Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Prayer of Saint Paul the Hermit to the Mother of God

O Lady, Bride of God, radiant, clean of heart, new, undisturbed and blameless, who through your maternity united God the Word with our human nature and established a link between our fallen state and the the things of heaven:

O Mother, hope of the hopeless, help of the oppressed, ready protection of those who fly to you, and safe-haven for all Christians; do not turn away from me, filled as I am with unworthy thoughts, words and deeds, and in my laziness have become a slave to dark emotion and desire. Since you are the Mother of God, Who is the Lover of humankind, have mercy and compassion on me, a wanderer; accept my feeble prayer, and with the power of your maternity, beg your Son, my Lord and God, that He may open for me the deep well of his loving kindness, convert me to true repentance, and make me faithful to His commands.

O Mary, who are compassionate, be my constant companion. In this present life, be with me as intercessor, as a powerful help to turn away the assaults of the enemy and to guide me to an in-spirited life. At the hour of death, embrace my poor soul; keep away the dreadful sight of Satan. On the awesome day of my judgment, speak on my behalf and make me an heir of your Son's glory, through the grace and love for humankind of your Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Note: St. Paul the hermit of Egypt offered this prayer in the 4th century. The world can't understand religious language anymore, and so while retaining the full sense of the prayer, I've freshened the English translation, intending to make the thoughts more accessible for people today. 

The icon of the Vladimir Mother of God at the top of the page was painted recently by my friend, Yuri. Actually, as icons do for the eye what the gospel does for the ear, it's more fitting to say that the icon was written, not simply painted.


  1. You have done well to make this speak to me in today's vernacular. This is a prayer for all.

  2. My prayer is feeble and my soul is darkened with sin. This prayer helps me to know that the Mother of God understands. Thank you for the encouraging thoughts.

  3. And not everything that darkens my soul is sin. Faithless fears, anxieties, petty distractions, useless obsessing, having too much stuff around ... Some people think we shouldn't bring these translations into a more contemporary expression. That's like having a pretty antique museum quality chair in the living room that we can admire but are not allowed to sit on.