We flip the calendar this weekend and begin a new month. Our daffodils have been in bloom for some time. Now the buds are emerging on our hydrangeas and our gardens are coming to life. It’s the month of May, and it’s the month of Mary.
The National Catholic Register writes:
For centuries, the Catholic Church has set aside the entire month of May to honour Mary, Mother of God. Not just a day in May, mind you, but the entire month.
The custom spans both centuries and cultures, with roots going back as far as the Ancient Greeks. In early Greece, May was dedicated to Artemis, the goddess of fecundity.
In Ancient Rome, May was dedicated to Flora, the goddess of blooms, or blossoms. They celebrated ludi florals, or floral games, at the end of April and asked the intercession of Flora for all that blooms.
In medieval times, similar customs abounded, all centering around the practice of expelling winter, as May 1 was considered the start of new growth.
During this period, the tradition of Tricesimum, or “Thirty-Day Devotion to Mary,” came into being. Also called, “Lady Month,” the event was held from August 15 to September 14 and is still observed in some areas.
The idea of a month dedicated specifically to Mary can be traced back to baroque times. Although it wasn’t always held during May, Mary Month included thirty daily spiritual exercises honoring Mary.
It was in this era that Mary’s Month and May were combined, making May the Month of Mary with special devotions organized on each day throughout the month. This custom became especially widespread during the nineteenth century and remains in practice until today.
Here at St. Julia, we will continue to seek the intercession of our Blessed Mother for peace in Ukraine as we turn to her at every Mass in prayer. I also thank our C.W.L. for leading us in the rosary after Monday morning Mass.
May our eyes be fixed on Mary, our Blessed Mother, and may God bless each of you and those that you love as we begin this new month together as a parish family here at St. Julia.
Mary, pray for us!
From Our Pastor