|P. Maurus, OSB|
The month of May is dedicated to Our Blessed Lady, QUEEN of the MAY. It is the time specially given to her in tribute of faith and love. During this month we offer up to Mary fervent and loving homage of prayer and veneration. In this month, too, the benefits of God's Mercy come down to us from her throne in greater abundance" (Paul VI: Encyclical on the Month of May).
This custom of dedicating the month of May to the Blessed Virgin arose at the end of the 13th century. In this way, the Church was able to Christianize the secular feasts which took place at that time.
The practice became especially popular among the members of the Jesuit Order and by 1700 it took hold among their students at the
and a bit later it was publicly practiced in the Gesu
Church in . From there it spread to the whole
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" and by which the Blessed Virgin Mary is honored and the Christian people are enriched with spiritual gifts".
Mary is the Mother of God, the Mother of the Church and our Mother. Let us this month pray for hope in our world, for peace in the hearts of all, and a deeper love of her Son.