This entire month of May is dedicated to our Blessed Mother, Mary.
Traditionally, May has been celebrated as the month of “new life.” This has been true even for the ancient Greeks and Romans who each had goddesses that represented the blooming of new life. It is easy to see this because the earth seems to be coming back to life when winter is over and the flowers and trees begin to sprout their beautiful, lively colors again. Mary is also a bearer of new life. She literally brought the Life to the world in bearing her Son, Jesus, whom destroyed our death or “winter” of sin. God, working through Mary, gave us new life.
Similar to the earth bringing forth new life, so does the role of a mother. It is in her divine design that God forms all of us: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…” Jeremiah 1:5. So not only does Mary get honored this month, but every mother (Mother’s day) because every single one of them is an ark for new life in this world.
Why should we honor Mary?
In the old Davidic Kingdom when the King was away or was being stubborn at fulfilling his subjects requests, the people would turn to the queen, the king’s mother. They knew with confidence that she would take their intentions to the king and intercede for them. For what son can refuse his mother? This is true with Mary
and Jesus. Not that Jesus is refusing to answer our prayers, but imagine how much more earnestly He would answer them when they are brought to His feet by His mother.
God has deemed her worthy to be crowned the Queen of Heaven. She has power over both heaven and earth still humbles herself to care for us and our every need. St. Louis de Montfort described the angels as being eager to carry out her requests. St. Louis even says that St. Michael himself, the commander of God’s angels and Prince of Heaven is the most zealous at fulfilling Mary’s petitions. If St. Michael the Archangel honors Mary to such a high regard, then should we not as well?
How can we honor Mary this month?
Simple, pray the rosary. In all the hundreds of apparitions of Mary she has constantly called us to pray the holy rosary for the salvation of souls. This is an easy, yet powerful way to honor her this month. It has been said that each time we pray the rosary, a rose is added to the crown of Mary. This isn't something that needs to be done alone or in private. Many churches this month have started praying a rosary as a congregation before each mass. Pray it as a family and allow Mary to wrap her mantle of peace around all of you.
Another common way of respecting Mary’s queen-ship is by crowning her statue in your church with a crown of flowers.
Don’t be afraid to show your love for your holy mother by wearing her Miraculous Medal, which she gave the design for herself. Although small and rather common to most of us, the medal is actually quite powerful and comes from another request of our mother. To learn more about the history of the Miraculous Medal, click on the picture of the Blessed Mother:
Above all, just talk with your mother this month. Tell Mary everything that is on your heart and ask her to bring you closer to her Son. She loves each one of us immensely and will do anything to get us to heaven. Show her how much you appreciate her love, care and sacrifice for you. This goes for both your earthly mother who brought you into this world, as well as your heavenly mother who will carry you to the next.
A Brief History Of The Holy Rosary –
Although for many years the origin of the rosary was linked to St. Dominic, who lived in the twelfth to thirteenth centuries, later research showed that strings of beads or knots for counting prayers had been used as prayer aids for centuries before and had become common with European Christians by the middle ages. Around this time, the strings of beads were known by many as Paternosters, indicating that they were used largely to count recitations of the Our Father- Pater Noster in Latin. The Hail Mary wasn't commonly used as a devotional prayer until the mid-twelfth century. Makers of paternosters belonged to a prominent craft guild of the day. In fact, a street in London, called Paternoster Row, traces its name to the street where these guild members gathered.
By the time of the birth of St. Dominic in 1170, it had already become a widespread custom to use the strings of beads for reciting the Hail Mary, and texts written prior to the preaching of Dominic instructed one how to pray the Hail Mary in sets of ten. For the next few centuries there were many versions of the rosary – some reflecting on as few as five mysteries, and others on as many as two hundred mysteries. It wasn't until 1569 that the rosary we know today, utilizing fifteen mysteries – joyful, sorrowful, and glorious – become the standard with the publication of an encyclical by Pope Pius V declaring that henceforth this would be the official, Church-authorized rosary. During the pontificate of Pope John Paul II, the holy father himself added a new series of mysteries – the luminous mysteries – to the holy rosary prayer.
The name “Rosary” itself comes from the Latin rosarius, meaning a bouquet or garland of roses. A widely popular medieval legend told the story of the Blessed Virgin taking rosebuds from the lips of a young monk as he recited Hail Marys, and weaving them into a garland for her head. The Hail Mary is recited more times than any other prayer in the rosary, and therefore is the prayer we most commonly associate with the rosary.
– adapted from Mitch Finley's The Rosary Handbook
Hail, holy Queen, mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this our exile show us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.
Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God.