May is for Mary

Good morning to you from Joy Valley! The clouds are lifting and the hills of the valley are turning green—even the trees are starting to bud! Spring is officially here! As you probably know, May is the Month of the Blessed Mother and with all of the rain our state has been getting, we should have some incredible May flowers for Our Lady in the next week or two! 

We recently attended a May Crowning at our regional Catholic high school and it got us wondering where we get the tradition of crowning Mary in the month of May. As we did our research, we realized there are many wonderful things we can do to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary this month! 

So, The Cause of Our Joy today will have a Marian focus as we kick off this month dedicated to Our Lady. We learned a lot as we were preparing this email and we hope you find something new in it too! 

So, without further ado, let’s get into this!

History of May Crowning
While the crowning of Our Lady is not a liturgical practice (meaning it doesn’t take place within the Mass), it is a wonderful devotion that typically happens before Mass begins. But where does the devotion come from? This piece explains the origins of crowning Our Lady and this article talks about the Queenship of Mary

Why the Month of May?
Every year Catholics around the globe celebrate May as the “Month of Mary.” May Crowning ceremonies, an increase in praying of the rosary, and Mary Gardens are all ways folks show their love for Our Lady, but why the month of May? The National Catholic Register has a great brief explanation as to why we honor The Blessed Mother this month! 

Our Lady of Fatima Novena
Our Lady of Fatima’s feast day is coming up soon—May 13th! If you would like to join us in praying a novena to Our Lady of Fatima, the novena starts today! You can find the prayers here

Saint Spotlight—St. Maximilian Kolbe
We have been doing quite a bit of reading recently about St. Maximilian Kolbe. Many Catholics know about him giving his life to save another in the Nazi concentration camp, Auschwitz, but there is so much more to his story. 

This article gives a wonderful, easy to read biography of his life and this article speaks to his incredible devotion to Our Lady and why he is a saint for our times

Marian Consecration
As we mentioned above, St. Maximilian Kolbe and his group, The Militia Immaculatae, are huge proponents of Marian consecration. There are a number of Marian consecration preparations and prayers out there with St. Maximilian’s being one of the most popular. If you are interested in Marian consecration, we would also suggest St. Louis Marie de Montfort’s formula or Fr. Michael Gaitley’s version called 33 Days to Morning Glory

Marian Center Offers Consecration Class
If you are in the Petoskey area and interested in consecrating yourself to Jesus through Mary, The Marian Center is leading a class using Fr. Gaitley’s method starting on Thursday, May 25th. Contact us to learn more or to sign up! 

Mary’s Kids
You don’t have to be an adult to consecrate yourself to Jesus through Mary. Author Carrie Gress has written a book, Marian Consecration for Children, for the younger members of the family! Her interview hereexplains how and why she wrote the book. 

If you have children or grandchildren, this link has lots of simple and fun things to do with them to honor Our Lady during the month of May! 

If you are a mother, this blogpost has a beautiful perspective on motherhood and Our Lady. It’s worth taking the time to read. 

Sunday’s Readings
“It is the Lord!” Hopefully these words of amazement and excitement from St. John still mirror our own amazement and excitement! He is here! He is risen!

The Gospel readings, which can be found here, tell of St. Peter hopping out of the boat in his eagerness to see Jesus and goes on to give the account of Jesus asking Peter three times if Peter loves him. The Diocese of Wichita has a nice reflection on the readings — check it out as you prepare for Mass tomorrow! 

Marian Center Update
Join us today from 9:30 am- 11:30 am as we host the “Planting a Mary Garden” class offered by Ellen Willson of Willson’s Garden Center. There is no cost to attend and there is no RSVP required! Just come and learn how to plant a garden to honor Our Blessed Mother! 

May 17th – Community potluck and family night – dinner at 6, rosary and family friendly activities to follow. 

May 25 – “Paint a Saint” peg doll painting class from 6-8 p.m. We will be painting a peg doll of Our Lady. These dolls are a great (non-toxic) way to teach little ones about Our Blessed Mother and other saints! Contact us if you’d like more information! $10 cost purchases materials for class and wine and light hors d’oeuvres. 

Starting in June, the Marian Center will be hosting a Vatican-Approved Eucharistic Miracles Exhibit at the Center! There is no cost to view the exhibit and if you would like to arrange for a group or staff to have a guided tour, the Marian Center can accommodate groups. Just contact us at 231-347-6279. 

To Christ Through Mary, 

Katie Moe and Lori Mercer

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