May, the Month of the Virgin Mary

Today is the first Sunday of May. The Virgin Mary is perhaps the most iconic symbol of the Catholic Church. She is also known in the Catholic tradition for being the Queen of May. She resides as the Queen of Spring, among many titles as Queen. She is depicted throughout Catholicism as the most Holy Queen, the Virgin Mother of Jesus, who gave God’s son life. She is honored throughout the month of May in a number of traditions.

There are many ways in which the Virgin is honored in Catholic culture, she is Our Lady of Lourdes, Our Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of the Rosary… When exactly did this Holy Queen begin being worshipped?

Saint Ambrose, who lived in Rome before going to Milan as its bishop, venerated Mary as an example of Christian life and is credited with starting a Marian cult of virginity in the 4th century. Marian veneration was theologically sanctioned with the adoption of the title Theotokos at the Council of Ephesus in 431.

In my mother’s hometown of Klagenfurt, Austria, there is a lake nearby. The Virgin Mary is honored there by an evening boat trip where an idol of her is atop the boat each year in August. This called the Marienschiffsprozession auf dem Wörthersee. This is one example of how the Virgin Mary is remembered and honored.

If you are Catholic, we pray to the Virgin Queen as an appeal to humanity. In times like these, where the world has been plunged into a global crisis of a heart wrenching scale, this month of May, more than ever, please pray to the Our Queen of Heaven, and ask her for forgiveness – for forgiveness of man’s sins in the world, for greed, for corruption – forgiveness because we need this hope to move on as a planet, closer together, not apart. Please pray this to her.

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