May is the Month of Mary

Photo: United States Public Domain, Wikipedia
Since the 19th century, May has been the month of Mary, Mother of Jesus, Mother of the Church. One of the earliest Marian prayers comes from the 3rd century Coptic Orthodox liturgy and contains the text, “Beneath your compassion, we take refuge.” Last Friday, May 1, bishops across the United States and Canada joined to re-consecrate our nations, dioceses, parishes and homes to our Blessed Mother. During this ceremony, Mary was called upon by her traditional titles: Health of the Sick, Mother of Consolation, Help of Christians, Queen and Mother of Mercy, Seat of Wisdom and Mother of Good Counsel, to intercede for us, her children for refuge, protection, guidance and solace. As Bishop Marc Trudeau, the Auxiliary of Los Angeles put it so well, “When things are not normal,’ children always run to their mother. How wonderful to have a mother like Mary!”
 
We remember that it was Mary who, at the Wedding at Cana gave the simple order to the servants to ‘do whatever he asks of you.’ The blessing of abundant wine in the Gospel is a mirror of the promise of abundant life that Jesus intends for us, his sheep. Mary’s role in helping gather the flock throughout the centuries is part of our family history. Our frequent rosaries are Mary’s way of calming us, her children, in these unnormal times and reminding us to set our eyes on the Good Shepherd, her Son and our Lord.
 
Through the intercession of our Blessed Mother, may we come to cherish each other as brother and sister, follow her Son more closely and be grateful for the normal things in our lives. and may those normal times return soon! Amen.

As the Mother of God, the Virgin Mary has a unique position among the saints, indeed, among all creatures. She is exalted, yet still one of us.

Redeemed by reason of the merits of her Son and united to Him by a close and indissoluble tie, she is endowed with the high office and dignity of being the Mother of the Son of God, by which account she is also the beloved daughter of the Father and the temple of the Holy Spirit. Because of this gift of sublime grace she far surpasses all creatures, both in heaven and on earth. At the same time, however, because she belongs to the offspring of Adam she is one with all those who are to be saved.  (Lumen Gentium, no. 53)

Mary embraces God’s will and freely chooses to cooperate with God’s grace, thereby fulfilling a crucial role in God’s plan of salvation. Throughout the centuries, the Church has turned to the Blessed Virgin in order to come closer to Christ. Many forms of piety toward the Mother of God developed that help bring us closer to her Son. In these devotions to Mary, “while the Mother is honored, the Son, through whom all things have their being and in whom it has pleased the Father that all fullness should dwell, is rightly known, loved and glorified and . . . all His commands are observed.” The Church honors her as the Mother of God, looks to her as a model of perfect discipleship, and asks for her prayers to God on our behalf.

Frequently Asked Questions about Mary

The month of May includes special devotions organized on each day throughout the month, to honor the Blessed Virgin, Mother of God.

  • Daily recitation of the Rosary
  • Erect a special May altar or “prayer corner” in your home, with a statue or picture of Mary — you are welcome to print this photo
  • Crown the statue of Mary during May – participate in the “May Crowning” by making a crown using beautiful materials from around your home

Letter from Pope Francis 

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The month of May is approaching, a time when the People of God express with particular intensity their love and devotion for the Blessed Virgin Mary.  It is traditional in this month to pray the Rosary at home within the family.  The restrictions of the pandemic have made us come to appreciate all the more this “family” aspect, also from a spiritual point of view. For this reason, I want to…

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