We would like to invite everyone to join us in prayer of the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary sung during May from Monday to Saturday, 15 minutes before the morning Mass. May the inner reflection on the Marian titles of the litany unfold before us a magnificent picture of our heavenly Mother.
The piety of the faithful has especially dedicated the month of May to Our Blessed Lady, and it is the occasion for a “moving tribute of faith and love which Catholics in every part of the world pay to the Queen of Heaven. During this month Christians, both in church and in the privacy of their homes, offer up to Mary from their hearts a fervent and loving homage of prayer and veneration. In this month, too, the benefits of God’s mercy come down to us from her throne in greater abundance” (Paul VI: Encyclical on the Month of May).
This Christian custom of dedicating the month of May to the Blessed Virgin arose at the end of the 13th century. The practice became especially popular among the members of the Jesuit Order — by 1700 it took hold among their students at the Roman College and a bit later it was publicly practised in the Gesu Church in Rome. From there it spread to the whole Church.
The following practices which are recommended by the Church are offered as suggestions for honouring Our Lady during Her month.
The Regina Coeli – The ecclesial community addresses this antiphon to Mary for the Resurrection of her Son. It adverts to, and depends on, the invitation to joy addressed by Gabriel to the Lord’s humble servant who was called to become the Mother of the saving Messiah.
The Rosary – It is one of the most excellent prayers to the Mother of God, which is centred on biblical contemplation of the salvific events of Christ’s life, and their close association with the Virgin Mother.
Consecration and Entrustment to Mary – Louis Grignon de Montfort is one of the great masters of the spirituality underlying the act of “consecration to Mary”. He proposed to the faithful consecration to Jesus through Mary, as an effective way of living out their baptismal commitment.
The Brown Scapular and other Scapulars – The scapular is an external sign of the filial relationship established between the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother and Queen of Mount Carmel, and the faithful who entrust themselves totally to her protection, who have recourse to her maternal intercession, who are mindful of the primacy of the spiritual life and the need for prayer.
Medals – These are witnesses of faith and a sign of veneration of the Holy Mother of God, as well as of trust in her maternal protection. The Church blesses such objects of Marian devotion in the belief that they help to remind the faithful of the love of God, and to increase trust in the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Litanies of the Blessed Virgin Mary- These consist of a long series of invocations to Our Lady, which follow in a uniform rhythm, thereby creating a stream of prayer characterized by insistent praise and supplication. The Litany of the Blessed Virgin, also called the Litany of Loreto, is one of the many Marian litanies, or praises of Mary, composed during the Middle Ages.