May is Mary’s Month
For centuries, the Church has set aside the month of May to honour Our Lady – not just a day in May but the entire month. This tradition dates back to the thirteenth century when the Church Christianised the secular feasts which took place at that time. In recent times, honouring Our Lady in May has been recommended by all Popes. So we should try to increase our love of her during this month by contemplating her beauty, her goodness and her purity so that she can inspire us to grow in holiness. Remember, all graces come to us through Mary. Pope St Pius X put it like this:
“But Mary as St Bernard fittingly remarks is the ‘channel’ or, even, the neck, through which the body is joined to the head, and likewise through which the head exerts its power and strength on the body. For she is the neck of our Head, by which all spiritual gifts are communicated to His Mystical Body.”
In other words, it is God’s will that all good things come to us through her hands. She is the “Mediatrix of all Graces”. When Our Lady appeared to St Catherine Labouré in Paris in 1830, Sister Catherine saw a vision of Mary standing upon the earth, with rays of lights beaming from within a picture frame she had. The picture began to rotate, revealing twelve stars, the letter M, and the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary. Catherine wondered why not all the rays of light were shining or directed towards the earth. Our Lady responded, “Those are the graces for which people forget to ask.”
Here are a few suggestions to help increase your devotion to Our Lady this month. Get a statue or picture of Our Lady for your home (if you don’t already have one) and put some flowers in front of it. Or make a little altar with her statue or picture and some candles and pray in front it as a family. Make a novena to her. Try extra hard to say the Rosary, especially in the family. Be enrolled in the Miraculous Medal and/or the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel – anyone interested just ask me. Or perhaps you could read a book about her such as “The Secret of the Rosary” by St Louis de Montfort or “The Glories of Mary” by St Alphonsus. These spiritual classics are sure to inspire you. Or read a book about the apparitions at Lourdes or Fatima or in Paris to St Catherine Labouré. Make a pilgrimage to Walsingham.
Next Sunday 12th May, the day before the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, we will have a May Procession with the statue of Our Lady of Fatima before the 11am Mass. Weather permitting we will walk outside the church. “O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.”
Fr Paul Gillham IC