Lovely Lady Dressed in Blue
When I was four years old I was able to recite this poem my mother taught me:
Lovely Lady dressed in blue, teach me how to pray
God was just your little boy tell me what to say.
Did you lift him up sometimes, gently on your knee?
Did you sing to him the way mother does to me?
Did you hold his hand at night, and did you ever try
telling him stories of the world, oh, and did he cry?
Do you really think he cares of I tell him things?
Little things that happen and do the angels wings make a noise
Can he hear me if I speak low, does he understand me now
Tell me for you know.
Lovely lady dressed in blue teach me how to pray
God was just your little boy and you know the way.
(Written by Mary Dixon Thayer)
The wonder of a child at Mary, the Mother of God. This poem has followed me all through my life and continues to fill me with wonder and the questions it asks. It has been my favorite prayer throughout my life. This poem was made popular in the 1950s by Bishop Fulton Sheen though written in 1926 by Mary Dixon Thayer, and has been made into several songs.
Raphael's Madonna Foligno
Mary was a young girl when the angel told her, "Blessed is the fruit of thy womb." How scared and excited she must have been! Then of course there was Joseph. I know an angel visited him as well but he must have been really torn. Here's his virgin bride-to-be pregnant by no man but God. It had to be a little hard to swallow. But Joseph was a man and a gentleman and he accepted God's will and his beautiful Mary.
Their years together were peaceful for the most part. There was the time when Jesus was a boy, lost in the temple; he was off teaching while they were looking for him. That had to be really scary for both of them and when they found him he told them he was about his father's business. Another jolt to two holy but ordinary people.
Everyone knows the story of Jesus adult life and throughout it all, there was Mary right up until the end. Always by his side.
As Catholics we believe Mary is the Mother of God, the Mother of our Savior Jesus Christ. But there is more to Mary than just some far off deity like mother. She was a real mother, the mother of Jesus.
Was she dressed in blue? I don't think there's any historical proof but throughout history artists have painted her in blue and statues have depicted her in blue. Bartolome Esteban Murillo among many others, painted Mary in blue as a very young girl in his "Childhood of the Virgin." In Antonella da Messina's painting, "The Annunciation", he too paints her in blue, as does Raphael in his paintings. Most statues we see of Mary show her wearing either a blue veil or a blue dress. She has always been the "Lovely Lady dressed in blue", depicted that way throughout history.
Teach Me How to Pray
"Teach me how to pray" Throughout history to the present day there have been recordings of Mary's apparitions. Not all are sanctioned by the Church but many are. In particular her visitation at Fatima in 1917. Here Mary told us to do penance and pray for the conversion of Russia. She told the children to pray the rosary daily. Our Lady appeared to St. Dominic and Blessed Alan de la Roche and gave them fifteen promises for those who pray the rosary. She told Dominic to have priests kindle a love of the rosary.
The rosary is a meditation of the life of Christ and Mary has told us to pray the rosary, that is how she answers "teach me how to pray."
"Pray, little children, and open your heart to God’s love, but you cannot if you do not pray. Therefore, pray, pray, pray. Thank you for having responded to my call." One of Our Ladies messages at Medjugorje, September 25, 2004.
The rest of this lovely poem brings us closer to Mary by seeing her as a mother like any other, asking her questions a child would ask. We begin by asking her to tell us what to say to her son and then ask her questions about her relationship with her son. "Do you lift him up sometimes, gently on your knee? Do you sing to him the way mother does to me?" Questions a child might ask another child's mother. Do you treat him the way my mother treats me? You want to know if she holds his hand at night when he might be afraid...does she tell "him stories of the world" maybe Jack in the Beanstalk or Rapunzel? Stories your mother would tell you.
Oh, and asking about the angels wings! How normal for a child. Wouldn't a child want to know if angels' wings make a noise? After all, how would we know? It sure would be cool to find out. And if he knows all things, "can he hear me when I speak low?" So, if I whisper, can he understand me?
Asking Mary to teach us how to pray is something Catholics have been doing in their own way for ages. We have been asking Mary to lead us to Jesus. This little prayer just puts those questions into a child's perspective that knows she has the answers and shows hope she will give them to us. This prayer has carried me through my life and is a part of my devotion to Mary.
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Lovely Lady Dressed in Blue Song
Brenda Eble on November 26, 2019:
That was my favorite poem all through my life.
Edwin Alcantara from California on April 12, 2019:
Great article. Coming from a country where we refer to her as Mama Mary, I can very much relate to Mary as a mother.
Bernadette Vischjager on August 18, 2018:
What a lovely prayer . Glad i found this prayer .
Shyron E Shenko from Texas on July 30, 2017:
Mary, now you know the answers to all your questions, I am sure you have you wings.
Blessings to you, wherever you are.
Mary Craig (author) from New York on September 13, 2016:
Mary, my name is Mary too and has kept me close to Our Lady my whole life. I believe she hears our prayers.
Joseph, I love your interpretation. Thank you for sharing.
Joseph Ebedmelech from Nigeria on September 12, 2016:
The Catholic Church is a nation evolved into a nation called Mary. Catholics were like children in the womb of Mary because they were contained in the body of Christ. This means that when Mary gave birth to Jesus, all Catholics who are contained in the body of Christ were born. This explains clearly why the Catholics emphasize on the mother Mary.
Mary Ann Sweeney on July 26, 2016:
I learned this from my Mother at an early age. To lull them to sleep, I would sing this to every young child I babysat for as a teenager, and then continued to sing it to my 4 children. Then, I sang it to my 3 Granddaughters. Unfortunately, I cannot travel over 320 miles to sing this to my 2 Great Grandchildren, but I still pray it every day. I offer every prayer I say for the Intentions of Our Blessed Mother (hard sometimes, not to be specific, but I believe She knows what to do)! BTW, my maiden name is "Mary (Ann) Dixon...God bless you and all those you pray for...
Mary Craig (author) from New York on August 26, 2014:
I can't believe I missed your comment! So glad this prayer is spreading!
Bec on June 27, 2014:
My friend Veronica had me search out this prayer, she is handing out copies in St Anthony's Scotland Rd Liverpool, in thanks for all Our Lady does for us. Thank you
Mary Craig (author) from New York on June 15, 2013:
More's the pity guest, prayer is prayer!
guest on June 14, 2013:
Why the picture of muslims praying? Islam is a Catholic heresy! I was just about to post your poem and this has spoiled it! Pity.
Mary Craig (author) from New York on May 03, 2013:
Thanks brent...it would be cool if the whole world could!
brent7750 on May 02, 2013:
Cool Poem, It is beautiful.
It would be cool if you could learn from Mary and Jesus!
Mary Craig (author) from New York on September 09, 2012:
Thanks Elle...I know it's at least 62 years old ;)
ElleBee on September 08, 2012:
I'd never heard this poem before, but it is lovely, I quite like it.
Mary Craig (author) from New York on March 10, 2012:
Thank you itakins, it has been precious to me for decades.
itakins from Irl on March 10, 2012:
This is beautiful - and very sweet.Thank you,I am thrilled to have it.
Mary Craig (author) from New York on February 02, 2012:
Shimmering it was always one of my favorites especially since I was named Mary! Thanks for stopping by.
Dawn on February 02, 2012:
Beautiful poem and thoughts here! I thought I recognized that poem form somewhere..thanks for bringing it all back to me... I had forgotten this poem I once said too as a child.. I think my father taught me .. not so sure :) Have a blessed day! Shalom!
Mary Craig (author) from New York on September 27, 2011:
Thanks Moonlake. How much you must've taught your son to make him so interested in Mary, Jesus and the angels!
moonlake from America on September 27, 2011:
Beautiful poem loved this hub.
When our son was little he would always say "I want to go to Bethlehem to be with Jesus."
He must have ask a dozen questions about Mary, Jesus and angels.
Mary Craig (author) from New York on September 08, 2011:
Thanks joejagodensky! How lucky you were to be in her house. Three blue outfits, just goes to show.
joejagodensky from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on September 08, 2011:
Beautiful reflection on the birthday of Mary. I was in Ephesus and walked through "Mary's House." My joke was that I saw three blue outfits hanging in the closet. Thanks for the thoughtful presentation.