My Dear People
Without its feminine dimension, the Church risks to become an old boy’s club and incapable of love, so says Pope Francis.
And Voltaire asserted that a male dominated society tends to be barbaric.
So why not celebrate this, the Merry Month of Mary?
But why is May the Month of Mary? (Apart from Chaucer telling us!)
In early Greece, May was dedicated to Artemis, the goddess of fecundity. In Ancient Rome, May was dedicated to Flora, the goddess of flowers. In medieval times, similar customs abounded, all around the practice of expelling winter, as May 1st was considered the start of new growth.
So the Church Christianised it, just as they Christianised gods’ hill to become God’s hill.
The ways Mary is honoured in May is as varied as the people who honour her.
It is a long-standing tradition to crown the statue of Mary during May – a custom known as May Crowning. [Anyone offering to make a crown for one of our statues?] The crown is usually made of flowers, representing Mary’s beauty
May Crowning in some areas is a huge celebration and is often done outside of Mass, and it isn’t just a “church” thing. We can and should be doing the same in our homes. When we echo the customs and traditions of the Church in our homes – our domestic churches – we participate more fully in the life of the Church.
If you haven’t already, I encourage you to erect a prayer corner in your home. It doesn’t matter how fancy or simple it is. The main point is that it’s a place designated for God, and more specifically, for spending time with him. Just as you need proper atmosphere to sleep, you also need proper atmosphere to pray.
For May, give Mary a special place in your prayer corner. It can be a statue or picture, but place there some representation of our Blessed Mother.
Then, crown Mary. You can give her an actual or spiritual crown and you can make it a subtle gesture or ornate ceremony of your own device. The meaning is far more important than the action. You can do it in the beginning, at the end of May or anywhere in between.
Just do it.
Not because it’s a long-standing tradition in the Church, although it is. Not because there are any special graces connected to it, although there are.
No, do it because Mary is Mother – your mother, my mother, everyone’s mother – and because she cares for all of us day-in-and-day-out without fail, interceding for us in even the tiniest matters.
For that, she deserves an entire month in her honour. And join us, even if it is only for this month, at our cell of the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham.
Yours in Christ,