“MAYDAY! MAYDAY!” is a distress call that is used by pilots in life-threatening situations. Isn’t it interesting that “May Day”, in the Church, marks the beginning of a month dedicated to the devotion of Mary, the Queen of Heaven and the Mother of our Savior?
According to CatholicCulture.org, “The pious practice of honoring Mary during the month of May has been especially recommended by the Popes. Pius XII made frequent reference to it and in his great Encyclical on the Sacred Liturgy (Mediator Dei) characterized it as one of “other exercises of piety which although not strictly belonging to the Sacred Liturgy, are nevertheless of special import and dignity, and may be considered in a certain way to be an addition to the liturgical cult: they have been approved and praised over and over again by the Apostolic See and by the Bishops” (no. 182).”
The article continues, “Paul VI wrote a short encyclical in 1965 using the Month of Mary devotion as a means of obtaining prayers for peace. He urged the faithful to make use of this practice which is “gladdening and consoling.” (no. 2). In May of 2002 Pope John Paul II said, “Today we begin the month dedicated to Our Lady a favorite of popular devotion. In accord with a long-standing tradition of devotion, parishes and families continue to make the month of May a ‘Marian’ month, celebrating it with many devout liturgical, catechetical and pastoral initiatives!” – CatholicCulture.org.
I’d like to encourage you to consider continuing the Church’s tradition of Marian devotion this month. Visiting the Shrine in Champion and praying the Rosary are certainly wonderful ways to do this. Celebrating your mother on Mother’s Day could be another opportunity. Another option is praying a short prayer asking for Mary’s intercession.
Through the Easter Season (May 23rd, this year) Catholics pray the Regina Caeli.
Regina Caeli (Queen of Heaven)
Queen of Heaven, rejoice. Alleluia.
For He, whom thou wast worthy to bear. Alleluia.
Has risen as He said. Alleluia.
Pray for us to God. Alleluia.
LEADER: Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary. Alleluia.
R. Because the Lord is truly risen, Alleluia.
LEADER: Let us pray
R. O God, Who by the Resurrection of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, hast been pleased to give joy to the whole world, grant we beseech Thee, that through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, His Mother, we may attain the joys of eternal life. Through the same Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Relevant Radio says “the Regina Caeli is a tribute to our Blessed Mother and an exclamation of joy at the Resurrection of our Lord. The Regina Caeli celebrates that ‘yes’ through which the Redeemer entered the world and subsequently rose from the dead. After the immense sorrow of the Mother of God at witnessing the suffering and death of her Son, this prayer acknowledges her joy at His rising from the dead.”
Starting with Ordinary Time, we resume praying The Angelus until Easter. It commemorates the Incarnation of Christ in the womb of the Virgin Mary. The Angelus remembers the Angel Gabriel’s message to Mary & her Fiat to God’s plan for salvation.
V. The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary.
R. And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.
Hail Mary, full of grace,
The Lord is with Thee;
Blessed art thou among women,
And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
Pray for us sinners,
Now and at the hour of our death. Amen
V. Behold the handmaid of the Lord.
R. Be it done unto me according to thy word.
Hail Mary, …
V. And the Word was made Flesh.
R. And dwelt among us.
Hail Mary, …
V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
LET US PRAY
Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts, that we to whom the Incarnation of Christ Thy Son was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection. Through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.