In the month of May, as we prepare to celebrate mothers for their dedication and importance to our families, we learn about and remember Mary, the Mother of God and the greatest saint, in a special way.
MARY, MOTHER OF GOD ACTIVITIES AND RESOURCES
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. In fact, May is the month of Mary.
This May, celebrate Mary, the Church’s greatest saint, with these suggested Mary, Mother of God activities and resources.
IDEA #1: LEARNING ABOUT MARY
Mary, Mother of God Activity
Mary grew up learning about the promise of the Messiah.
When she was a young girl, Mary was engaged to a man named Joseph. Before they were married, she received a vision of an angel who asked her to be the mother of the Messiah she had waited for her whole life. Mary accepted, saying "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word" (Luke 1:38).
Being the mother of Jesus was not an easy task. Mary’s life was full of great joys and great sorrows.
Mary and Joseph were poor people, so they both worked hard to provide food and shelter for Jesus. Mary raised her son in the traditions of her culture, presenting him in the temple when he was a baby and taking him to Jerusalem for the religious festivals. Since she knew who Jesus was and what his mission would be, it would have been a huge responsibility! During one trip to Jerusalem, Mary and Joseph lost Jesus. Since he was only twelve years old, they were very worried about him, and searched the city for three days. They finally found him in the temple, preaching to the elders and teachers.
When Jesus was an adult and began preaching, Mary accompanied him. She asked him to perform the miracle at Cana, in which he turned water into wine. Mary was completely faithful to the message that Jesus preached, and she was confident that he would grant her request. She instructed other people who were there to "do whatever he tells you” (John 2:5).
Mary was also with Jesus when he carried his cross. She witnessed the terrible deeds that others committed against him. Because of her faith, Mary did not leave Jesus when he was suffering, even though it would have been a painful experience for her. She stood at the foot of the cross still listening to him and trying to comfort him.
It was there that Jesus entrusted all of us to her care. This mission was very close to Mary’s heart. She comforted the Apostles and prayed with them after Jesus' Ascension into heaven. Mary was with the Apostles when they received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, and watched them depart for many different countries to spread the Good News of God’s love.
Since Mary was the first to hear about the mission of Jesus, she is his first disciple. She dedicated her life on earth to following him and supporting his work. She showed others how to follow Jesus as well. Her faith came from an understanding of the great gifts that God had given to her, especially the gift of her son Jesus.
By following Mary, we can see the way to love Jesus more deeply and appreciate how much he loves us.
Help intermediate students understand that by learning about the life of Mary, we learn what it means to be a disciple of Jesus with the Mary, Mother of God Activity.
IDEA #2: SCRIPTURES ABOUT MARY, THE MOTHER OF GOD
Mary Scripture Quest Activity
Mary was the first to hear about the mission of Jesus. Mary’s faith came from an understanding of the great gifts that God had given to her, especially the gift of her Son, Jesus. She dedicated her life on earth to following him and showing others how to follow him. Have children and students study the Bible to learn more about Mary!
The Mary Scripture Quest Activity will challenge students to find, read, and cite passages from their Bibles related to Mary, Mother of God.
All you need to plan and implement this Bible activity for teens is a Bible and a copy of the Mary Scripture Quest Activity for each student. You may want to pair groups of students to complete this bible worksheet together.
IDEA #3: MAY CROWNING OF MARY
Floral Reflections on the Hail Mary
Did you know that the rose, thistle, violet, marigold, carnation, lily, and forget-me-not each have a legend that associates the flower with the Blessed Mother? Flowers are one of the many symbols of Mary. (Read more about ways flowers can offer inspiration for meditating on the life and faith of Mary in this We Believe & Share Blog post, Flowers for the Blessed Mother.)
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.
As spring flowers abound in the month of May, consider a May crowning of a statue of Mary. Use fresh flowers or invite children to decorate paper flowers to use in a floral crown.
Compliment your May crowning of Mary with these Floral Reflections on the Hail Mary in your home or parish.
Estampa de Oración con Flores a María
Or, share a flowery prayer for all mothers honoring Mary, Mother of God, in Spanish. Download the Estampa de oración Con flores a María.
IDEA #4: PRAYING THE ROSARY
The word rosary means “crown of roses.” 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.
IDEA #5: HONOR MARY WITH PRAYER
Praying with Mary Prayer Card
When Mary accepted her role as the Mother of the Savior, she knew that he was her Savior as well. She exclaimed her gratitude to God in her prayer we call the Magnificat. We honor Mary by praying this prayer, and other special prayers. We ask Mary to pray for us and speak to her son on our behalf.
Explore and share some of these prayers with the Praying with Mary Prayer 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.
Prayer for Mary's Grace and Goodness
Mary's life is a vibrant illustration of the faith and trust needed to open ourselves to God's love. Download the Prayer for Mary's Grace and Goodness Prayer Card asking for the grace and goodness that Mary exemplifies in cooperating with the Divine plan.
IDEA #6: DEVOTIONS TO MOTHER MARY
Marian Devotion Prayer Cards
During May, Mary is specially honored by devotions around the world.
Marian devotions are an integral and important part of our Catholic tradition. These Marian Devotion Prayer Cards each feature Mary, the Mother of God, from a different Latin American culture.
IDEA #7: COMMUNITY EVENT
Honoring Mary Around the World
Learn even more and appreciate ways the Church honors Mary throughout the world during an Honoring Mary Around the World whole community event. Participants will learn how the Church honors Mary through prayer, pilgrimages, and the celebration of feast days. They will appreciate how Mary is honored around the world and in various cultures through art, prayer, devotions, and pilgrimages made to Marian shrines. They will also identify ways that Mary, through her life and faith, serves as a model for discipleship.
Download the Honoring Mary Around the World Handouts and access event planning details.
May is the Month of Mary. By following Mary, we can see the way to love Jesus more deeply and appreciate how much he loves us. Use these free resources to learn about and remember Mary, the Mother of God.