October is the month of the most Holy Rosary; November, the month to pray for the faithful departed; June we immerse ourselves in the ocean of mercy of the Sacred Heart of Jesus; July we praise and worship the Precious Blood of Jesus, the price of our salvation. May is the month of Mary.
Mary is the Daughter of God the Father, the Mother of God the Son and the Mystical Spouse of the Holy Spirit, the Queen of the angels, saints, of heaven and earth. And St. Louis de Montfort acclaims her as the Queen of all hearts and God’s masterpiece of creation.
The saints acclaim in powerful, inspired and often poetic terms the glories of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
What might be some ways that we can manifest our love and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary in her month; the month of Mary.
1. Consecration. The first gesture we should do every morning is prayer—a prayer of consecration to Jesus through the Immaculate heart of Mary. Start off the day right through Mary! Blessed Mother of Teresa moved by great love for Mary said: “Mary, give me your heart: so beautiful, so pure so immaculate; your Heart so full of love and humility that I May be able to receive Jesus in the Bread of Life and love Him as you love Him and serve Him in the distressing guise of the poor.”
2. Angelus/Regina Caeli. Traditionally this prayer is prayed at noon, but it came be prayed at any y time. Why not pray it three times a day—at 9:00- a.m., 12 noon and 6:00 p.m. By doing this we will be sanctifying the morning hours, the afternoon hours, and the evening hours through the holy and sweet presence of Mary. These Marian prayers call to mind Mary’s key presence in the Mysteries of our salvation—The Incarnation, Passion, death and Resurrection of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! The Cure of Ars, St. John Vianney reminds us of the constant presence and action of Mary in our lives: “Only after the Last Judgment will Mary get any rest; from now until then, she is too busy with her children. To serve the Queen of Heaven is to reign there, and to live under her commands is more than to govern.”
3. Consecrate the Home and Family to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Prepare for the consecration by a nine-day novena of Rosaries and prayers and culminate with the priest blessing the image as well as the home and family members. From this blessing and consecration God the Father will shower a deluge of blessings upon you and every member in your family.
4. Consecration of the Self. Go through the formal process of consecration of your whole begin of Jesus through Mary. You can choose various forms: Kolbe, or St. Louis de Montfort, or the modern one done by Father Michael Gaitely—”33 days to the morning glory”. This consecration could change dramatically your whole life. If you have already done it then you can renew the consecration every year and go deeper into the infinite reservoir of the love of God brought to us through the intercession of Mary! Mary has power over us in ways that go way beyond our wildest imagination. St. Louis de Montfort reminds us: “For God, having given power over his only-begotten and natural Son, also gave power over his adopted children—not only what concerns the body which would be of little account—but also in what concerns the soul.”
5. Imitate Mary. If we truly love somebody, then we want to get to know them better, follow them more closely and finally to imitate their good qualities that we call virtues. St. Louis de Montfort in his classic “True Devotion to Mary”gives us a list of the ten principal virtues of Mary. Imitate them and you will be on the Highway to holiness! Here they are! Her deep humility, lively faith, blind obedience, unceasing prayer, constant self-denial, surpassing purity, ardent love, heroic patience, angelic kindness, and heavenly wisdom! (True Devotion to Mary, St. Louis de Montfort, # 108) St. Louis teaches us: “The greatest saints, those richest in grace and virtue will be the most assiduous in praying to the most Blessed Virgin, looking up to her as the perfect model to imitate and as a powerful helper to assist them.”
6. Temptations: Call on Mary. Our life is a constant combat zone, until death! We should not fight alone against the devil, the flesh and the world. Rather, in the heat of temptation, when all seems to be lost call upon the Holy Name of Mary; pray the Hail Mary! If done, all the powers of hell will be vanquished. Mary is the “General in the army”. At her command the enemies—the evil spirits—take to flight, vanish, and are defeated! St. Francis de Sales was tempted to despair and through the prayer to Mary, “Memorare” (attributed to St. Bernard) the temptation was conquered. St. Anthony Mary Claret was tempted fiercely to give in to a temptation against purity. It was through his fervent prayers to Mary that the devil of impurity was expelled and young Anthony was given special graces to live chastity, to found a Religious Order, preach constantly and write many books that did immense good. As St. Bonaventure asserts: “Men do not fear a powerful hostile army as the powers of hell fear the name and protection of Mary.”
7. Mary and the Liturgical Year. Get to know the powerful presence of Mary in the Mystical Body of Christ which is the Church. Especially get to know Mary’s presence in the Liturgical Year—the Masses. The end purpose of Holy Mass is to praise and worship God the Father, through the offering of God the Son and through the power of the Holy Spirit. However Mary has a special place in the Liturgical Year. Mary is the Mother of God, the Mother of the Church and she is our Mother in the order of grace! Read and meditate attentively the Apostolic Letter of Pope Paul VI Marialis Cultus, which clearly explains the presence of Mary in the Liturgical calendar. This is a spiritual masterpiece. It is a must for your reading!
8. Reading on Mary. For a well-formed and integral Mariology we should cultivate both doctrine and devotion. Doctrine without devotion can be arid and dry. Whereas, devotion without doctrine can easily degenerate into mere sentimentalism! Why not read the Apostolic Letter of Saint John Paul II “Blessed Virgin Mary and the Rosary”. This spiritual gem combines both solid catholic doctrine (Mariology) with a tender love and devotion to Mary. The saintly Pope exhorts the entire world to contemplate the face of Jesus through the eyes and heart of Mary.” Mary is the quickest, shortest, easiest and most efficacious path to Jesus.
9. Marian Apostle. Become an ardent and fervent and passionate Apostle of Mary. One of the most famous modern Marian saints is Saint Maximilian Kolbe. His love for Mary could not be contained. One of the apostolic methods that Kolbe used was to spread devotion to the Immaculata by means of the Miraculous Medal (Medal of the Immaculate Conception). Any opportunity that would arise, St Maximilian would give, free of charge, the medal to the person. He called these “spiritual bullets”. Then he would explain the Marian, catechetical meaning of this explosive medal. The medal is called “Miraculous” for the simple reason that many miracles have been attributed to those who use it with great faith and love and trust in the intercession of Mary. Why not become a modern Marian apostle today, following in the footsteps of Kolbe? This great Marian saint asserted with conviction: “The Immaculate alone has from God the promise of victory over Satan. She seeks souls that will consecrate themselves entirely to her, that will become in her hands forceful instruments for the defeat of Satan and the spread of God’s kingdom.”
10. The Most Holy Rosary. In Fatima Our Lady appeared six times to the Shepherd children—Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco. In each and every apparition Our Lady insisted upon the praying of the most Holy Rosary. Six times!!!! St. John Paul II in his document on the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Rosary insisted, pleaded, that the whole world pray the Holy Rosary for the salvation of the family and for world peace. The famous Rosary priest, Father Patrick Peyton put it concisely: “The family that prays together stays together”… and “A world at prayer is a world at peace.” Why not obey the new saint— Saint John Paul II? Why not obey the Mother of God, Our Lady of Fatima’s requests? If done the family will be saved and there will be peace that the human heart so longs for.