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May is the Month of Mary

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May is the Month of Mary

 

 

May is the month dedicated to the Blessed Mother

when Catholics all over the world pay homage to Mother Mary

both in church and at home.

This practice began at the end of the 13th century.

The church did this partly to take attention

from the olde traditions still practiced by many at that time.

By the 1700s many students of the Jesuit Order

made this 'devotion to Mary' popular and

they brought it to Rome where it spread to the rest of the Church.

 

Devotion to Mary

 

 

The Blessed Mother is considered

the Mother of the Church and

is revered as a model, guide and inspiration

to those who attempt to be a servant of God,

áman and the Holy Spirit.

 

Mary and Our Spiritual Life

 

There are many practices that can be offered

to honour the Blessed Mother during this month

set aside for her. They include: The Regina Coeli,

The "Akathistos" Hymn, The Rosary,

Litanies of the Blessed Virgin Mary,

Metals, Consecration and Entrustment to Mary,

the Brown Scapular and other Scapulars.

 

 

In the eighteenth century the month of May

was chosen as the celebration of

the flowering of Mary's female spirituality.

The nature symbolism from the Old Testament

was first applied to Mary by the Church Fathers.

 

Orginally in Isaiash's prophecy of the Virgin birth

áof the Messiah under the Blossoming Rod

or Root of Jesse, the flower symbolism of Mary

was lengthened by the Church and

in the Liturgy by attributing her

the flower figures of the Sapiential Books -

Canticles, Wisdom, Proverbs and Sirach (Ecclesiasticus).

This was primarily verbal and poetic

rather than commemorated in nature.

 

 

During medieval times,

the rose became the flower symbol of the Virgin Birth.

The strawberry became the symbol of Mary's.

 

Virgin Fruitfulness through its bearing of fruit

áeven while it was still flowering.

 

Mary Month - Why May?

 

 

May is regarded as the beginning season

of new life. In fact,

May first is considered the beginning of new growth.

áIn Roman culture May was dedicated to

Flora, the goddess of bloom, of blossoms.

The Romans celebrated ludi florales

(literally: floral games) at the end of April,

asking the intercession of Flora for all that blooms.

áThis was related to the medieval practice

áof expelling winter. In Greek culture,

May was attributed to Artemis, goddess of fecundity.

áEventually the whole month of May

had devotions organized for every day for Mary.

 

 

A Mary-month was once independent from May.

The old tradition Tricesimum or

Thirty Day Devotion to Mary

was also called Lady Month.

It was held from August 15 to September 14.

Some still practice this.

This veneration was known since baroque times

and included 31 spiritual exercises to honour Mary.

 

 

Ways to Celebrate Mary's Month

 

Besides the traditional prayers

a whole parish honors Mary by the crowning of Our Lady's statue.

A statue of Mary is honored with a wreath of blossoms

to illustrate Mary's virtues.

These virtues are examples to be imitated by the faithful.

The ceremony usually takes place

in the context of a public parish devotion.

 

Individuals can set up a special Mary altar

in their home either in May or for the whole year.

 

Mary as Goddess

 

 

Mary is the female divinity.

When the olde traditions were replaced

by the Christian faith, Mary became the replacement

áfor the Goddess.

The new faith was supposed

to do away with anything that was unkind.

Therefore Mary became the new Goddess

who now represented purity and love.

As mother of the Master Jesus,

Mary is, in her own rite, also a Master.

 

 

You may e-mail:

susan@home2b.nl

 

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Updated July 27, 2011

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