At least in the Northern hemisphere, in May we experience the arrival of spring — mother nature comes into bloom, starting to show her most beautiful colors and filling the air with delicious smells. It seems only fitting that May is also the Month of Mary. So, let's dive into why is May the Month of Mary.
Month of Mary: a little bit of history
This custom dates back to the Ancient Greeks, who celebrated the goddess of fecundity in May. In medieval times, similar customs abounded, all focused on the practice of expelling winter, as May 1 was considered the start of new growth.
The idea of an entire month dedicated specifically to the Virgin Mary can be traced back to Baroque times. Not always held during May, the Mary month included thirty daily spiritual exercises honoring the Blessed Virgin. Finally, it was between the XVI and XVII centuries that May became the month of Mary. This custom became especially widespread during the XIX century and remains in practice until today.
How to celebrate May as the month of Mary
To honor the Virgin, many parishes used to have a daily recitation of the Rosary. Some of them erected a special altar with a statue or a picture of Mary. Additionally, it’s customary to crown Mary statue with garlands of roses. Known as May Crowning, this long-standing tradition is still kept alive by numerous Catholic churches.
The crown is usually made of rose blossoms representing Mary’s beauty and virtue.
How to celebrate the month of Mary at home
For those who wish to celebrate Mary month at home, it will be as simple as organizing a small altar, if you don't have it already, and placing a Mary statue adorned with a rose crown or your favorite rosary.