May is for Mary Print this post

Students from St. Mary Academy and St. Martha Catholic School prepare for the Crowning of Our Lady before school Mass in Sarasota on May 5th, 2017.

The Work of Mary is United in Christ Print this post

By Bob Reddy (Florida Catholic)

5/10/17

Historically, May is a month dedicated by the Catholic Church to Mary, the Mother of God. As it is well known, Mary plays an important and irreplaceable role in the spiritual life of the Church. Her “yes” to the Angel Gabriel cemented Our Lady’s legacy and perpetual virtue for the rest of time, and into eternity.

A statue of Mary is crowned for the Month of May in the Our Lady of the Angels Chapel at St. John Neumann Catholic High School in Naples.

Mary’s closeness with Our Savior Jesus Christ is the reason why the Magnificat prayer is included within the Liturgy of the Hours, which clergy, religious, and many people pray daily. Salvation History is filled with examples which demonstrate the many ways in which Mary serves the Church and Our Lord.

May is the month when we honor our Blessed Mother, Mary and we should all ask ourselves how to dedicate time this month in Mary’s honor? Perhaps it is praying the Rosary? Saying “yes” to God? Or even, trusting in Him?

Students at St. Ann Catholic School place flowers before a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary during a Mass on May 5 in Naples.

For Mary’s month of May, Pope Francis has recommended the “simple and effective” prayer of the rosary. “Let us invoke the heavenly intercession of Mary, Mother of Jesus,” and urged young people to “learn to pray with the simple and effective prayer of the rosary,” to sick people, he encouraged, “may the Blessed Virgin be your support in the trial of suffering.”

Bishop Frank J. Dewane led a May 1 prayer service in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary for the staff of the Diocesan Catholic Center in Venice. Included in the prayer service were prayers, songs and intercessions.

May is the time when young Catholics often receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion for the first time. Parishes and Catholic Schools in the Diocese have May Crowning ceremonies in which a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary is given a crown of flowers.

Second grade students at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic School in Port Charlotte sing a song after Mass as part of a May Crowning cermony on May 5.

At St. Charles Borromeo Catholic School in Port Charlotte, a crowning ceremony took place in the school courtyard following Mass on May 5. The children, dressed in white, led the school in song and prayer.

St. Charles Principal Tonya Peters said the students pray for the intercessions of the Blessed Virgin Mary each day, and the May Crowning ceremony is part of a month-long focus during which the student learn more about Our Lady and her role in the Church.

In commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima first appearing to the three shepherd children – Lucia, Jacinto, and Francisco – in Portugal on May 13, 1917, various parish-level activities are planned.

 Students from St. Mary Academy and St. Martha Catholic School prepare for The Crowning of Our Lady before school Mass on May 5, 2017.

 

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of the Angles Parish held a prayer service May 7 which included a procession with the Statue of Our Lady.

Our Lady of the Angels Parish in Lakewood Ranch a celebration took place on May 7 which included a procession around the Parish property and into the Church led by Administrator Father Michael Scheip A prayer service followed. Parish youth were encouraged to research and write essays on Our Lady of Fatima and younger children to create colorful artwork.

More than 20,000 Rosary Rallies throughout the United States and with the Diocese of Venice are planned for noon on May 13, “in an effort to turn to God, through His Holy Mother, asking His urgent help to solve the urgent problems in the U.S.” Organized through parishes, local rallies are planned for Naples, Fort Myers and Sarasota.

The month of May also serves as an opportunity to reflect upon the season of the Liturgical Year which largely corresponds with the 50 days of Easter or what is referred to as the Easter Season. Therefore, time should be taken to reflect on Our Lady’s participation in the Paschal mystery and in Pentecost with which the Church begins.

Mary is often referred to as the “New Eve,” because whereas Eve, and implicitly Adam as well, said “yes” to the temptation of the serpent in the garden, Mary restored humanity by saying “yes” to the Angel Gabriel. Mary’s “yes” to Christ’s Incarnation made possible humanity’s liberation from the bondage of sin and death. Without Our Mother’s courageous response, humanity would remain in darkness; but with Christ’s Redeeming power there is Light for His people.

It is Mary’s response of “yes” to the call of God that each person should emulate in his or her life.

The question is this: do you have the courage to say “yes” to Christ in humble obedience? By responding to Christ’s call in our lives with a resounding “yes,” the power unleashed, not by our own doing but instead by Christ’s, is incalculable. The challenge before each one of us is to be humble and obey Christ’s call, as Mary did.

During the month of May, pray about how Christ is calling you to draw closer to Him. In doing so, ask for the grace to act in His service, and that you might have the courage, like Mary, to say yes and do the will of the Lord.

 

 

 

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