May is here!
Spring is the season when nature awakens from its winter slumber. Trees and flowers begin to bloom again, and the sun warms the earth. May is also the month of Mary. The tradition of dedicating the month of May to Mary began centuries ago. The Catholic Church honors Mary, the mother of God, the entire month, not just one day. This May, look for ways to cultivate a relationship with Our Mother Mary. Here are seven unique ways you can honor Mary in your life and in your home.
The most well-known prayer for Mary is the Hail Mary. The Rosary is a series of prayers that Mary gave St. Dominic. Praying the Rosary means we contemplate the life of Jesus and ask Mary to intercede on our behalf. Praying the rosary is a beautiful devotion and commitment. Ask Mary for her prayers and intercession by including the Hail Mary or another Marian prayer into your daily prayer time.
Read a book about Mary. Deepen your relationship with her by reading a Marian book as a prayer. While reading, play music and fill your room with beautiful sounds to honor Our Blessed Mother.
Take advantage of the fresh air outside and plant a Mary Garden. If you’re not familiar with a Mary Garden, it is not difficult to construct. This tradition began centuries ago in Europe where missionaries joined in a collective effort to plant gardens with plants named after Mary. Use a statue of Mary as your focal point and begin planting around it. Consider making a list of your favorite Mary flowers and take the time to learn about their name and meaning. A few floral options for your garden could include:
● Marigold: “Mary’s gold,” which Christians used to offer Mary instead of coins.
● Rosemary: “Mary” is in the name!
● Bleeding Heart: Mary’s heart was pierced.
● Lily of the Valley: also known as “Our Lady’s Tears.”
After planting your flowers, choose some selections to add personal meaning, such as painted rocks, pinwheels or stepping stones and watch your garden bloom!
Create something in honor of Mary, such as a painting, a prayer shawl, or something hand-made that you can incorporate into your home’s décor. Another creative idea is to do a May crowning. Mother’s Day is a great day for this activity. If you have a garden, pick flowers, arrange them into a floral crown and sing songs in honor of Mary. This is a wonderful way to honor your earthly and heavenly mother on this special day.
Deepen your relationship with Mary by studying her presence in the Bible. She is not a woman of many words, but what she does speak is powerful. Read these verses to understand their deeper meaning. What can you learn from Mary and how can you make it applicable in your own life?
Luke 1:38- Faith of Mary
Luke 1:29- 2:19, 2:5- Strengths of Mary
John 2:5 and Matthew 1:24, 2:14- Humility of Mary
Celebrate Our Lady with a delicious family Marian-themed meal. Since the herb rosemary is associated with Mary, bake a rosemary chicken meal and a Bundt cake formed in the shape of a crown with roses on the top. The crown-shaped, colorful dessert will remind you of Mary’s queenship.
7. Practice Charity for the Love of Mary
Select a feast day in May, such as Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament and Our Lady Fatima on May 13, and do a kind deed for another. Consider donating to Holy Land Christians in need. Your support could bring life-giving hope to someone in a desperate circumstance. Remember to pray for those who are struggling today and ask Our Lady to pray for them.