That’s My Plan
Catholics have celebrated May as Mary’s month since the 13th century, when the Church gave the pagan festival of May Day a Christian meaning by associating it with the Blessed Virgin. The new life of spring in early May reflects the new life of Jesus which Mary bore. Since then, May is traditionally the month when Catholics celebrate the life and ministry of Our Lady, Mary, Mother of God.
Catholics in general, and Catholic school students in particular, find many ways to honor the Virgin Mary during the month of May by introducing visible reminders of the Blessed Mother into the daily life of family and friends They might do this by:
- Creating a shrine to the Virgin Mary in one’s home, with Mary statues, crosses, or other religious items of significance.
- Creating a makeshift altar area where family members can either light small candles in honor of Mary or write down their prayers to her and lay them before her.
- Starting a Mary garden, either outside or in pots. Children and other family members can select flowers of special meaning to Mary. Medieval Catholics believed all flowers and trees that bloomed in May honored Mary. Flowers, over time associated with Our Lady, include marigolds (Mary’s gold), lilies, roses, violets (Our Lady’s Modesty), columbine (Our Lady’s Shoes), mint (Our Lady’s Herb), Lily of the Valley (Our Lady’s Tears) and many others.
- Finding a statue or plaque of Our Lady to make an already existing outdoor garden a Mary Garden. Inviting children and other family members to decorate the statue with flowers, and offer group prayers to the Virgin Mary.
- Encouraging children to draw pictures of Mary and how she serves the church and the world. Display pictures prominently in the home; they can also be scanned into the computer and made into cards or postcards that children can send to family, friends, and the parish priests and staff in honor of Mary.
So this May, ASA students will be spending some time praying, landscaping, or enjoying nature with Mary to enhance faith and nurture a deeper relationship with the Blessed Virgin Mary. That’s our plan!