Honoring Mary in May
By Paul A. Nelson
During this month of May, we in the Catholic Church enhance our devotions to The Blessed Virgin Mary, our Mother. Even though we love, honor and venerate her every day, this month gives us the opportunity to focus more intently on her and the role she plays in relation to her son, Jesus.
We start the month with the May Crowning, when it's a tradition to crown a statue of Mary. Although this act is performed outside of Mass, it's often done before or after Mass. Many parishes make the crowning a huge celebration, which is a very fitting thing to do. Catholics are encouraged during the month of May to honor Our Lady by giving your personal statue of her a special place in the house. It would also be nice to make your own crown to place on her head.
It is most important during this month to say the rosary every day. We should all set aside the 20 minutes it takes to do so. The video rosary I've provided on this website can assist you. You can be assured of the fact that special graces will be given to you by Jesus Christ if you honor his earthly Mother this way. Honoring her in various ways during May is a reminder that we ourselves should strive to be better Christians.
Pope Paul VI wrote an encyclical in 1965 called Mense Maio, in which he stresses the importance of Our Lady's intercession for all of us. He said that when we encounter her, we necessarily encounter her Son. I felt it appropriate to write on this subject on this day, the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima.
There have been many Church-approved apparitions of Mary over the centuries during which she gave us information of future events. In some cases, her warnings were very explicit, and their purpose was always to bring us closer to her Son. Along with Jesus, she desires our salvation more than anything else. As you may be aware, many of her "predictions" have already come true.
The custom of a special month of devotion to Mary began in Italy during the 11th century, and it endures to this day. If you haven't yet made a special effort to perform devotions in your own home, today is a good day to start. Remember, it's never too late to step up our efforts when it comes to our faith. In the coming days, I will address some of the common misconceptions about Mary -- mostly by Protestants, but even by poorly catechized Catholics. As I say in my book, Christians Must Reunite, it is time for Catholics to take another look at Church teachings, study them and learn the specifics. That way, you can pass the truth on to your children and to other adults whose knowledge may be lacking. Be able to explain and defend your faith (1 Peter 3:15), which will increase your faith.
God bless you all!