In the month of May, as we prepare to celebrate mothers for their dedication and importance to our families, we remember Mary, the Mother of God and the greatest saint, in a special way. In fact, May is Mary’s month. Catholics honor Mary every day of the year through prayer. We remember the many ways God blessed Mary. We read about Mary in Scripture. But during the month of May Mary is specially honored by devotions around the world.
Some parishes have a celebration and a procession and coronation (or May crowning with flowers) of the statue of Mary. Children enjoy participating in these events and honoring Mary in this way, particularly if it’s a smaller scale crowning of a statue in their own religious education classroom.
Praying the Rosary is one of the many popular devotions to Mary, and during the month of May some parishes may offer a daily recitation of the Rosary. The Rosary is usually prayed using a string of beads with an attached crucifix. The prayers we pray during the Rosary create a peaceful rhythm of prayer during which we can reflect on special times in the lives of Jesus and Mary.
To pray the Rosary, begin with the Sign of the Cross. Then, pray the Apostles’ Creed. On every large bead, pray the Our Father. On every small bead, pray the Hail Mary. Pray a Glory Be to the Father after each set of small beads. To end the Rosary, pray the Hail, Holy Queen.
Each set of prayers is called a decade of the Rosary. While praying the Rosary, we recall a different mystery at the beginning of each decade: the Joyful Mysteries, the Sorrowful Mysteries, the Glorious Mysteries, or the Mysteries of Light. One of the Joyful Mysteries—the Visitation (the visit of Mary with Elizabeth as recorded in the Gospel of Luke, Luke 1:39–56)—is a feast day of Mary celebrated during this month, on May 25.
During Mary’s month, make an extra effort to pray the Rosary at home with family members or with the students in your religious education program.
We can also honor Mary during May and always by doing good works in her name, by paying a special visit to parishes named for her, and by asking Mary to pray for us and speak to her son on our behalf. Download the Praying with MaryPrayer Card, which contains prayers to honor Mary, Mother of God, and the Church’s greatest saint. Share it with the students and families in your religious education program this month as you honor Mary in a special way.