Growing in Holiness Series: The Angelus prayer centres Joaquin’s day on God

By Jordan Grantham, 3 April 2018
Joaquin Reyes is devoted to the Angelus Prayer. Image: Supplied.

The Growing in Holiness article series shares the stories of Catholics in the Diocese of Parramatta who are striving to grow in holiness through the means provided by the heritage of the Catholic Church.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states in paragraph 2013: “All Christians in any state or walk of life are called to the fullness of Christian life and to the perfection of charity.” (LG 40 § 2) All are called to holiness: “Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Mt 5:48)

Joaquin Reyes is a young man belonging to Our Lady of the Angels Parish, Rouse Hill. He is a structural engineer, winning the UNSW University Medal in 2014 and finds praying the Angelus is a wonderful way to remind him of God’s presence and receive His grace in those moments of prayer.

Joaquin aspires to start a family, and ultimately, to make it to Heaven.

The Angelus is a short series of prayer responses with a long and revered history, practiced at least since the 13th century. Joaquin first learnt it from his family in the Philippines, where the prayer was even played over shopping centre speakers.

“The Angelus highlights the Incarnation of the Son of God, and the co-redeeming role of Mary, the Mother of God,” Joaquin said.

It draws on the mysteries of the Annunciation and the Incarnation found in the Gospel of St Luke.

The Angelus developed from the devotion of praying three Hail Marys. It can be prayed individually or in a group, often before an image or statues of Our Lady, as such:

“Leader: The Angel of the LORD declared unto Mary

Group: And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.

Leader: Hail Mary, full of grace; the LORD is with thee: blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Group: Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.

Leader: Behold the handmaid of the LORD.

Group: Be it done unto me according to thy word.

Leader: Hail Mary, full of grace; the LORD is with thee: blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Group: Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.

Leader:  And the Word was made flesh. [All people kneeling]

Group: And dwelt among us.

Leader: Hail Mary, full of grace; the LORD is with thee: blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Group: Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.

Leader: Pray for us, O’ Holy Mother of God.

Group: That we might be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Leader: Let us pray,

All: Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O LORD, Thy grace into our hearts; that, we, to whom the Incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.”

It is traditionally said at 6 am, noon and 6 pm. It can also be sung – see the video below.

The Angelus can be offered for any intention.

“My day can be pretty busy and I’m usually ‘in the zone’ focused on work. The Angelus is a great way to break up the day, remind myself why I am working, and re-offer my work up to God.”

Joaquin is conscious of the need to grow in faith and holiness throughout daily life.

“It’s important that Christians be mindful of living their faith 24/7,” he said.

“That doesn’t necessarily mean literally saying prayers every minute of the day.”

Devotions form a rich part of Catholic life and practicing them helps devote each day to God.

“Interspersing devotions like the Angelus into one’s routine can be a wonderful aid towards that constant presence of God and bringing God into each moment of the day,” Joaquin said.

“The world would be just that much better a place if we prayed more and let that prayer transform our behaviour.”

 

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