The Hail Mary is a prayer that has been used by Catholics since approximately 1050. The Hail Mary is composed of quotes from the Gospel of Luke and statements composed by Catholic authorities.
The first occurrence of a prayer of similar structure to the Hail Mary dates back to an 1184 writing by the Archbishop of Canterbury. The prayer was later modified by Pope Urban IV and John XXII. The modern version of the Hail Mary was first used in the 16th century.
The Hail Mary is one of the most important prayers in the Catholic rosary. It is recited at least once in the morning, once in the afternoon and once at night by Catholics who observe the Angelus prayers. Other Catholics recite the Hail Mary more frequently than others.