The month of May is almost here! This is the month in which the Church has long dedicated to Mary, the Mother of God. During May Catholics offer the Virgin Mother more fervent and loving acts of homage and veneration in their churches and their homes; and it is the month in which a greater abundance of God’s merciful gifts comes down to us from our Mother’s throne.
The practice of honoring Mary has been especially promoted by the popes and can find it’s origin dating back to about the 13th Century. May 1st has long been seen as the height of Spring where Spring is in it’s fullest beauty where nature is renewing itself once again. In her way, Mary gave new life to the world when she gave birth to our Savior Jesus Christ.
The month of Mary is a powerful incentive to more frequent and fervent prayers, and because our petitions more readily find access to her compassionate heart during it. Here are 5 ways you can honor Mary this month.
- Start a New Devotion
- Share a Marian Meal
- Marian Consecration
The most well-known prayer for Mary is the Hail Mary. The Rosary is a series of prayers that Mary gave St. Dominic. Praying the Rosary means we contemplate the life of Jesus and ask Mary to intercede on our behalf. Praying the rosary is a beautiful devotion and commitment. Ask Mary for her prayers and intercession by including the Hail Mary or another Marian prayer into your daily prayer time.
Start a New Devotion
There are many devotions to Mary that you can employ into your spiritual life. The supreme being the rosary, but lesser known devotions include: the Our Lady of Sorrows Rosary, the Memorare Novena, the scapular, or the angelus.
Take a creative stab at planting a Marian Garden. This tradition began centuries ago in Europe where missionaries joined in a collective effort to plant gardens with plants named after Mary. Use a statue of Mary as your focal point and begin planting around it. Consider making a list of your favorite Mary flowers and take the time to learn about their name and meaning. A few floral options for your garden could include:
- Marigold: “Mary’s gold,” which Christians used to offer Mary instead of coins.
- Rosemary: “Mary” is in the name!
- Bleeding Heart: Mary’s heart was pierced.
- Lily of the Valley: also known as “Our Lady’s Tears.”
After planting your flowers, choose some selections to add personal meaning, such as painted rocks, pinwheels or steppingstones and watch your garden bloom!
Did you know you can consecrate yourself to Jesus through Mary. St. Louis de Montfort, a French priest who was a Dominican tertiary, popularized this project in his book True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. This is the culmination of being devoted to Mary. As he says, “we consecrate ourselves at one and the same time to Mary and to Jesus. We give ourselves to Mary because Jesus chose her as the perfect means to unite himself to us and unite us to him.” One favorite image which St. Louis de Montfort uses to describe Mary is the “mold of God”—that is to say, the form which molds us into the image of the Image who is her Son. As one Dominican friar wrote, the consecration “is a practical form of recognition of her universal mediation and a guarantee of her special protection.”
Throughout the month of May the Capuchins will bring you a series of blogs about Marian devotions.
Hail Mary full of Grace, the Lord is with thee.
Blessed are thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus.
Holy Mary Mother of God,
pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death