May month of Mary: How to celebrate Mary in May ?

May month of Mary: How to celebrate Mary in May ?

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For Catholics, the month of Mary is the name given to announce the month of May.

Several months of the year are dedicated to the Virgin Mary, but May is the oldest month.

Why is the month of May dedicated to the Virgin Mary?

First of all, it is important to know that this custom about the Virgin Mary has existed since the Middle Ages. On the eve of May 1st, every household had to set up an altar in their house decorated with flowers and lights. During the whole month of May, in front of this altar, each family in each house would gather to pray in honour of the Virgin Mary. Each member of the family then drew a paper indicating the different virtues of the Virgin and had to put them into practice the next day.

Since when is the month of May dedicated to the Virgin Mary?

History of the month of Mary

It is impossible to say exactly why the month of May is associated with the Virgin Mary.

The month of May does not have a major Marian feast like August with the Assumption or December with the Immaculate Conception, celebrated 9 months before the feast of the Nativity.

It is only since the liturgical reform in 1969 that the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin is celebrated on 31 May.

Unlike other religious feasts celebrated according to the liturgical calendar, the Visitation is celebrated according to seasonality. In Europe, May is the month of flowers. It is the month when life begins again, when spring appears, when the sun makes its appearance and therefore the month when flowers begin to grow.

Key dates in the month of Mary

In the 13th century, the King of Castile, Alfonso X the Wise, associated the beauty of the Virgin Mary with the month of May in one of his poems.

In the 14th century, the Dominican friar Henry Suso decorated the statues of Our Lady with wreaths of flowers every May Day.

At the end of the 16th century, the custom in Rome was to dedicate the 31 days of May to the Mother of God.

At that time, children gathered around the altar of the Blessed Virgin to offer spring flowers to the Mother of God, symbols of Christian virtues. There is a link between the beauty of the flora that unfolds in May and the Virgin Mary.

From the beginning, the month of Mary has been a beautiful act of love towards the Virgin Mary, but also a commitment to celebrate her every day of the year.

Even today, many pilgrimages are dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Unfortunately, in these times of the worldwide pandemic of the Coronavirus, no pilgrimages can be made. But fortunately, in our homes we can pay homage to Our Lady by, for example, flowering her statue or her prayer space.

Two Marian feasts are celebrated in May: Our Lady of Fatima which is celebrated on 13 May and Our Lady of the Visitation which is celebrated on 31 May.

In May, let us open our hearts to the Virgin Mary

The Visitation of the Virgin Mary celebrates the visit she made to her cousin Elizabeth after the angel Gabriel revealed to her that she too was about to give birth to a child even though she was barren.

During this meeting, Elizabeth recalls the first sentence of the Hail Mary: "Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. Mary responds by saying the Magnificat.

The month of May is an opportunity to give a special place to the Blessed Virgin in our prayers. During this month of May, let us draw closer to Mary.

"I walk with you,

O Mary, my joy,

always there, in secret,

step by step in the intimate,

on the arm of the hours.

You visit me on the way

as in the past on the hills

with your cousin Elizabeth.

My heart leaps with gratitude

with its weight of life.

I cry out your name on the road,

my prayer in May flowers,

you help me to meditate on the Word

that embraces my silence

at the children's coffee table.

You give me breath,

I feel good with you,

you lead me to the beloved Son

who fills us with his presence,

O Mary, my joy."

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