May 1, 2024
May 1, 2024
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May devotions to the Blessed Virgin Mary refer to special Marian devotions held in the Catholic Church during the month of May honoring Mary, mother of God, as “the Queen of May”. These services may take place inside or outside. A “May Crowning” is a traditional Roman Catholic ritual that occurs in May.

A number of traditions link the month of May to Mary. Alfonso, in the thirteenth century, wrote in his Cantigas de Santa Maria about the special honoring of Mary during specific dates in May. Eventually, the entire month was filled with special observances and devotions to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

In his 1965 encyclical, Mense Maio, Pope Paul VI identified the month of May as an opportune time to incorporate special prayers for peace into traditional May devotions. There is no firm structure as to the content of a May devotion.

It usually includes the singing of Marian anthems, readings from scriptures, and a sermon. Catholics offer Mary in May: pilgrimages, visits to churches dedicated to her, little sacrifices in her honor, periods of study and well-finished work offered up to her, and a more attentive recitation of the rosary.

The last devotion on May 31 is often followed by a solemn procession, during which a statue or portrait of the Virgin Mary is carried back into the church. Some May devotions may take place outside or in a dedicated special place.

While May devotions may differ in various countries, the Marian title “Queen of May” exists in several countries as manifested in Marian songs. In English speaking countries such as England, Ireland and the United States a Marian hymn uses the following text:

Hail Virgin, dearest Mary! Our lovely Queen of May! O spotless, blessed Lady, Our lovely Queen of May. Your children, humbly bending, Surround your shrine…

The link between Mary and the month of May became popular among the members of the Jesuit Order — by 1700 it had a firm hold among their students at the Roman College and a short time later it was publicly celebrated in the Gesu Church in Rome. From there it spread to the rest of the Church.

The pious practice of honouring Mary during the month of May has been especially promoted by the Popes. Pius XII made frequent reference to it and in his great Encyclical on the Sacred Liturgy Mediator Dei. He 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, approved and praised over and over again by the Apostolic See and by the Bishops”

Devotion to Mary is an important part of the Catholic identity. As our mother she is an example of a committed “Yes” to the Will of God. Because of the devotion to her many people ask her for help in the most difficult moments of their life as any child does with his mother.


Holy Mary, Mother of God and Virgin, I choose thee this day for my queen, patron, and advocate, and firmly resolve and purpose never to abandon thee, never to say or do anything against thee, nor to permit that aught be done by others to dishonor thee. Receive me, then, I conjure thee, as thy perpetual servant; assist me in all my actions, and do not abandon me at the hour of my death. Amen. — St. John Berchmans

1. Regina Coeli (Queen of Heaven)
2. The Rosary
3. Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Litany of Loretto)
4. The Brown Scapular — Fr. William G. Most
5. The “Akathistos” Hymn
6. The Mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary

(Monday / Saturday)

1. The Annunciation
2. The Visitation
3. The Nativity
4. The Presentation
5. The Finding of Our Lord in the Temple

(Tuesday / Friday)

1. The Agony in the Garden
2. The Scourging at the Pillar
3. The Crowning with Thorns
4. The Carrying of the Cross
5. The Crucifixion


(Sunday / Wednesday)

1. The Resurrection
2. The Ascension
3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit
4. The Assumption
5. The Coronation


1. The Baptism in the Jordan
2. The Wedding at Cana
3. The Proclamation of the Kingdom
4. The Transfiguration
5. The Institution of the Eucharist

The month of May is the “month which the piety of the faithful has especially dedicated to Our Blessed Lady,” and it is the occasion for a “moving tribute of faith and love which Catholics in every part of the world [pay] to the Queen of Heaven.

During this month Christians, both in church and in the privacy of the home, offer up to Mary from their hearts an especially 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, no. 1).

This Christian 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 were wont to take place at that time. In the 16th century, books appeared and fostered this devotion.

The practice became especially popular among the members of the Jesuit Order — by 1700 it took hold among their students at the Roman College and a bit later it was publicly practiced in the Gesu Church in Rome. From there it spread to the whole Church.

The practice was granted a partial indulgence by Pius VII in 1815 and a plenary indulgence by Pius IX in 1859. With the complete revision of indulgences in 1966 and the decreased emphasis on specific indulgences, it no longer carries an indulgence; however it certainly falls within the category of the First General Grant of Indulgences.

A partial indulgence is granted to the faithful who, in the performance of their duties and in bearing the trials of life, raise their mind with humble confidence to God, adding — even if only mentally — some pious invocation.

Excerpted from Enchiridion of Indulgences


Daily Prayer for May, the Month of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Most Glorious Virgin Mary, Mother of God and our Mother, turn thine eyes in pity upon us, miserable sinners; we are sore afflicted by the many evils that surround us in this life, but especially do we feel our hearts break within us upon hearing the dreadful insults and blasphemies uttered against thee, o Virgin Immaculate.

O how these impious sayings offend the infinite Majesty of God and of His only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ! How they provoke His indignation and give us cause to fear the terrible effects of His vengeance! Would that the sacrifice of our lives might avail to put to an end such outrages and blasphemies; were it so, how gladly we should make it, for we desire, O most Holy Mother, to love thee and to honor thee with all our hearts, since this is the will of God. And just because we love thee, we will do all that is in our power to make thee honored and loved by all men.

In the meantime do thou, our merciful Mother, the supreme comforter of the afflicted, accept this our act of reparation which we offer thee for ourselves and for all our families, as well as for all who impiously blaspheme thee, not knowing what they say.

Do thou obtain for them from Almighty God the grace of conversion, and thus render more manifest and more glorious thy kindness, thy power and thy great mercy. May they join with us in proclaiming thee blessed among women, the Immaculate Virgin and most compassionate Mother of God. Amen.
From The Raccolta.


May 1


“When the Blessed Virgin said yes, freely, to the plans revealed to her by the Creator, the divine Word assumed a human nature — a rational soul and a body — which was formed in the most pure womb of Mary. The divine nature and the human were united in a single Person: Jesus Christ, true God and, thenceforth, true man; the only begotten and eternal son of the Father and from that mo­ment on, as man, the true son of Mary.

This is why our Lady is the mother of the Incarnate Word, of the second person of the Blessed Trinity, who has united our human nature to himself for ever, without any confusion of the two natures. The greatest praise we can give to the Blessed Virgin is to address her loudly and clearly by the name that expresses her very highest dignity: ‘Mother of God’.”


“Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto you, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to you do I come, before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in your mercy hear and answer me. Amen.”

Chosen by God above all other women, Mary’s faith and obedience paved the way for the Incarnation. Her example teaches us faith, obedience, humility and most of all, how to love. According to St. Thomas of Villanova, “If in this world any creature ever loved God with whole heart, with whole soul, and with whole mind, she was the creature.”

The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines Mary’s unique role as being honored above all other saints, including the Apostles. At the foot of the cross, her heart broke for Jesus, yet she accepted God’s will.

This acceptance of God’s Will was not only for her Son, but for herself in her new role as mother to us all. (John 19:25-27) So, not only is she the mother of Jesus, and thus, the Mother of God, she is also Mother of the Church.


MAY 1 – PROMISE #121
My Spirit made you and My breath gives you life.
Job 33:4

MAY 2 – PROMISE #122
There is no place you can go to escape My presence.
Psalm 139:7-10

MAY 3 – PROMISE #123
All your days are known to Me and your inheritance is secure forever.
Psalm 37:18

MAY 4 – PROMISE #124
I gently formed you in your mother’s womb.
Psalm 139:13

MAY 5 – PROMISE #125
I am delighted to give you My kingdom.
Luke 12:32

MAY 6 – PROMISE #126
My face will shine upon you all the days of your life.
Numbers 6:25

MAY 7 – PROMISE #127
My Word will brighten your steps and light your path.
Psalm 119:105

MAY 8 – PROMISE #128
My Son took upon Himself all your sicknesses and diseases.
Matthew 8:16-17

MAY 9 – PROMISE #129
My Spirit will help you in your weakness.
Romans 8:26

MAY 10 – PROMISE #130
You can do all things through Jesus Christ who gives you strength.
Philippians 4:13

MAY 11 – PROMISE #131
Be courageous, for I am with you and I will never fail you.
Deuteronomy 31:6

MAY 12 – PROMISE #132
I am a very present help for you in times of trouble.
Psalm 46:1

MAY 13 – PROMISE #133
I will keep watch over you and guard you forever.
Psalm 12:7

MAY 14 – PROMISE #134
I hear your voice when you call to Me in the morning.
Psalm 5:3

MAY 15 – PROMISE #135
All that I have is yours because you belong to Jesus.
John 16:15

MAY 16 – PROMISE #136
My goodness and mercy will chase after you all your life.
Psalm 23:6

MAY 17 – PROMISE #137
I will teach your children My ways and give them great peace.
Isaiah 54:13

MAY 18 – PROMISE #138
I will not forget the love you have shown Me by serving others.
Hebrews 6:10

MAY 19 – PROMISE #139
I will repay those who are kind to the poor.
Proverbs 19:17

MAY 20 – PROMISE #140
All My blessings will overtake those who obey Me.
Deuteronomy 28:2

MAY 21 – PROMISE #141
I know what you need before you even ask.
Matthew 6:8

MAY 22 – PROMISE #142
I open prison doors and set captives free.
Isaiah 61:1

MAY 23 – PROMISE #143
I will rescue the godly from all their troubles.
2 Peter 2:9

MAY 24 – PROMISE #144
My displeasure may last a moment, but My favor is yours for life.
Psalm 30:5

MAY 25 – PROMISE #145
I will fill those who hunger and thirst for My righteousness.
Matthew 5:6

MAY 26 – PROMISE #146
I will show you the mysteries of My kingdom.
Matthew 13:11

MAY 27 – PROMISE #147
Those who overcome will eat from the tree of life in paradise.
Revelation 2:7

MAY 28 – PROMISE #148
I have prepared amazing things for those who love Me.
1 Corinthians 2:9

MAY 29 – PROMISE #149
Those who are pure in heart will see My face.
Matthew 5:8

MAY 30 – PROMISE #150
I began the good work in you and I will finish it.
Philippians 1:6

MAY 31 – PROMISE #151
You can rest in My promise of eternal life, for I cannot lie.
Titus 1:2


Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy,
Hail our life, our sweetness and our hope.
To thee do we cry,
poor banished children of Eve.
To thee do we send up our sighs,
mourning and weeping in this vale of tears
Turn then, O Most Gracious Advocate,
thine eyes of mercy toward us,
and after this exile
show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb,
O Clement, O Loving,
O Sweet Virgin Mary.

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