May Crowning

05-01-2022Letter from the PastorFr. Don Kline, V.F.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In the Catholic Church, the month of May is dedicated to Our Blessed Mother. This is one of the beautiful ways that we can show our love and devotion to the Mother of Jesus. Perhaps you know someone who have had some confusion about Mary and the role She has in our life. The Church has always taught that Catholics believe our worship is due to God alone. So Catholics do not worship Mary. Catholic worship God alone.

However, Catholics do venerate Mary and in May we honor her in a special way with our May Crowing. To show our love for our Blessed Mother is appropriate because she is the Mother of God, the Mother of Our Savior.

There are many reasons to honor Our Lady in beautiful ways. She is the model of perfect love and obedience to Our Lord. We know that God preserved Mary from sin. Sacred Scripture reminds us that Mary conceived Our Lord by the power of the Holy Spirit. As Catholics, it makes absolute sense to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary, who is full of grace, the Mother of God and our Mother, for her "fiat" or "yes" to God made the Incarnation possible. And without the birth of Christ, we would not have salvation.

Mary is the most beautiful example of giving oneself completely to the will of God. Catholics do not view Mary as equal to Christ, but rather venerate Mary because of her relationship to Christ. The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains, "Mary's role in the Church is inseparable from her union with Christ and flows directly from it" (CCC 964). St. Bernadette in speaking about how love leads us to Mary and Jesus said: “I shall spend every moment loving. One who loves does not notice her trials; or perhaps more accurately, she is able to love them. I shall do everything for Heaven, my true home. There I shall find my Mother in all the splendor of her glory. I shall delight with her in the joy of Jesus himself in perfect safety.”

So the May Crowning is a traditional devotion in which an image of the Blessed Virgin Mary is crowned, usually with a wreath of +lowers. It is usually done within the context of a Mass. This act of devotion is done in the springtime, during the month of May to recognize Mary as Queen of Heaven, Queen of Earth and Queen of Peace.

The Eastertime hymn Regina Caeli (O Queen of Heaven) sings of the Blessed Mother who rejoices in the resurrection of her Son. Honoring Our Blessed Mother Mary points to the heart of our devotion to Mary. With the +lowers of spring, we crown Mary the Queen of Heaven.

As Catholics, we pray that we can respond to God's call to holiness for our lives in the way that Mary did.