May is the Month of Mary, Queen of Heaven

 

Blessed Virgin Mary May

Mary Queen of Heaven, venerated in May

 

Bring flowers of the rarest, bring blossoms the fairest,

From garden and woodland and hillside and dale;

Our full hearts are swelling, our glad voices telling

The praise of the loveliest flower of the vale!

O Mary we crown thee with blossoms today!

Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May.

O Mary we crown thee with blossoms today,

Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May…

May Hymn to Mary, Queen of Heaven

 

May is Mary’s month, wherein we pay special homage to our Blessed Lady, with prayers and devotions.

Thus it is that St. Philip Neri (1515-1595) encouraged the faithful to decorate altars to Our Lady at the beginning of May and keep them freshly adorned through the month.

Many folk in our Irish village remember being sent out as children, to fetch the May flowers for our Lady’s altar. They picked Bluebells, Primroses, Lady’s Smock and Buttercups. They arranged them in jam jars around the family statue of the Blessed Virgin, which held a prominent position in the home, throughout the whole month.

At these altars, the family or community would gather each evening to pray the Holy Rosary and Litany of Our Lady.

May is therefore the month of Marian Processions. Statues of the Virgin Mary are bedecked with flowers and pilgrims process, praying and singing hymns to our Blessed Lady. Young girls might be seen strewing petals before the procession.

Whilst popular in the past, sadly these festivities are much less so now.

Roger and I have adorned our statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary with May blossoms from the garden and hedgerows. And placed upon Her head is a garland of flowers.

This honouring of Mary throughout the month of May brings to mind the fullness and fecund nature of the Mother of God. For She brought to us from Her sacred womb, the very source of life itself, our Lord and God, Jesus Christ.

Through Her humility, purity and unfailing obedience to the will of God, She held within her sacred womb, the Most High, the Saviour of the world. As the Arc of the Covenant – the Holy of Holies – She offered Him, the New Covenant, to the world.

In his small book, Mary Mother of Faith, Father Josef Weiger writes:

Over Mary’s lifetime there lay the shadow of the approaching age of salvation, for through her faith she was the harbinger of the new spring (p21).

Just like the Spring issues forth new growth, this most miraculous of births delivered our God into our midst – to live amongst us, infusing new life into our impoverished fallen world.

Out of Israel was born a Virgin, Who brought forth Our Saviour and the founder of our new Christian faith: For as this New Life – Jesus Christ – came amongst us, our new faith arose out of Him.

It was Mary’s unfailing faith in God that enabled Her to open to anything God wanted of Her. She therefore became the instrument, used by the Lord to turn the world around – to bring humanity back to Him.

The mystery and significance of the Virgin’s role in the birth of this New Life and new Christian faith is unfathomable. She remained so meek and humble, yet Her role in the redemption of mankind is vast.

 

Mary Queen Crowning May

Blessed Virgin Mary crowned as Queen

 

And in this month of May, as we are filled with the perfumes and beauty of the Spring flowers, we especially remember the greatness, profundity and unsurpassed beauty of our Immaculate Queen.

The Spring flowers are like Her mantle, surrounding and soothing us after the darkness and cold of winter. We feel warmed and protected..

This movement from the dormancy of winter, into the life forces of Spring reflects the nature of Our Lady’s womb, perpetually fecund and eternally virginal.

The fullness of the Spring growth symbolises Her abundance, the untainted quality of the spring growth, Her purity.

Yet, whilst earthly nature is tainted by sin, the Virgins fecundity remains forever pure. Although Tradition reminds us that nature is wounded but not destroyed.

Whilst we can see the beauty of our Blessed Lady in the flowers that grow within the fields and hedgerows, this earthly beauty is but a tiny glimpse of the heavenly beauty She bestows upon us. Her continuous gift is life unfallen – life Immaculate.

Through May devotion to the Blessed Virgin, we are therefore lifted above this earthly flourish of nature to the heavenly abundance above, where life and renewed faith is brought to us, through Mary, our Mother.

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