Paul Cezanne, An old woman with a rosary (1895), National Gallery

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.

Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, mother of God,

pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.  Amen.


Hail Mary, full of grace, help me.

Pray for me a sinner for I know I’ve done wrong.

I know you understand, being a woman and all.

You know what it’s like to have a son,

a son who’s a worry, a son who brings you grief.

You know.


Hail Mary, full of grace, hear me.

It’s my boy.  It’s about my boy.

He’s such a worry to me.

Wayward and if there’s trouble anywhere, he’ll find it.

I’ve tried everything.

And I’m getting too old for this nonsense.

Look at me, Mary.

I shouldn’t have to be putting up with this worry at my age.


Hail Mary, full of grace, give me grace.

Give me the grace to bear it.

Give me the grace that you have in abundance.

Spare me just some of that grace, I pray.

I know I’m not perfect myself.

I’ve done wrong, I know that.

But I’ve done nothing compared to him.

I tried to bring him up right just as you did.


But it didn’t stop your heartbreak, did it?

Perhaps it always ends in tears.


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