Latest Posts

From Our Little Roses

Month of Mary

May: Celebrating the Month of Mary

Today we delve into the significance of May as the “Month of Mary.” This time of the year is exceptionally special within the Catholic Church as it is dedicated to Marian devotion. Devotees and believers honor the Virgin Mary, revered not only as the Mother of God but also as the Mother of the Church. The tradition of dedicating May to the Virgin Mary offers a profound opportunity to explore her role and significance in Catholic tradition and how her life and virtues continue to inspire followers of Jesus Christ.

During this month, our reflections and celebrations focus on the deep spiritual connection that the faithful maintain with Mary. Her example of humility, obedience, and unwavering faith makes her a central figure in worship and a guiding light in the lives of many around the world. Join us as we explore the various dimensions of Marian devotion, understanding her impact not just in religious contexts but also in how she influences daily life and spiritual practices across the globe.

The History of The Month of Mary

The tradition of dedicating the month of May to the Virgin Mary has deep historical roots within the Catholic Church, reflecting a longstanding devotion to Mary, the Mother of God. Here’s a look into the history of this practice:

Ancient Origins

The connection between Mary and the month of May can be traced back to ancient times when the Greeks and Romans celebrated spring festivals dedicated to deities who represented fertility and beauty. For the Romans, this was the goddess Flora, celebrated during the Floralia festival. As Christianity spread and began to integrate into various cultural contexts, these traditional celebrations often took on Christian meanings.

Medieval Developments

The specific association of May with Mary began more distinctly in the medieval period. The practice likely started among the monastic communities in the 13th century as a part of the increasing emphasis on Marian devotion. This period saw the blossoming of many Marian feasts, prayers, and hymns as Mary’s role within the Church was given more focus and theological depth.

Institutionalization

By the 18th century, the practice of dedicating May to Mary had become more formalized within the Catholic Church. This was significantly influenced by the writings and promotions of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits), who were staunch advocates of Marian devotion. They established the tradition of the “May Altar” decorated with flowers and statues of Mary, which became a common practice in Catholic homes and churches.

Papal Endorsements

The devotion received further support from the popes, especially from the 19th century onwards. Pope Pius IX, Pope Leo XIII, and Pope Pius XII, among others, endorsed and encouraged Marian devotions in May, linking them to prayers for peace and the well-being of the Church. Pope Paul VI, in his encyclical Mense Maio (1965), emphasized May as a time for increased devotion to Mary, tying it to prayers for peace amidst the Cold War tensions.

The evolution of May as the Month of Mary illustrates how cultural practices can be transformed within the framework of Christian devotion, serving both a spiritual and communal function within the Church’s liturgical year.

How is The Month of Mary Celebrated?

May, dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, is marked by a variety of special devotions and celebrations that highlight Mary’s role as the Mother of God and her immaculate heart. Here’s how modern Catholic communities around the world observe this sacred month within the Liturgical calendar:

Daily Recitation of Marian Prayers

One of the most common practices during the Month of Mary is the daily recitation of Marian prayers. This includes the Rosary, which meditates on the life of Mary and Jesus Christ, reflecting on their virtues and mysteries. Many faithful find this practice a way to seek special graces and deepen their connection to the divine.

Setting up a Marian Prayer Corner

Families and communities often set up a dedicated Marian prayer corner at homes and churches. These corners are typically adorned with icons or statues of Mary, often surrounded by a crown of flowers. Here, devotees gather to offer prayers, sing hymns, and reflect on Mary’s life on Earth.

Special Devotions and Acts of Homage

Throughout May, churches may host special devotions such as the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which praises Mary’s attributes with various invocations. Acts of homage, including writing poems or singing songs in Mary’s honor, are often featured during this month, sometimes referred to as “floral games.”

Crowning Ceremony

A significant highlight is the crowning ceremony of Mary’s statue, symbolizing her as Queen of Heaven and Earth. This ceremony is usually accompanied by a procession, prayers, and music, emphasizing her royal dignity and the Christian piety she inspires. It is a vivid, communal expression of love and veneration.

Special Processions and Exercises of Piety

In many places, special processions are organized, and images of the Virgin Mary are carried through the streets, decorated with flowers and ribbons. These processions are not just public displays of faith but also communal prayers for peace and well-being. Exercises of piety, such as visiting Marian shrines or participating in retreats focused on Marian themes, are encouraged.

Educational and Charitable Activities

Reflecting on Mary’s virtues, many communities engage in educational sessions about her life and teachings. Charitable acts, especially those focused on aiding women and children, are emphasized, drawing inspiration from Mary’s life of service and compassion.

The Month of Mary is thus a time rich with tradition, prayer, and community activities, all aimed at honoring the Blessed Virgin Mary and emulating her qualities in daily life. These celebrations foster a deeper understanding and a stronger devotion to Mary, encouraging the faithful to carry her example into every aspect of their lives.

why is may the month of mary

What Mary Means to Our Little Roses

At Our Little Roses, the annual tradition of celebrating the Month of Mary holds profound significance. As we honor the Mother of God, we are reminded of the virtues Mary embodies—compassion, humility, and unwavering faith—qualities that are at the heart of our mission. This opportune time encourages us, as a community of Christian people, to reflect on our path in the Christian life and recommit to serving those in need, inspired by Mary’s example.

Mary’s life inspires our work at Our Little Roses, particularly in how we support and nurture our girls. Just as Mary provided care and guidance to Jesus, we aim to offer a sanctuary and strong foundation to every girl who comes to us, helping them to grow in love and confidence.

This Month of Mary, we invite you to join us in making a difference. Whether through making a donation, volunteering your time, or sponsoring a girl, your support has a lasting impact. Engaging with Our Little Roses offers a chance to live out the values taught by Mary and echoed in Christian charities worldwide. One of our generous supporters is offering a challenge match for this month of Mary so that every donation will be DOUBLED up to $50,000!

As we continue to serve and uplift, let us carry Mary’s spirit in all we do, fostering an environment where love and charity prevail. Together, let us honor her legacy by creating opportunities for those in our care, contributing to a future where every child can thrive.

To learn more about how you can make a difference, contact us today. Your support can light up the path for many and continue the beautiful work inspired by the Blessed Virgin Mary. Join us in this noble cause and help us spread the message of hope and renewal throughout our community and beyond.

Make a Double Impact

This Month of Mary, your generosity can go twice as far! Visit our 2024 Month of Mary Match page to see how your donation will be matched, doubling your impact. Help us continue our vital work and make a meaningful difference in the lives of those we serve. Your support is crucial—join us in this powerful opportunity to amplify your contribution!