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Ginny Kubitz Moyer Answers:
Many people ask their family and friends to pray for them during difficult times. Catholics believe that Mary will pray for us, too, if we ask. In the Hail Mary prayer, when we say, “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death,” we are asking Mary to intercede for us not just throughout our lives but also at the time of our death. The deathbed prayers are important because that’s our last chance to make our peace with God in this life. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “Death is the end of man’s earthly pilgrimage, of the time of grace and mercy which God offers him so as to work out his earthly life in keeping with the divine plan, and to decide his ultimate destiny.” (CCC 1013) Thus, we ask Mary to pray that we exit this world with a loving heart and a clean conscience, so that nothing holds us back from spending an eternity with God.