May, The Month of Mary

In the picture on this post you will see a statue of Our Lady adorned with a homemade crown, set before roses and a lit candle. This picture was taken on Mother’s Day in the state of New Mexico. It is the picture of a home May altar set up for the month of May, the month that is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Roman Catholic Church.

Home altars are common in Catholic houses around the world; and during the month of May the home statues of Our Lady often receive flowers as tokens of love and devotion to her; the mother of Christ, the Immaculate Conception.

May, as the month dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, was sung by the poet/priest Fr. Gerard Manley Hopkins in the poem, The May Magnificat:

May is Mary’s month, and I
Muse at that and wonder why:
Her feasts follow reason,
Dated due to season—

Candlemas, Lady Day;
But the Lady Month, May,
Why fasten that upon her,
With a feasting in her honour?

Is it only its being brighter
Than the most are must delight her?
Is it opportunest
And flowers finds soonest?

Ask of her, the mighty mother:
Her reply puts this other
Question: What is Spring?—
Growth in every thing—

Flesh and fleece, fur and feather,
Grass and greenworld all together;
Star-eyed strawberry-breasted
Throstle above her nested

Cluster of bugle blue eggs thin
Forms and warms the life within;
And bird and blossom swell
In sod or sheath or shell.

All things rising, all things sizing
Mary sees, sympathising
With that world of good,
Nature’s motherhood.

Their magnifying of each its kind
With delight calls to mind
How she did in her stored
Magnify the Lord.

Well but there was more than this:
Spring’s universal bliss
Much, had much to say
To offering Mary May.

When drop-of-blood-and-foam-dapple
Bloom lights the orchard-apple
And thicket and thorp are merry
With silver-surfed cherry

And azuring-over greybell makes
Wood banks and brakes wash wet like lakes
And magic cuckoocall
Caps, clears, and clinches all—

This ecstasy all through mothering earth
Tells Mary her mirth till Christ’s birth
To remember and exultation
In God who was her salvation.


May you have a good day in Our Lady’s month!



~top image credit: Margaret S., May 2022.