Tag Archives: Blessed Virgin Mary

May is Mary’s month


BVM of the Cenacle.jpg

May is a month that is loved and its arrival is welcome for
several reasons. In our hemisphere spring advances with so many and colorful
blossoms; the climate is favorable for walks and excursions. For the liturgy,
May always belongs to the Easter Season, the season of the
“alleluia,” of the revelation of the mystery of Christ in the light
of the Resurrection and of the Easter faith; and it is the time of expectation
of the Holy Spirit, who descends with power on the nascent Church at Pentecost.
With both these contexts, the “natural” and the liturgical, the
tradition of the Church is well in tune in dedicating the month of May to the
Virgin Mary. She is, in fact, the most beautiful flower to blossom in creation,
the “rose” that appeared in the fullness of time, when God, sending
his Son, gave the world a new spring. And she is at the same time humble and
discreet protagonist of the first steps of the Christian community: Mary is its
spiritual heart, because her very presence in the midst of the disciples is a
living memory of the Lord Jesus and pledge of the gift of his Spirit.

Pope Benedict XVI, Regina Caeli Address, 9 May 2010

Prayer Dedicating the Order of Preachers to the Blessed Virgin Mary

BVM Queen of Preachers.jpgVirgin Mother Mary, with trust we approach you. We, your preachers, fly to you who believed in the words sent from heaven and pondered them in your heart. We stand close around you, who are always present to the gathering of apostles.

In you the Word was made flesh, that same Word which we receive, contemplate, praise together and preach. Therefore, under your guidance we today devote ourselves anew to the ministry of the Word. Furthermore, we declare to you that, hearing with you the Word within ourselves and anointed by the Spirit whose sacred vessel you pre-eminently are, we are consecrated in the name of Jesus Christ to the evangelization of the world.

With the eyes of your heart enlightened, you understood the mystery of the Word. Through you we, too, are able to perceive the presence of that same Word in the history of our time, so that we may finally contemplate him face to face.

Through you the Father sent his Son into that world that he might save it. Through you we will be powerful in the sight of your people, becoming witnesses of that truth which frees and of that love that unites.

To this place we have brought our needs and here we ponder them. Do you, Mother, give us strength and perserve the harmony of our family, so that what was begun by our profession may be brought to completion by our love for one another, for the salvation of the world and to the praise and glory of God.

 

Today the Dominican family (the friars, second order nuns and third order sisters) re-dedicated themselves to the Blessed Virgina Mary, who with Saint Dominic, is a patron of the Order of Preachers (the Dominincans).

The Order of Preachers under the patronage of the Blessed Virgin Mary

BVM & OP.jpgBlessed are you, O Virgin Mary, for you came the salvation of the world. Already glorious, you rejoice before the Lord. Intercede for us with your Son. Alleluia!

 

Faithful God, our Father Dominic founded the Order of Preachers under the special patronage of the Blessed Virign Mary. May her prayers continue to support us that we may rejoice in the glory you promise.

Crowning of the Blessed Virgin

Fr Szivos blesses crown 2010.jpgThe practice of adorning the Blessed Mother’s statue
or icon developed as a pious custom of the people in their familiar
surroundings. By the sixteenth century the coronation images of the Blessed
Virgin Mary became widespread. While it is not as prevalent today, a ceremony of crowning of Mary continues to be a sincere yet profound spiritual and human gesture on the part of the faithful in front of Mary’s beauty.


Something gestures of the past continue today and evoke great sentiment for holiness observed in such a great woman like Mary, Mother of God. I fondly recall when I was a student at Saint Stanislaus Church & School (New Haven, CT) the sisters of the Congregation of the Holy Family of Nazareth
instilled in me and my fellow students a great love for the Blessed Virgin under the titles of the
Immaculate Conception and Our Lady of Czestohowa by singing a daily hymn to
Mary, frequently rosary praying, and the yearly May Crowning following the First Holy Communion Mass. Somewhere I have photos of Sister Rosetta training us in the third grade to execute the ritual correctly and piously. 

Golden Rose.jpg

Indeed, for a long time the popes –Pius XII, Paul VI, John Paul II and now
Benedict XVI– have endorsed this custom. What good Catholic can deny the extraordinary value of remaining close to Mary and showing a modicum of affection to her? As I bring my own mother flowers, so I bring my heavenly Mother flowers. This crowning of Blessed Mary is sign of our confidence in her spiritual motherhood. A fitting custom revived by the current Holy
Father (something done by his predecessors) is the giving of the Golden Rose to a Marian Shrine he visits, showing
his filial devotion.

The 1987 Marian Year provided an opportunity for the Church to strengthen a sincere devotion to Mary. What developed in the Marian year was a renewal of the venerable tradition of honoring images of Mary in homes, parish church,
religious houses and seminaries with the promulgation of the Order of Crowning
an Image of the Blessed Virgin Mary
. The Order describes the Marian honor of
crowning as follows:

Patric crowns BVM 2010.jpg

The queen symbol was attributed to Mary because she was a
perfect follower of Christ, who is the absolute “crown” of creation.
She is the Mother of the Son of God, who is the messianic King. Mary is the
Mother of Christ, the Word Incarnate… “He will be great and will be
called Son of the Most High; the Lord will give Him the throne of His father
David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of His kingdom
there will be no end” (Lk 1:32-33). Elizabeth greeted the Blessed Virgin,
pregnant with Jesus, as “the mother of my Lord” (Lk 1:41-43). Mary is
the perfect follower of Christ. The maid of Nazareth consented to God’s plan;
she journeyed on the pilgrimage of faith; she listened to God’s Word and kept
it in her heart; she remained steadfastly in close union with her Son, all the
way to the foot of the Cross; she persevered in prayer with the Church. Thus,
in an eminent way she won the “crown of righteousness” (II Tim 4:8),
the “crown of life” (Jas 1:12; Rev 2:10), the “crown of
glory” (I Pet 5:4) that is promised to those who follow Christ. (Order of
Crowning an Image of the Blessed Virgin Mary
, NCCB, 1987)

Following First Vespers for the Fifth Sunday of Easter last evening, the seminarians formed a procession to the grotto of Our Lady, Cause of Our Joy, to crown her with flowers. Saint Joseph Seminary is placed under the title of Mary, Cause of our joy and we invoke her solicitude frequently by this title. Father Charles Szivos, one of the seminary’s spiritual directors, led the seminarians in the rosary before he blessed the crown of flowers and the statue.

Annunciation of the Lord

Cestello Annunciation detail SBotticelli.jpgAs Christ came into the World, he said: Behold! I have come to do your will O God.


The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us that “The Annunciation to Mary inaugurates ‘the fullness of time,’ the time of the fulfillment of God’s promises and preparations. Mary was invited to conceive him in whom the ‘whole fullness of deity’ would dwell ‘bodily.’ The divine response to her question, ‘How can this be, since I know not man?’ was given by the power of the Spirit: ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you.'” (484)
God our Father, Your Word became man and was born of the Virgin Mary. May we become more like Jesus Christ, whom we acknowledge as our redeemer, God and man.


About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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