I have read that St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1091–1153) wrote the Memorare, but I have also read that it came later. Which is it?
The text ( “Remember, O most gracious virgin Mary, . . . “) is the shortened form of a longer prayer (Ad sanctitatis tuae pedes, dulcissima Virgo Maria) that comes from the 15th century. St. Francis de Sales (1567−1622) writes that he prayed it as a student in Paris.
The great popularizer of this prayer is Father Claude Bernard (1588−1641), who reportedly printed 200,000 leaflets in various languages as an aid to his ministry with prisoners. The prayer reminds us that conversion and repentance are always possible; no one is ever beyond the grace of God unless that individual refuses to surrender to divine grace.