Why is the Month of May Dedicated to Mary? Catholics have a longstanding tradition of dedicating the month of May to Mary.  But why May?

May, when nature is showing signs of new life, reminds us of the life Mary gave to Jesus, without which there would be no life, death or glorious resurrection to celebrate!

Celebration of new life and motherhood dates all the way back to Ancient Greek and Roman times.  In the ancient Greek world, May was dedicated to Artemis, the goddess of fecundity (fertility and life), while the Roman culture honored Flora, the goddess of bloom and blossoms.

While we certainly don’t consider Mary a “goddess” or worship her as the ancient cultures worshipped gods (worship is for God alone!), we place her in high honor in the Church because she is the Mother of God, and our mother.

In the 18th Century, devotion to Mary in May started in Rome and quickly spread throughout the Church. 

How do we celebrate Mary??

One very common way to honor Mary is through the traditional May Crowning, when a statue or image of Mary is crowned with flowers.  While May Crowning typically happens in a church, Catholics are also encouraged to celebrate a May Crowning in their homes.  We crown Mary because she is the Queen of Heaven and the Mother of the Son of God, our Heavenly King. This can be done anytime during the month.

How else can we celebrate Mary in our homes?

May Altar – Designate a special place in your home to honor Mary, and to gather as a family to pray.  This altar can include a statue or picture of Mary, flowers and a candle.

Pray the Rosary as a family – If you are unfamiliar with praying a Rosary, here is a simple guide to help you: May is for Mary

Marian Garden – Plant a Marian garden in your yard to honor Mary.  This is typically done around a statue of Mary.  Here are some suggested flowers: May is for Mary

Other Marian Prayers – Here is a great resource of common Marian prayers, including the Memorare and the Litany to Mary, that you can learn and pray together throughout the month of May (and beyond!): May is for Mary

Practice Growing in Marian Virtues – In his book, “True Devotion to Mary,” St. Louis De Montfort gives us a list of the ten virtues of Mary to imitate: Her deep humility, lively faith, blind obedience, unceasing prayer, constant self-denial, surpassing purity, ardent love, heroic patience, angelic kindness, and heavenly wisdom!

This May, take some time to honor, thank and love our Blessed Mother even more deeply.  “Never be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin too much. You can never love her more than Jesus did.”  – St. Maximilian Kolbe