in holiness and find strength in your struggles against sin.

Do you have a spiritual weapon, a devotion or sacramental, that has been especially powerful in your life? Send me a message with your recommended devotions and any stories of graces you have received.

Sam Guzman


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Reader Interactions


  1. Margarito Trevino III says

    The chaplet of St. Michael the Archangel is a very traditional devotion. It’s privledges are very strong.

  2. N T Schafer says

    I pray to St. Michael (my home parish patron) and the Guardian Angel prayer for the same reasons. Thank you for sharing this devotion and starting the conversation.

  3. Venatrix says

    Every day I pray this way to Blessed Virgin, and to St. Michael, and to St. Joseph (Virginum custos et pater, Sancte Ioseph, cuius fideli custodiae ipsa Innocentia – Christus Iesus et Virgo virginum, Maria – commisa fuit; te per hoc utrumque pignus Iesum et Mariam obsecro et obtestor ut me ab omni immunditia praeservatum, mente incontaminata, puro corde et casto corpore Iesu et Mariae semper facis castissime famulari. Amen.)

  4. ed says

    I too pray to St. Michael, my guardian angel and St. Joseph, also to St Thomas Aquinas, as he was never tempted by impurity as a reward from God for resisting impure temptations.
    The best prayer we can all say on a daily basis is the Rosary!
    It is THE most powerful prayer we can say.

  5. Jessica says

    I really love the Holy Face devotion. I would hope the Catholic Gentleman do a whole blog on this devotion.

  6. Brian says

    Just wanted to thank you for this post. Lustful images had been haunting my mind for days before coming across this page. These images have completely gone away and I am very grateful. Glory be to God

  7. Lian says

    Hi, this is indeed a very interesting article. I would like to know, how did this 3 Hail Mary come to be?
    I am a supposed to be Catholic, but it seems I’m losing faith on it whole. When you mentioned temptations, lets take for example; lust, how would u define the lust you referred to? Is it excessive Lust? Or normal male and female attraction as in naturally attracted to one and another as humanly as we are curves, social stability, finance stability? Im just confused how prayers alone could control “lust’. Thanks

    • Godwin says

      Yesterday while I took my siesta I saw a man dressed in a white robe, though I only saw him from the waist down. And I understood him telling me to say 3 hail Mary’s. I had never heard of this prayer. Until I googled it and eventually came to this blog. Thank you Jesus, I promise to obey.

    • Chris DesRochers says

      Hello. I think your questions are excellent. I pray you faith, hope, and charity.

      I think a quick introduction into the vices and virtues could be found in both of these two books on the Seven Capital Sins, one by Blessed Fulton Sheen, and the second by the Sisters of Perpetual Adoration. Both available in Kindle and Paperback versions.



      Yet, I think those would just help you begin to form an idea for what lust and all the virtues are of which you would have need as we all do to pray over. Still, we aren’t done with what might help and be accessible too.

      Two examples of lust in scripture would include King David’s sin, and Two old, corrupt, and lustful judges at the end of the book of Daniel.

      http://www.usccb.org/bible/2samuel/11 and http://www.usccb.org/bible/2samuel/12 (Contemplate David’s Sin followed by his being called to repent allong with a Psalm describing the character of David’s act of repentence.) http://www.usccb.org/bible/ps/32:5#23032005

      Finally and more specficially, St. and Pope John Paul II, wrote a book called “Love and Responsibility.” It decribes the nuances of the nature of attraction and when and how it can be appropriately upheld for the good of all and when it is reduchttps://www.amazon.com/Men-Women-Mystery-Love-Responsibility-ebook/dp/B016LR2RM4/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1498689433&sr=1-2&keywords=Edward+Sri+Loveed to using others. I good introduction to that book is Edward Sri’s book found here. It will give the more details as how to understand attraction between a man and a woman in a way that more clearly answers your to your concern, is this attraction acceptable and good in the eyes of God, or is disordered, or a matter of lust.

      It happens, I’ve been told that St. Thomas Aquinas describes the distinction as to how we are attracted to what is sinful due to our, I believe, ignorance of the good. You might want to consider looking at that distinction too.

      Remain in Hope. God bless!


  1. […] 5. Consecrate yourself to Mary – Our Lady is the refuge of sinners and the hope of the guilty. She specializes in protecting and helping her children. That’s her whole job as your mother. Consecrating your life entirely to her is a powerful method for conquering the power of the devil. Do it today, and begin the practice of 3 Hail Marys for purity. […]

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