August Queen prayer
In addition to the Lord’s Prayer which is well known, we also rely upon the special prayer dictated by the Blessed Virgin Mary to a holy priest for us to pray for the defeat of Satan, and the fulfilment of the promise within the Lord’s Prayer (‘…Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven). The prayer is called ‘August Queen'
(A printable Prayer Card with this prayer is available for you to download - please click here)
This is a literal translation of the original French text of the prayer dictated by Our Lady to a soul on 13 January 1863. The prayer received the Imprimatur from the local Bishop; was recommended to the faithful by Pope Pius IX; and later indulgenced by Pope Leo XIII and also by Pope Pius X.
It is recommended to learn it by heart.
For reference, the original French version with the local Bishop's Imprimatur from 1945 is copied below:
Original French content of August Queen Prayer Card
– printed with the Imprimatur of the Bishop of Bajonne, Leo Albertus 1945
1. Please note that the gender of the visionary is described in some versions as female although Venerable Fr. Louis EdouardoCestac himself is widely understood to be the recipient of this prayer. Why the difference? Well in the written submission which Father Cestac wrote to Mgr.Lacroix, Bishop of Bayonne in 1864, he clearly refers to a female soul receiving this vision, and this is the main historical text describing what took place. However the Beatification process documents* add more light saying:- "Who was 'this simple soul, accustomed to many graces from the Most Holy Virgin?' None other than the Good Father himself." Apparently he confided that he was the visionary to the mother superior Mère Marie-Francois de Paule, who guarded the secret religiously until the death of the Venerable Father. So the mystery is solved and seemingly in an effort to anonymise himself, while being so actively involved in the distribution of 500,000 Prayer Cards and different translations, the holy priest said that it was a female soul, not himself. Father Cestac died in 1868 and his secret will have been released then, and referred to in these beatification process documents.
2. Also there are some versions of this prayer which differ slightly, which is why the printed version bearing the Imprimatur from the Bishop in 1945 is transcribed here. We have tried to be closely faithful to the original French words in modern English within this initiative. Considering that there are several versions of the prayer in both the beatification process documents and also on the historical Prayer Card copied above, with just one line arranged on different lines in some versions but the same wording - it may perhaps be considered that some of the wording of different versions is so different that it may have been deliberately modified to change the actual meaning of the words which Our Lady dictated to be addressed to her. There is no need for speculation however, since we have the original version printed clearly on the Prayer Card and also the Beatification process documents* with identical wording, though the positioning of the line addressed to the Holy Angels and Archangels varies slightly - the wording is identical. It is worth emphasising that in the printed 'Text of the Prayer:" in both first and second editions of the Beatification process documents* - 1925 and 1936, the word 'divine' as in 'divine Mère' is written with a small 'd' - Mary is not a God but a created woman, - the 'handmaid of the Lord'. Such subtle concerns may feed the mistaken viewpoint that Catholics consider Mary to be a God of some kind, and these should be carefully avoided as inaccuracies which may serve to discredit the Prayer and continue the confusion which separates the Christian Churches.
3. For the sake of further clarity, there are slightly differing dates on the internet for when this prayer was dictated by the Blessed Mother - all refer to the 13th January but some say 1863 and others that 1864 was the date of the vision. Again with reference to the ancient french Prayer Card which is in our possession, printed with the Imprimatur of the local Bishop in 1945 it clearly refers to the date of the vision as 13th January 1863. Also the Beatification process documents* state that the Prayer was received during 1863. This would also be reasonable to allow time for the prayer to be approved and distributed in anticipation of the imminent outpouring of demons in 1864 as Our Lady predicted at La Salette. (Fr. Cestac with the permission of his Bishop, did indeed distributed 500,000 prayer cards at that time). The Beatification process documents* also state that on 13th January 1864 Fr Cestac wrote to Cardinal Villecourt to ask for the blessing of the Pope for the Prayer at that time, Pius IX, which was received. Since the french Prayer Card with the local Bishop's imprimatur (above) refers to 13th January 1863 as the date of the vision; and the same date a year later is recorded as when he approached the Pope via the Cardinal, we may observe that it was on the first anniversary of the vision the holy priest approached the Pope and some may have found this confusing.
* The 'Beatification process documents' referred to above are recorded in the book: "Le vénérable Louis - Edouard Cestac, fondateur de Notre Dame du réfuge à Anglet, Sa vie - son oeuvre, d'après ses écrits et son procès de béatification.1925 Bordarrampe P." (A second edition by the same author was also printed in 1936)
Prière de la Très Sainte Vierge
Auguste Reine des cieux et maîtresse des Anges, vous qui avez reçu de Dieu le pouvoir et la mission d’écraser la tête de Satan, nous vous le demandons humblement, envoyez les légions célestes pour que sous vos ordres, elles poursuivent les démons, les combattent partout, répriment leur audace et les refoulent dans l’abîme.
Qui est comme Dieu ?
O bonne et tendre Mère, vous serez toujours notre amour et notre espérance.
O divine Mère, envoyez les Saints Anges pour me défendre et repousser loin de moi le cruel ennemi.
Saints Anges et Archanges, défendez-nous, gardez-nous.
300 jours d’indulgence (S. Pie X, 8-VI-1908)
Notre-Seigneur dit : Je suis la voie, la vérité et la vie.
Satan répond : Je suis l’abîme, le mensonge et la mort.
Le 13 janvier 1863, une âme, accoutumée aux bontés de la Très Sainte Vierge, subitement frappée comme d’un rayon de clarté divine, crut voir les démons répandus sur la terre, y causant des ravages inexprimables. En même temps l’Auguste Mère de Dieu lui dit que l’heure était venue de la prier comme Reine des Anges, et de lui demander d’envoyer les légions saintes pour combattre et terrasser les puissances de l’enfer.
« Ma mère, vous qui est si bonne, ne pourriez-vous pas les envoyer sans qu’on vous le demande ?
– Non, la prière est une condition posée par DIEU même pour l’obtention des grâces.
– Eh bien ! ma Mère, voudriez-vous m’enseigner vous-même comment il faut vous prier ? »
Et la Très Sainte Vierge lui dicta la prière Auguste Reine.
Au premier tirage les presses se brisèrent trois fois. Mais sous l’impulsion du Vénérable Père Cestac, fondateur de N.-D. du Refuge, cette prière s’est répandue dans l’univers catholique, accompagnée partout de faveurs extraordinaires.
Imprimatur : 22-VII-1945. Leo Albertus Episc, Bajonen
In English a literal translation of the ‘Notice’ reads as follows:
Prayer of the Most Holy Virgin
Our Lord said: I am the Way, the truth and the Life
Satan replies: I am the Abyss, the Lie and the Death.
On the 13th January 1863, a soul accustomed to receiving Our Lady’s bounty, was suddenly struck by a ray of divine clarity and thought she saw demons spread over the whole earth causing inexpressible harm. At the same moment the august Mother of God told her that the hour had come to pray to her as queen of angels and the ask her to send the holy legions to combat and confound the powers of hell.
“Mother, you are so good, could you not send them without being asked”
“No, God has made prayer a condition even for obtaining graces.”
“Well the Mother, would you, yourself teach me how to pray to you.”
And the Most holy Virgin dictated to her the prayer “August Queen of Angels”.
At the first printing the press broke three times. But through the impulsion of the Venerable Father Cestac, founder of Our Lady of Refuge, this prayer spread through the Catholic world, accompanied everywhere by extraordinary favours.
Leo Albertus Episc. Bajonne
(A typographical error is printed in french for the region Bayonne).