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"chaire kecharitomene"
Question from L. Juergensen on 5/5/2003:

Fr. Echert,

My research into the Greek "chaire kecharitomene" in Luke 1:28 indicates that linguistically it properly is rendered in English as "Hail, full of grace!"

Due to recent posts from Geraldo questioning this traditional Catholic rendering, I present below a brief analysis of the meaning of "chaire kecharitomene." Please advise if and where it strays!

God bless,

L. Juergensen

“chaire kecharitomene”

“chaire” - Means "hail” or “rejoice”

"charis" – Means “grace”

"charitoo" – Greek verb ending in omicron omega (“oo”) means to put the person or thing into the state indicated by the root. The root being "charis" or “grace,” "charitoo" means “to put into a state of "grace.”

"ke" – Greek perfect tense prefix indicates a perfected, completed present state as a result of past action. Thus, a perfected, completed present state of "charis," or “grace,” as a result of past action.

"mene" – Greek passive participle suffix indicates action performed on subject by another. Thus, a perfected, completed present state of "charis," or “grace,” as a result of the past action of another. As the speaker is the angel Gabriel, the "other" is God.

Therefore, "chaire kecharitomene" means: “Hail, who has been perfectly and completely graced by God.” The common Catholic rendering, "full of grace," while good, may actually fall short!

Answer by Fr. John Echert on 5/6/2003:

Thanks much for this careful and scholarly analysis, which I am happy to post for our readers.

Father Echert

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