Quenya 

aia maría

Aia María

Tolkien’s translation of the Ave Maria prayer into Quenya, composed sometime in the 1950s (VT43/7), first published in the “Words of Joy (Part One)” article in Vinyar Tengwar #43. There are four versions of the prayer, labeled by Tolkien I-IV (VT43/26-8). These revisions were apparently in two phases: I-II and III-IV (VT43/5-6).

The version presented here is based on version IV (VT43/28) with a one minor change: the word for fruit is written yávë (as it is in version III) instead of yave (version IV), since this is the more common form of this word elsewhere in Tolkien’s writing. Tolkien did not provide an English translation of the prayer; following the editors of the “Words of Joy” article, I used the modern English translation of the prayer used by Catholics (VT43/35).

Further discussion of the textual history can be found in the analysis of the individual phrases. My analysis largely follows that of the “Aia María” section (VT43/26-36) of the “Words of Joy” article, though I also consulted Helge Fauskanger’s analysis of the prayer in his “Lord’s Prayer and Ave Maria” article.


Aia María quanta Eruanno“Hail Mary, full of grace”
i Héru aselyë“the Lord is with thee”
aistana elyë imíca nísi“blessed art thou amongst women”
ar aistana i yávë mónalyo Yésus“and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus”
Airë María Eruo ontaril“Holy Mary, Mother of God”
á hyamë rámen úcarindor“pray for us sinners”
sí ar lúmessë ya firuvammë: násië“now and at the hour of our death: Amen”