Tag Archives: Blessed Virgin Mary

Honoring the Blessed Virgin Mary in May

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Traditionally, the month of May has been dedicated by the Catholic Church to the Blessed Virgin Mary. May events usually pertain to the crowning of Mary as the “Queen of May” as her image is crowned with flowers. This special honor is related to Mary’s special role as the Queen of Heaven and Mother of God.

This devotion is said to have originated from the Jesuits as a means of counteracting immorality and infidelity among the students of the Roman College of the Society of Jesus. This was sometime towards the end of the 18th century. The practice eventually spread to other Jesuit Colleges as well as Catholic churches. Various forms of Marian devotions were soon practiced including pilgrimages, daily recitation of rosary, and the May Altar.

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The May Altar can be placed in churches or homes. The altar is typically a table with a Marian picture or image, decorated with different flowers abloom in May. Families pray the rosary preferably the whole month, hopefully to instill the practice all throughout.                                              .

Churches on the other hand, may hold processions prior to the start of every mass. Children typically dressed in white carry letters to spell out “AVE MARIA”. The practice of honoring Mary with flowers was traced to Medieval Europe’s monasteries and convents. People of the Middle Ages usually associate Mary with their gardens and this might be attributed to the floral imagery liberally used in the writings of Church Fathers.

In the Philippines, daily offering of flowers in churches is quite common in observance of Flores de Mayo, and culminating in a major event called the Santacruzan. This parade includes biblical characters and historical figures in relation to St. Helena’s search for the true cross of Jesus Christ. The mobile arches used by each participant are decked with flowers plus other decorations denoting bounty.

Blessed Virgin Mary – the Mother of Christ

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The Blessed Virgin Mary as the Mother of Christ holds a very special role in the Catholic Church.  She is venerated not only because of Church-instituted dogmas but also because of writings, reports, and testimonies of her divine motherhood and intercessory powers through prayer.  The Blessed Virgin Mary is not only considered as the Mother of Jesus Christ who accepted her role as the woman selected to bring forth the Savior to the world but also as the Mother of the Church.

Mary’s parents are Anne from Bethlehem and Joachim from Nazareth. Both her parents eventually were proclaimed as saints.  Even before Mary was given her special mission to give birth to Jesus, she was already betrothed to Joseph.

The role of Mary in today’s world is that of an intermediary of man to God.  She is believed to be the most powerful intercessor in time of need for protection, refuge, compassion, and even miracles. Marian devotions continue to grow while the Catholic Church continues to develop the general direction of the Marian culture. The praying of the rosaryis considered a Marian devotion.

Mary is also known by many other names as a result of these devotions.  Aside from being called Mary, Mother of God, she is also referred to as Mary, the Immaculate Conception, Queen of Heaven, Mother of all Sorrows, Mediatrix, Mother of Mercy, and Mother of Perpetual Help.  Some titles related to a specific place which chose to honor her or a specific event credited to her include Our Lady of Guadalupe,  Our Lady of Czestochowa, and Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, among others.

Feasts held in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary are numerous.  There are at least three Marian solemnities considered as Holy Days of Obligation by the Catholic Church.  These are the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8, the Feast of Mary, Mother of God on January 1, and the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on August 15.  Other commonly observed Marian feasts include the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary on September 8, the Queenship of Mary on August 22, the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima on May 13, the feat of Our Lady of Lourdes on February 11, and the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 12.

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