From the Rector: May the Month of Mary

May the Month of Mary

The Catholic practice of assigning a special devotion to each month goes back to the early 16th century. Since the best known of those devotions is probably the dedication of May as the month of the Blessed Virgin Mary, it might come as a surprise that it wasn’t until the late 18th century that this devotion arose among Jesuits in Rome. In the early years of the 19th century, it quickly spread throughout the Western Church, and, by the time of Pope Pius IX’s declaration of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception in 1854, it had become universal.
May crownings and other special events in May in honor of Mary, such as public recitation of the rosary, stem from this time. Sadly, such communal events are more rare today, but we can take the month of May as an opportunity to renew our own devotion to the Mother of God by dusting off our rosaries and adding a few more Marian prayers to our daily routine.

Parents, in particular, should encourage Marian devotion in their children, since the non-Catholic Christians they encounter today often downplay (if not denigrate) the role that the Blessed Virgin played in our salvation through her fiat—her joyous “Yes” to the will of God.

Next Sunday, May 1st we will have the May Crowning of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the 11am Mass.  You are invited to bring flowers to Our Lady on that day and throughout the Month of May. 

Bring flow’rs of the fairest,
Bring flow’rs of the rarest,O Virgin most tender,
Our homage we render,
Thy love and protection,
Sweet Mother, to win;
In danger defend us,
In sorrow befriend us,
And shield our hearts
From contagion and sin. (Chorus)

Of Mothers the dearest,
Oh, wilt thou be nearest,
When life with temptation
Is darkly replete?
Forsake us, O never!
Our hearts be they ever
As Pure as the lilies
We lay at thy feet. (Chorus)

From garden and woodland
And hillside and vale;
Our full hearts are swelling,
Our glad voices telling
The praise of the loveliest
Rose of the vale.

Chorus:
O Mary! we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May,
O Mary! we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May.

Our voices ascending,
In harmony blending,
Oh! Thus may our hearts turn
Dear Mother, to thee;
Oh! Thus shall we prove thee
How truly we love thee,
How dark without Mary
Life’s journey would be. (Chorus)

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