So devotions have been a part of the Catholic life since the 16th century but it was not until the end of the 18th century that the May devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary began. This devotion sprang up amongst some students in a Roman college and was spearheaded by a Jesuit priest called Father Lalomia. Over time, this practice spread to other Jesuit colleges and the Church where it has become a staple practice.
Why is devotion to Mary important you say? Consider the words of St. Josemaria:
“Do you want to love our Lady? Well, then, get to know her. How? By praying her rosary well.”
This devotion is centuries-old and has been regularly recommended by the popes. It is also endorsed by the words of the Second Vatican Council: “The practices and exercises of devotion recommended by the teaching authority of the Church in the course of centuries are to be highly esteemed.”
Now is not a time to argue but to pray, to pray the holy rosary — “a prayer which well becomes the sense of the people of God,” in the words of Paul VI. People generally enjoy looking at their family albums — remembering their loved ones and commenting on the pictures as they pass from hand to hand. Similarly, as we the people of God are a big family, the scenes from the lives of our loved ones, Jesus and Mary, should be very dear to us. In the rosary we contemplate them.
The rosary is the life of Jesus, related by the Blessed Virgin and contemplated by us. A Christian who knows how to pray the rosary is like a child who knows how to cry out to his mother for her aid or consolation. Paul VI has written:
“Your rosary is a stairway; you ascend it together, step by step, approaching our Lady, which means meeting Christ.”
Yes! We heard you! How can you make the most of Mary Month?? Well here are 5 helpful resources available on Apple and Android App stores to help you forge ahead in your May devotion to Our Lady:
- Prayers to Mary: This app offers a variety of prayers to our Blessed Virgin Mary seeking guidance and intercession. Available at the Android PlayStore.
- Mary App: This app developed by the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception, creators of the popular Divine Mercy App. This is a loaded resource and has three major sections: doctrine, devotion and Mary + including information on feast days, chaplets, prayers, a rosary guide and the various titles of Mary. Available in the IOS Store
- Scriptural Rosary Lite by Valent Richie: This guide helps you pray the Luminous and Sorrowful mysteries with scripture verses for each Hail Mary prayed. Download at IOS Store. Find something similar in the Android playstore.
- Life of Mary Lite: Catholic Meditations for Everyday in a Month by Valent Richie: These short devotions are intended for the month of May or October but can be used at any time. They are primarily based on the chief incidents in the life of Mary as recorded in the Bible and meditations from the book “The Devout Year” (Maria Magnificata), by Rev. R. F. Clarke, S.J. Only the odd-numbered days are available in this (lite) version which is free – there is a full version for$1.99. Download at AppleAppStore .
- Our Lady Undoer of Knots Novena by Pauline Books and Media: Need help untangling the knots in your life? This devotion which is three centuries old and endorsed by Pope Francis aims to guide you through a nine-day novena which highlights specific ways Our Lady can help us in our difficulties. Discover the power of our Mother’s love for you today through this novena. Download from the AppleAppstore and the Android Store.
The Blessed Virgin Mary is the mother of Jesus Christ and by extension, a mother to us all. Let us pray for her powerful intercession in our daily lives and look to her for guidance.