SummaryMarlicia Fernandez tells how dedicating the month of May to Mary is not only simply a tradition in the Americas, but in many other cultures as well.
Dedicating the month of May to Mary is not limited to the United States, or even to the Americas. It has traditionally been dedicated to Mary in many cultures.
Why? From a very early time, May was celebrated as the beginning of a time of fruitfulness and growth. For example, the ancient Greeks and Romans honored the goddesses of fertility and blossoms, respectively, at this time.
The Church made many such pagan holidays their own by converting them to Christian celebrations. In the Middle Ages, the month of May was linked to the practice of expelling the winter season.
The connection between Mary and the month of May seems to have solidified in the Middle Ages. At first, special days during the month were set aside to welcome and celebrate both the month, and what it symbolized, and Mary.
Later, the entire month of May was dedicated to Our Most Blessed Lady, and special devotions to her were organized for each day. This custom is thought to have begun in Italy in 1784 though it spread rapidly.
(Source material: Marian Coronation)
Our Lady can be honored in many ways during this month. It is traditional in many countries to organize a May crowning ceremony. Special prayers and songs are often incorporated along with a procession. Daily recitation of the rosary may be held in the Church.
Two Marian liturgical celebrations fall within the month allowing us to show her special love, honor and devotion: Our Lady, Queen of Apostles (May 5th or the first Saturday after the Ascension of our Lord when it falls in May), and the Visitation (May 31 in the United States).
A longer list of Marian feasts throughout the year can be found here: Marian Feast Days
At home, special prayers, rosaries and novenas may be said. Special hymns may be sung. Little home altars decorated with flowers can be set up.
Spiritual books about our Lady can be read and works of charity can be done in imitation of her. In imitating and honoring Mary, we honor Jesus.
Suggestions for Marian projects and other ways to honor our Blessed Lady can be found here,
- Stories & Activites in the Month of Mary, from our Sunday Visitor
- Mary Garden Ideas and Crafts
- Catholic Activity: May, the Month of Mary
and in Catholic Traditions in Crafts, by Ann Ball
How will you honor Mary this month?
We’d love to hear from you!
Header Image CC Templar1307