"Blessed art thou amongst women"


In the New Testament, Luke 1:26-38 relates the visitation of the Angel Gabriel, sent by God to inform Mary that she is to be the mother of his son, Jesus.  Gabriel greets Mary with the words:

Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

The Ave Maria, or Hail Mary, is a prayer which asks for the intercession of the holy Virgin Mary. Catholics repeat this prayer ten times when reciting the Rosary.