Teaching the Memorare with Pictographs

UPDATEDER: It’s now almost a year later, and we all still know the Memorare.  Yay, Pictographs!

UPDATE: It’s now one week later and we all pretty much have it memorized.  I still have the board up and Pip (6), most of all, loves to sit at the table and say the prayer; it’s become his favorite.  This has definitely worked for us – thanks be to God.

We have been needing to learn the Memorare for a long time. As a Catholic homeschooler, I’m embarrassed to admit that I didn’t yet know it by heart. My soul had about had it with that situation, and I woke up this morning with the resolve that Today Was The Day!

The Holy Spirit, being perfect in all things, gave me just what I needed to teach this: the idea of using pictographs to illustrate the main sections of this short (but powerful!) prayer.  On the white board, I wrote out the first half of the prayer, leaving plenty of drawing space in between the lines (it worked out to be three lines per half). Then we worked together to decide what symbols went with each particular section and I drew that symbol right underneath the section. I also redrew the symbols on the lower half of the board to keep the visual cues for them.

I didn’t get a picture of the first half of the prayer, but here is a picture of the second half:

PS – I’m using straight pins as tiny nails to keep the white board on the wall.  They’re small but mighty!


Here are all of the pictographs for the sections of the prayer:

Remember, O Most Gracious Virgin Mary,

Remember = thought bubble

O Most Gracious = yellow halo w/orange circle

blue “VM” = Virgin Mary


that never was it known

that never = “no” symbol

was it known = book (for things that are known)


that anyone who fled to thy protection,

that anyone = a + a picture of a knee + 1

who fled = we went with the aurally similar “flood” (house under water)

to thy protection = yellow padlock with heart-shaped keyhole (holy, loving protection)


implored thy help,

implored = beggar’s tin cup

thy help = a red cross


or sought thine intercession

or sought = magnifying glass

thine intercession = prayer hands (crossed thumbs with straight fingers)


was left unaided.

was left = L

unaided = a red cross inside a black “no” symbol


Inspired by this Confidence, I fly unto thee,

Inspired by this Confidence = a yellow light bulb with a capital “C” as the filament

I fly unto thee = an eye with stick birds for eyelashes


O Virgin of Virgins, my Mother;

O = same halo with orange “O”

Virgin of virgins, = blue “V” for Virgin and small white “v” inside halo

my Mother; = “M” made out of pink hearts


to thee do I come,

to thee = number “2”

do = a dew drop

I come = a stoplight with only green filled in (“arriving” or “traveling”)


before thee I stand,

before thee = a bee with a number “4”

I stand = stick figure standing

sinful and sorrowful.

sinful = black heart <bleah!>

and sorrowful = sad and crying green face


O Mother of the Word Incarnate,

O Mother = purple “O” around the pink heart “M”

of the Word = dotted “W” in a solid line box

(If I had it to do over again, I’d make this a Chi Rho on the cover of a book)

Incarnate = n + followed by a car with an “n” + the number “8”


despise not my petitions,

despise = mad, red face

not = red “no” symbol

my petitions = a stack of petitions with a green check box


but in thy mercy, hear and answer me.

but in thy mercy = borrowed the mercy symbol from Divine Mercy (no, we know that Mary isn’t Divine : )

hear and answer me. = a question mark inside an ear



Amen. = “a +” and a little crowd of men


I hope this helps explain this lesson.  Please share your ideas and improvements if you try this with your own children!


Jennifer +


12 Responses to Teaching the Memorare with Pictographs

  1. Donna Marie says:

    this is cute!
    I really like the little men…:o)

  2. Nissa says:

    Cool beans! I love pictographs – that’s how I taught my first two math!

  3. meredith says:

    I’m glad to be in good company in not knowing this prayer. It’s on my list for first thing this new year. Thx for the pictograph idea. You’re such a good mama; lucky boys!

  4. Nissa says:

    Yes, be careful with those pictographs. I wish my smarties weren’t quite so smart some days. They make their mum-mum look like a dumb-dumb. IYKWIM.

    Our priest mentioned on the Feast of the Mother of God that it was written by St. Bernard of Clairvaux – a Cistercian monk. Serendipity! I’m studying the Cistercians right now. V. cool.

  5. Jennifer says:

    SBC? Oh my WOW! Any essential SBC reading to start learning more about him?

  6. Nissa says:

    Oh there is SO much. If you put his name in at any online book store, you’re going to get a slew of results. He is a Doctor of the Church. Probably best to begin with a collection of writings. I’m reading “Waters of Siloe” by Merton. I’ve been reading a lot by Merton lately, so Bernard’s name comes up a lot.

    I’m hoping for some titles for Easter.

  7. Really Good Articles/posts that you have on this site. Thanks

  8. Allison says:

    How clever!

    Seeing the prayer this way makes it hard to forget!

  9. What a neat way to learn a beautiful classic prayer!
    Do you think you could link this here: http://www.iblogjesus.com/p/favorite-prayer-share.html
    That’s my little blog that I don’t talk much about. =) I know the Memorare is already in there, but I like your approach!

    Anyway…I like your writing style and look forward to following you.
    Thanks for linking up to the Catholic Bloggers Network. i hope that it will be a great network and resource to all of us Catholic bloggers!
    Please post one of our buttons if you get a chance and spread the word. Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: