The month of May is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. People have used a variety of traditions, prayers, customs and hymns to manifest this special devotion for the last few centuries. A few examples are singing Marian hymns after the family rosary, making sure there are always fresh-cut flowers at her statues, pilgrimages to local Marian shrines, extra rosaries and more. If you hurry, you can catch the tail end of a rosary crusade for the Catholic church here.
The online Catholic encyclopedia has a great explanation:
The May devotion in its present form originated at Rome where Father Latomia of the Roman College of the Society of Jesus, to counteract infidelity and immorality among the students, made a vow at the end of the eighteenth century to devote the month of May to Mary. From Rome the practice spread to the other Jesuit colleges and thence to nearly every Catholic church of the Latin rite ...
So what grew out of a movement to sanctify Jesuit students has developed into the wonderful Marian month that Catholics celebrate to this day (as himself looks at some irises next to Our Lady's statue)!
The online Catholic encyclopedia states that is the oldest instance of a devotion lasting an entire month and that indulgences are a’plenty, (even a plenary!) when the usual conditions are met. More on that here.
In this day and age of “go, go, go” and continuous distractions, this is a such a great reminder. How incredible and fitting to honor the Mother of God during this month and to be able to reap so many indulgences.
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