May is the Month of Mary and Blessed Mary has appeared many times throughout the centuries to various children and adults bringing with her pivotal messages. The messages in all of her apparitions carry a similar theme:
Blessed Mary asked the three shepherd children to pray the rosary daily and to spread the message to all of her desire that everyone become devoted to her Immaculate heart. “My Immaculate heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God.”
“I am the Ever-Virgin Mary, Mother of the true God…It is my wish that you build me a temple on this site. Here, as the loving Mother of you and of your fellow men, I will show forth my living kindness and compassion for your people and for those who love me and seek me, and call upon me in their labors and afflictions. Here I will hear their cries and their petitions, I will comfort and assuage.”
Blessed Mary warned Catherine that she will encounter many difficulties throughout her life, but that she will overcome them as long as she “did everything for God’s glory.” She consoled her by telling her to, “Come to the foot of the altar…There graces will be shed upon all, great and little, who ask for them. Graces will be especially shed upon those who ask for them.”
The similar theme through many of Mary’s apparitions is: to pray often, to turn away from sin, and to open our minds and hearts to God. Mary’s role has always been to guide all people to her son, Jesus. She asks us to become devoted to her, to remember her, and to seek her in times of anguish, trials, and turmoil, so that she can be our intercessor before her Son.
History Behind the Tradition of the Month of Mary
While we should honor Mary all year, May is an especially important month to remember our Blessed Mother. Historians believe the month of May was chosen to honor Mary because it is the height of the spring season, where gardens are filled with blooming flowers. This new beginning and new birth in nature reminds us of the life Mary gave to Jesus. Another belief as to why May was chosen dates back to the ancient Romans. Ancient Roman culture linked the month of May to Flora, the goddess of bloom and blossoms. The month of May was the official beginning of spring in the Roman culture and the Romans celebrated ludi florales (floral games) as a preparation for entering into the beginning of spring.
Why Should We Be Devoted To Mary?
The reasons why we should devote ourselves to Mary are many, but the most important reason is because she’s asked us to do so many times. Imagine the sadness our Heavenly mother must feel when we forget about her! Other reasons why we should honor Mary include
From her conception, Mary was created “full of grace,” born without the stain of original sin. She was specially chosen by God to be the mother of Jesus, and is the finest example of what it means to be completely obedient to God, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.”
As the mother of Jesus, Mary played a direct role in our salvation. She was the one entrusted to carry and give life to the Son of God.
Mary is the perfect model of virtue. She shows us what it means to surrender our lives to God and to trust in Him to receive all of our gifts. She shows us how to be pure in mind and spirt and is our guide to finding true happiness in God.
How to Honor Mary This May
There are several activities you and your family can take part in to honor Mary this May. Consider adopting the following traditions this May and every May going forward:
Pray the Rosary as a Family:
praying the rosary daily fulfills Blessed Mary’s wish expressed at Fatima—to keep her company each day while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary. Get children involved by praying the rosary as a family each evening. Consider purchasing a rosary for each child, so they can get excited about having their own, personal rosary.
Create a Mary Prayer Garden:
setting up a Mary garden in your yard serves as a visual reminder of our Holy Mother. Your garden can be as simple or as elaborate as you prefer. Choose a Mary statue to be the focal point of your garden and plant flowers surrounding the statue. The special space can become your peaceful place where you can spend time in prayer.
Participate in a May Crowning:
Mary in Plain Sight:
throughout the month of May, place an image of Mary or a small Mary statue in your living space and in each bedroom. Each time you see Mary’s image, it’ll be a reminder to say a prayer or to thank her for her many blessings.
in addition to the rosary, there are many Marian prayers that you can recite during this month, including the Memorare, Hail Holy Queen, Magnificat, and The Angelus. Print them out, or purchase a book of prayers to keep handy.