Fifth Sunday of Easter
“For greater things you were born.” (Ven. Mother Luisita)
SUNDAY, May 2nd Jn. 15: 1-8 “By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.”
- Mary produced the greatest Fruit – the Son of God made man! She was the first and greatest disciple of Jesus. Anyone who honors Mary, honors Jesus, the son of Mary!
- What are we willing to do in the Month of May—Mary’s month, to honor her? Fr. Ed Broom gives us an inspiration for each day of the month!
MARY’S MONTH – A GIFT FOR MARY EVERY DAY OF MAY
One of the great lovers of the Blessed Virgin Mary was the great Saint John Bosco, who believed in entrusting all to Mary. This towering giant of a saint lived most of his life in the Northern Italian City of Turin where he founded an Oratory for abandoned youth living in the time of the Industrial Revolution.
OUR LADY HELP OF CHRISTIANS. Among the many titles given to Mary, the title that most impressed the great Saint John Bosco was that of OUR LADY HELP OF CHRISTIANS. In time of dire need, Bosco would have recourse to Mary, Our Lady Help of Christians, and she would come to his aid. An interesting Ecclesial note: the Vatican II document titled Lumen Gentium, Chapter VIII invokes Our Lady as Co-Mediatrix, Co-Redemptrix, as well as Co-Adjutrix—meaning, Our Lady as Helper.
THE YOUNG AND MARY. Saint John Bosco, excellent educator, lover of Mary, and patron of the youth, was convinced of the importance of the young cultivating a loving, tender, and filial devotion to Mary—Our Lady Help of Christians. So as to conquer their imperious passions, so violent at times in the prime teen years, Bosco insisted on frequent Confession, frequent and fervent reception of Holy Communion (innovative for his time), as well as a strong devotion to Mary.
MAY IS FOR MARY: BOSCO’S PROJECT. So ardent and fervent was the devotion Saint John Bosco had for Mary, especially in the Month of May which is the Month of Mary, that the youth-educator encouraged the boys in his Oratory to offer some special gift, sacrifice, or prayer to Mary every day in the month of May. Indeed, love is measured by our willingness to sacrifice for the loved one. Jesus on the cross and Mary underneath the cross are our most transparent and sublime examples. They suffered all of this with us in mind!
31 DAYS OF MAY AND 31 OFFERINGS. This being the case, we would like to offer concrete suggestions as to what you might be able to offer to Mary each day in May as a sign of your love and devotion to your heavenly Mother. As a side-note: May is not the only month that we can pay our tribute and homage to Mary. Indeed, in any time, place, or circumstance, Our Lady’s Heart rejoices when we think of her and offer her something from the goodness of our heart.
SACRIFICES TO GIVE TO MARY IN THE MONTH OF MAY…
1. CONSECRATION UPON RISING. Upon rising every day, pray your Act of Consecration to Mary, but on your knees and with renewed fervor and devotion.Try to pray it with all your heart! If you have forgotten the words, here they are:
Mary, my Queen and my Mother, I give myself wholly to you. To show my devotion to you, I consecrate to you this day, my eyes, my ears, my mouth, my heart, my entire being without reserve. Whereas I am your own dear Mother, keep me and guard me as your property and possession. Amen.
2. IMAGE/STATUE/ PAINTING. Why not purchase an attractive and inspiring representation of Mary. It could be an image, statue, painting, Icon—whatever helps to enhance your love and devotion to Mary who is truly your Mother.
3. HOLY CARDS. Purchase some small holy cards of Mary and give them out. Like Kolbe and the saints, be an Apostle of Mary.
4. MEMORIZE THE LITANY. This might take some time, mental effort, and will-power, but why not strive to memorize the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Fill your mind with these beautiful, poetic, and mystical epitaphs to honor Mary.
5. CONSECRATION OF YOUR FAMILY. A beautiful gesture, so pleasing to Jesus and Mary, would be to consecrate your family to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary in the month of May.
6. INVITE THE PRIEST AND FRIENDS. Why not make it a formal Consecration! Purchase attractive pictures of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary to enthrone in your home. In a formal ceremony, invite the priest to bless and consecrate your family to the two Hearts of Jesus and Mary, and invite friends to this joyful celebration! What a beautiful example and witness!
7. MAY PROCESSION. With the permission of the Pastor of your local Church, organize a Marian-May Procession. This could consist of praying the Rosary in a public manner—either in the Church or some place near the Church. Have the children, the youth, the families, as well as the elderly walk in procession praying the Rosary and singing Marian hymns.
8. CROWNING. Of course the climax of the May Procession is the crowning of Mary as Queen. If possible, choose a little child to place the crown on Mary’s head and sing to Mary the appropriate hymn of Hail Holy Queen.
9. MAY NOVENA. Make a Novena to Mary sometime in May. This could consist of the Rosary or the Mass for nine consecutive days, or both!
10. MAY 13th. On this day honor the recently canonized saints (May 13, 2017)—Francisco and Jacinta Marto. Read about their lives and let them inspire you! Consecrate your children to their prayers and protection. Read with your children an age appropriate story of the apparition of Our Lady to the three children of Fatima or watch the classic 1952 movie, The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima.
11. READ ABOUT MARY. It will be very pleasing to the Blessed Virgin Mary if you find a good book on Mary to read during the month of May. Spend ten minutes a day reading about Mary. Knowledge of Mary generates love for her. A great suggestion is The Glories of Mary by St. Alphonsus Liguori with little vignettes of Mary well suited for daily reading.
12. SHARE MARY. Why not buy a good book on Mary for a friend to read? Who knows? Maybe through this reading the friend will come to a deeper knowledge and love for Mary, and thereby arrive at a deeper conversion of life.
13. CONFESSION. Our Lady wants us to have a pure heart, meaning she wants us to cleanse our souls from sin. Why not find some time during the course of the month of May to prepare yourself to make a good and deep Confession. As the prophet Isaiah reminds us: “Though your sins be as scarlet, they will be made as white as the snow.” (Is 1:18) Then why not sweep your interior house clean with monthly Confessions, if you don’t already do so.
14. MAKE ROSARIES. A wonderful Marian Apostolate is that of making Rosaries! If you have the time and the talent, with good will and effort, why not make Rosaries in honor of Mary so as to promote its recitation!
15. FORM A ROSARY GROUP—“THE ROSARY-MAKERS!!!” Better yet: gather a group or team of Marian-helpers dedicated to making Rosaries to be distributed and spread. First pray the Rosary, then make the Rosaries.
16. MOTHERS AND DAUGHTERS. Mothers, strive to present Mary as a model for your daughters, especially in the way they dress. May you and your daughters aspire to imitate in all ways the modesty and purity of Mary!
17. THE BLOCK FAMILY ROSARY. This used to be a practice years ago. By this we mean pray the Family Rosary in your block or neighborhood. It can also be done among a group of friends who live within driving distance. Every week meet and change the home and family where the Rosary is prayed. It is a great way to foster family unity and sanctity, as well as foster wholesome family friendships. “The family that prays together, stays together.” (Rosary Priest, Father Patrick Peyton) *Note, in this time of Covid, make it a Virtual or Zoom block Family Rosary!
18. MARIAN HYMNS AND SONGS. Get to know at least some of the classical Marian hymns and songs. Then sing them to rejoice the Heart of Mary!
19. NAME YOUR CHILD! Give your child the name of Mary or a name related to Mary—Lourdes, Fatima, Marian, Marisa, Mara, Marie, etc. Having Mary’s name also means having Mary’s more abundant protection.
20. MASS AND HOLY COMMUNION. This practice might be the most demanding, but the most efficacious by means of grace: to attend Mass and receive Holy Communion daily during the course of the month of May. As such, you will skyrocket in grace, in honor of Mary, the full of grace.
21. MIRACULOUS MEDALS IN MAY FOR MARY. Once again, we invite all to purchase Miraculous Medals—a good quantity. Then, like Saint Maximilian Kolbe, give them out when the chance presents itself.
22. BE A MARIAN CATECHIST. Go a step further, utilize the Miraculous Medal as a tool to teach about Mary. The two sides of the Medal lend itself to an excellent Marian catechesis. An ardent desire of our hearts should be to make Mary known and loved.
23. SACRIFICE. Offer some small sacrifice daily to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for the conversion of poor sinners. Our Lady of Fatima lamented: “Many souls are lost because too few offer prayers and sacrifices for them.”
24. FASTING IN HONOR OF MARY. With the permission of a good Confessor or Spiritual Director, you might undertake some form of fasting in honor of Mary. Many saints had the habit of fasting to honor Mary. Jesus tells us: “Some devils are cast out only by prayer and fasting.” (Mt. 17:21)
25. SATURDAYS AND MARY. Saturday is the day Mary is honored in the Universal Church. On all the Saturdays in the month of May, pay honor and tribute to Mary, whose Yes brought us so great a Savior, by participating in Mass, Holy Communion, and the Holy Rosary.
26. HOLY ROSARY. It has not been mentioned until now. Mary wants us to pray the Rosary as often as we can. However, in the month of May, the recitation of the Rosary should be promoted all the stronger! What about a Rosary every day to honor Mary!
27. TEACH THE ROSARY. Many people—and these are Catholics—do not know how to pray the Rosary. To honor Mary in the month of May, why not give out Rosaries and Rosary pamphlets, and offer to teach others how to pray the Rosary. One of the easiest ways to teach the how to of the Rosary is to pray the Rosary with the individual who does not know how to pray it.
28. MARIAN CONSECRATION. If you have not formally consecrated yourself to Jesus through Mary, then the month of May would be a perfect time to make this formal consecration.
29. HOW TO CONSECRATE? There ae various formats. Saint Louis de Montfort with True Devotion to Mary. Fr. Mike Gaitley’s 33 days to Morning Glory. Or Consecration to Mary through the Mysteries of the Rosary by yours truly Fr. Ed Broom, O.M.V.
30. THINK, PRAY, SPEAK. In the Month of May, why not make a concerted effort to control your tongue and your speech? Avoid any words or conversations that might hurt the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. How? Like Mary, first ponder in your heart, then proceed to speak. These three steps—Think, Pray, Speak—can help you to avoid many mistakes and even sins!
31. MARIA COGITA, MARIA INVOCA. This is a short Latin phrase known far and wide by the Oblates of the Virgin Mary in their loving devotion to Mary. The words mean: Think about Mary and Invoke Mary. Why not during the course of the month of May strive to live constantly in the presence of Mary, think often about her loving and maternal presence, and invoke ever so often her Holy Name!