From time to time Mary has given certain holy saints a particular devotion to her with attached graces and promises. The devotion is meant to be spread to the whole Church. In some cases an object, or sacramental, is given to be associated with the devotion. Three very famous sacramentals given to the Church by Mary are the holy rosary, the brown scapular, and the miraculous medal.
One of the traditional ways the faithful have venerated the Virgin Mary, which became popular during Medieval times, was with a family home or parish church Mary Garden. Marian Gardens were small plots of ground dedicated to growing shrubs, herbs, and flowers that were representative of Mary and various events from her life. This was quite easy to do, as literally hundreds of plants were given Marian names in remembrance of Mary’s saintly life and glorious virtues.
May 22 is the feast day of St. Rita. St. Rita of Cascia was an Augustinian nun from 14th century Italy. She is the patroness of impossible causes and hopeless circumstances because of her difficult and arduous life. Through her trials God used her in remarkable ways, not only while she lived, but now from heaven she assists those who plead for her intercession for their seemingly impossible and hopeless circumstances.
If you’ve ever heard of Rosemary and Marigold, then you already know some plants named after the Blessed Mother. Each time one of these plants caught the eye, the faithful were sweetly reminded of the Queen of Heaven and Earth. As a sign of devotion to Our Lady, people began to plant gardens in churches, monasteries, convents, and family homes intentionally filled with plants named after her, which became known as Mary Gardens.
The Blessed Trinity—the Triune God—is the greatest mystery of the Christian faith and the end for which we were created. While in this life we should prepare our hearts for heaven by catechizing ourselves as best we can about each Person of the Blessed Trinity and the role they play in our sanctification and salvation. Here are a few great resources from the saints, our teachers and forbears, to meditate on the Person of the Holy Spirit during this octave of Pentecost.
This beautiful prayer is attributed to St. Brendan the Navigator (484-577 A.D.), also known as St. Brendan the Voyager, an ancient Irish monk, abbot, sailor, and explorer. He is the patron saint of mariners, sailors, travelers, and the U.S. Navy. His feast day is May 16th.
According to tradition, towards the end of her life the Blessed Virgin moved from Jerusalem to Ephesus (in modern-day Turkey). No longer able to retrace the steps of her Son’s passion where they actually occurred, she set up an identical Stations of the Cross on her property using stones and markings. This became the very first Stations of the Cross. This is described in detail by Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich according to her visions.
The Feast of the Ascension, also called Ascension Thursday, follows 40 days after Easter Sunday and is a Holy Day of Obligation. The Feast of the Ascension is probably treated in many places today as one of the ho-hum feast days, but historically it was a major feast (thus, its status as a holy day of obligation). In order to think of it and treat it with the same reverence as Christians of days past, it helps to reflect on it more deeply.
May, when the earth blooms in springtime beauty, is an ideal time for our thoughts and sentiments to be directed towards this supremely lovely Queen of Heaven and Earth, who busily labors from her heavenly throne to conquer hearts, minds, and souls for the greater glory of her Son. So, how can you honor the Blessed Virgin Mary in a special way this month, and allow her to conquer your own heart? Here are nine ideas.
The “Day of the Cross” is a popular part of religious and cultural identity in many Latin American countries. “Holy Cross Day” is based on an old liturgical feast celebrating the discovery of the true cross of Christ. The day is honored with processions, singing, and hundreds of decorated crosses along roadsides and other public places.