On Wednesday we begin the month of May.
There is an old tradition in the Church of dedicating the month of May to Mary.
In the northern hemisphere the month of May has always been associated with Spring, with flowers, blossoms, with new life, and with fecundity. In May the ancient Greeks celebrated the goddess Artemis, while the ancient Romans focussed on Flora, goddess of flowers.
There also had been a tradition of one month devoted to Mary, Mother of God. With some prayer to Mary for 30 consecutive days, this was called “tricesimum”.
These two traditions came together to give us Mary’s month, May.
We can honour Mary this coming month of May in a variety of ways.
We could revisit the first two chapters of St Luke’s Gospel where he recounts some of the great highlights of Mary’s role in the life of Jesus.
We could say a decade of the Rosary –choosing whatever mystery is appropriate for our circumstance- each day. We could visit the shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help here in the church, light a candle and say a prayer.
Of course, you could come to the weekly Novena each Thursday at 7 30 p.m. In the month of May we hope to reflect on some of the great Marian shrines around the world, helping us to be more aware of the variety of ways in which Mary is present to us in our daily lives.
The programme for the Novena in May looks like this :
May 2nd: Our Lady of Lourdes
[May 9th is the feast of the Ascension, so the Novena is replaced with Holy Mass]
May 16th Shrine of our Lady of Perpetual Help in Rome
May 23rd Our Lady of Fatima
May 30th Our Lady of Guadeloupe.
We have been making the Novena part of our Year of Faith. Come along and learn more about a living tradition about Mary’s shrines around the world
Fr Sean Wales, C.Ss.R.