The Month of May
LET us adore the Holy Ghost inspiring the Church with the devotion of the month of May. He first inspired certain pious souls with it, then Religious Communities, then a few parishes, and lastly it was spread throughout the whole Church.
On all sides, at the present day, there is a universal outburst of devotion toward the Mother of God, an always-increasing zeal for the exercises of this holy month. Let us bless the Spirit of God for this constant growth, which opens to all the faithful, sources of grace and salvation.
Three times a day devout servants of Mary Immaculate venerate her at the sound of the Angelus; one day in the week, Saturday, is consecrated to her; almost every month a feast is celebrated in her honor; why, then, should we not, every year, consecrate a whole month to her glory, and, above all, the month of May, which does not possess any feast of Mary, which is the most beautiful month of the whole year, in which all nature, which is renewed, invites us to a renewal of faith and of fervor, in which all the flowers bloom under the symbol of which the Church presents to us the Blessed Virgin: the rose with its rich colors (Eccius. xxiv. 18), the lily (Cant. iii. 2), the violet, which hides beneath the grass and embalms the air with its sweet odor?
How shall we sanctify the month of Mary?
1st. Let us assist every day at the exercises of this holy month; this reunion glorifies Mary and edifies ourselves. The example set us by others, the canticles, the lights, give a greater impulse to devotion; the instructions inflame. If we cannot attend these reunions, we can at least read in private the meditation for every day, before a little altar surmounted with a statue of Mary, ornamented with flowers and lights.
2d. We must look upon each day of the month as a feast of the Blessed Virgin; salute Mary in the morning at the first moment of our awaking; consecrate to her the whole day, and often, during its course, renew this consecration; we must rise promptly and at a fixed hour; offer to her, as a present from a child to its mother, each one of our actions; we must add to them a little prayer and a small sacrifice, but it must be a prayer of the heart, and an interior sacrifice, such as that of the will, of the temper, of self-love, and an exterior sacrifice, such as that of an impulse of curiosity or of useless words. Lastly, we must live in such a manner that the love of Mary may embalm the whole day, occupy and rejoice our hearts.
3d. We must be converted; we have all of us need to be. Mary will accept our devotion only on this condition; and if we only have a little good will, she will obtain this grace for us.
4th. We must imitate the Blessed Virgin in all things; it is the homage of which she is the most jealous; consequently we must apply ourselves to praying to God as she does, with her recollection and her piety; to conduct ourselves toward our neighbor as she does, with her charity, her gentleness, her devotedness; to be humble and modest as she is; to employ our time well, and to perform all our actions in the best possible manner. (“Hamon’s Meditations,” Vol. III.)
Reparation for Blasphemy against Our Lady
O MARY, bless this house where thy Name is always blessed. Praise forever be to Mary Immaculate, the ever-Virgin Mother, blessed amongst women, the Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Queen of Paradise.
‘Tis May, ‘tis May, the Month of Mary,
The month that we have sighed for long;
And earth, so mute before, and dreary,
Is bursting out in smiles and song.
The hedge-rows thrill with anthems gay,
And while lambs o’er the green fields play;
And earth and heaven keep holiday,
To welcome in the welcome May.
A brighter Maytime blooms above us,
With fairer flowers and richer sheen,
Where she with Mother’s love will love us,
Who, there, as here, is crowned Queen.
Ah! listen, Mary, while we pray—
Ah! take us to thy home one day;
Its summer ne’er shall fade away—
In heaven it shall be always May.
~Rev. M. Russell, S.J.
Mary! one gift I beg of thee:
My soul from sin and sorrow free.
Prayer for the Month of May
HOLY MARY, Mother of God! Glorious Queen of heaven and earth! Powerful protectress of those who love thee, and unfailing advocate of all who invoke thee! Look down, we beseech thee, from thy throne of glory, on thy devoted children: accept our solemn resolution to venerate thee especially in the month of May, and our ardent desire, that by our fervent love we may worthily honor thee, who, next to God, art deserving of all honor. Receive us, O Mother of mercy, among thy best beloved children; extend to us thy maternal tenderness and solicitude; obtain for us a place in the Heart of Jesus and a special share in the gifts of His grace. Oh, deign, we beseech thee, to recognize our claims on thy protection, to watch over the spiritual and temporal interests of ourselves and of all who are dear to us; to infuse into our souls the spirit of Christ and to teach us thyself to become meek, humble, charitable, patient, and submissive to the will of God. May our hearts burn with the love of thy divine Son, and of thee, His blessed Mother, not for a month alone, but for time and eternity; may we thirst and labor for the promotion of His glory and for thy greater veneration. Receive us, O Mary, thou refuge of sinners; grant us a mother’s blessing and a mother’s care, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Pious Practices for the Month of May
- TAKE a short time from your recreation to spend in solitude conversing with Mary, or in meditation on the mysteries of her life.
- Rise punctually in the morning, invoking her as “the morning star.”
- Invoke her sixty-three times as “Virgin Mother” in honor of her sixty-three years.
- Visit in spirit one of her great sanctuaries.
- Mortify your will three times as an offering to Mary.
- Say three Glorias in honor of the saints and Doctors who have explained and defended her prerogatives.
- Gain indulgences for the soul in purgatory most devoted to the Blessed Virgin in life; offer Mass and communion for this purpose.
- Ask Mary to be present with you during the day to drive away evil spirits.
- Perform some act of kindness with inconvenience to yourself.
- Say three Hail Marys in reparation for the blasphemies uttered against her.
- Give alms in honor of her poverty.
- Invoke the saints who were related to her—Saints Joseph, Joachim, Anne, etc.
- Mortify your sight, once or more, in honor of Mary’s modesty.
- Burn a candle before her image or picture.
- Recall with devotion her words recorded in the Gospel, remembering how many of your sins are committed in speech. Bear your sufferings and sorrows silently and patiently.
- Say, the litany for the conversion of a soul for Mary to offer to God.
- Shun idleness during the day in imitation of Mary at Nazareth.
- Say a Hail Mary in honor of St. Gabriel, who brought it to earth.
- Practice some little mortification at meals.
- Before going to sleep, place yourself with the infant Jesus in Mary’s arms.
- Say seven Glorias with extended arms, in honor of her seven dolors.
- Make a spiritual communion in union with her dispositions at the Annunciation.
- Say a Memorare to obtain Mary’s help at the hour of death.
- Keep silence for a short time, and with Mary ponder on God’s words in your heart.
- Say a Hail Mary before going to be to prevent one mortal sin during the night.
- Visit her altar or image in atonement for the desecration of her sanctuaries.
- Say nine Hail Marys in union with the nine choirs of angels who are ever praising her.
- Say a Salve for the spread of devotion to her.
- Say fifteen Glorias, in honor of the last fifteen years of Mary’s life, for the grace of perseverance.
- Say three Hail Marys for the virtue of holy purity.
- Say a Hail Mary in reparation for your neglect of Mary’s service during this month.
- Distribute leaflets in praise of Mary, scapulars, medals, pictures, and beads, to promote devotion to the blessed Mother of God.
-“Miniature Life of Mary”—Bowden.
A Garland of Flowers To Offer Our Lady for the Month of May
1. Lily – – – Purity.
2. Rose – – – Love of God.
3. Myosotis – – Thanksgiving to God.
4. Pansy – – – Thought of heaven.
5. Marguerite – – Simplicity.
6. Violet – – – Humility.
7. Bindweed – – Attachment to God.
8. Iris – – Faith.
9. Mignonette – – – Practice of the hidden virtues.
10. Jasmine – – Sweetness.
11. Pink – – – Prayer.
12. Heath-flower – Recollection.
13. Laurel – – Love of duty.
14. Passion-flower – – – Sacrifice.
15. Mimosa – – – Generosity.
16. Lily of the Valley – – – Punctuality.
17. Lilac – – – Fidelity in little things.
18. Lavender – – – Modesty.
19. Hawthorn – – – Mortification.
20. Geranium – – – Zeal for souls.
21. Periwinkle – – – Purity of intention.
22. Buttercup – – – Obedience.
23. Bluebell – – – Desire of heaven.
24. Red Poppy – – – Fervor.
25. Virgin’s Ear – – – Devotion to Mary.
26. Primrose – – – Love of labor.
27. Verbena – – – Prudence.
28. Honeysuckle – – – Confidence in God.
29. Aster – – – Goodness.
30. Camellia – – – Perseverance.
31. Anemone – – – Union with Jesus.
(” Lays and Legends of Our Blessed Lady.”)
– Our Lady Book