Our Most Blessed Mother, Our Greatest Joy!

"You are all-beautiful, O Mary! You are the glory, you are the joy, you are the honor of our people!" Pope Pius XII

May, the month of blossoms and sweet Spring time is the most fitting month to honor Mary, Our Blessed Mother. For centuries we "bring flowers of the fairest, and the rarest, from garden and woodland and hillside and vale" to show our love and respect "We crown thee with blossoms today, Queen of the angels, Queen of the May!"1 

May Processions of joyful First Communion boys and girls lined up to bring their songs, prayers and blossoms to crown the Blessed Mother continue to be a beautiful tradition in our parishes. The memories of these processions remain with the faithful throughout their lives as powerful symbols of hope and love. A love of a Mother that permeates every fiber of our beings, and a hope that only mothers can give their children that everything will be all right.

We call to Mary from our early ages as we are taught of her Motherly love for Jesus from the start of our religious education and we cling to her care for us throughout our lives. She is our comfort and our greatest joy. We do not raise her to deity, as she would never want that-everything she lived for pointed to Jesus, her son. "All to Jesus, through Mary"2 is the way we learned to pray, to live and to find meaning in our lives. When we are in sorrow, she teaches us the way; when we are joyful, she models the way to live. When we are challenged, she inspires us with her life of total surrender and service, and when we are despairing, she shows us the way to inner strength, love and forgiveness.

Honoring Mary each May, honors God, and our traditions are joyful reminders of the way in which we embrace life. May we honor Mary and all mothers this month, for everything they do for us. Salve Regina!

1  "Bring Flowers of the Fairest" hymn by Mary E. Walsh. It was published as the "Crowning Hymn" in the Wreath of Mary 1871/1883
2  Saint Marcellin Champagnat, founder of the Marist Brothers.

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