Honoring the Blessed Mother in May

A statue of Our Lady of Fatima is carried during a candlelight vigil at the shrine in Fatima, Portugal, Oct. 12, 2007. Catholic celebrate her Feast Day May 13. (CNS photo/Nacho Doce, Reuters)
A statue of Our Lady of Fatima is carried during a candlelight vigil at the shrine in Fatima, Portugal, Oct. 12, 2007. Catholic celebrate her Feast Day May 13. (CNS photo/Nacho Doce, Reuters)

The month of May is replete with Marian feast days. On May 31, we celebrate the Blessed Mother’s visitation of Elizabeth. Mary 13 we celebrate Our Lady of Fatima and May 24 we celebrate Mary, Help of Christians. Starting May 1, many of our schools and parishes will participate in May Crownings, during which Catholics honor the Blessed Mother by crowning her with flowers.

“What the Catholic faith believes about Mary is based on what it believes about Christ, and what it teaches about Mary illumines in turn its faith in Christ,” according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, §487.  “At once virgin and mother, Mary is the symbol and the most perfect realization of the Church.” (§507) Read more from the Catechism here. 

You may also be interested in Pope Francis’ Regina Coeli from April 28:

Before closing this celebration, I would like to entrust to Our Lady the confirmands and all of you. The Virgin Mary teaches us what it means to live in the Holy Spirit and what it means to accept the news of God in our life. She conceived Jesus by the work of the Holy Spirit, and every Christian, each one of us, is called to accept the Word of God, to accept Jesus inside of us and then to bring him to everyone. Mary invoked the Holy Spirit with the Apostles in the Upper Room: we too, every time that we come together in prayer, are sustained by the spiritual presence of the Mother of Jesus, in order to receive the gift of the Spirit and to have the strength to witness to Jesus Risen. I say this in a special way to you who have received Confirmation today: may Mary help you to be attentive to what the Lord asks of you, and to live and walk forever with the Holy Spirit!

I would like to extend my affectionate greeting to all the pilgrims present from so many countries. I greet in particular the children who are preparing for Confirmation, the large group led by the Sisters of Charity, the faithful of several Polish parishes and those from Bisignano, as well as the Katholische akademische Verbindung Capitolina.

At this moment, a special moment, I wish to raise a prayer for the many victims caused by the tragic collapse of a factory in Bangladesh. I express my solidarity with and deepest sympathies to the families who are mourning their loved ones, and I address a strong appeal from my heart that the dignity and safety of the worker always be protected.

Now, in the light of Easter, the fruit of the Holy Spirit, we turn together to the Mother of the Lord.

Different countries celebrate Mary during May as well. In Japan, Catholics celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Tsuwano on May 3, while the Polish celebrate the Blessed Mother as Queen of Poland on the same day. Maronite Catholics celebrate Our Blessed Mother of Miles May 16 and Peruvians celebrate Our Lady of Cuzco May 23. There are many more.

This month, let us join our Catholic brothers and sisters around the world in asking for the Blessed Mother to draw us ever closer to her Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ.