May is the month dedicated to Our Lady. It heralds the beginning of summer, a time of growth, renewal and hope. With the appearance of blossoms, flowers and different colours it is customary for families to have a May Altar in their homes. “O Mary, we crown Thee with blossoms to-day, Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May”. May processions are a feature in many Parishes with First Holy Communicants leading the group.
In our Parish, the Rosary will be recited at 4 Grottos – Camas, Boherlahan, Ardmayle and Dualla during the month of May praying for different intentions. It has already begun at the Camas Grotto. On each of the 6 occasions in which Our Lady appeared at Fatima from the 13th May – 13th October 1917 she requested the recitation of the Rosary. The message of Fatima is as relevant to-day as it was over 100 years ago. The Rosary is a powerful weapon to stop wars and to bring peace. It can solve many of the problems of modern society. It preserved the Faith in Ireland during Penal times when Priests were hunted and Mass was not allowed. The Rosary is a summary of the Gospels as we reflect on the life of Christ in the Joyful, Sorrowful, Glorious and Mysteries of Light. Many of the Saints have had great devotion to the Rosary. St. Pope John Paul II said that the Rosary was his favourite prayer.
During the month of May we celebrate 2 Feast Days of Our Lady. On the 13th May, the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima and on the 24th May, the Feast of Mary Help of Christians. St John Bosco, Founder of the Salesian Order, invoked Our Lady under the title of “Our Lady Help of Christians” and it bears the name of Our Legion of Mary Praesidium here in the Parish.
As we prepare for the World Meeting of Families to coincide with the Pope’s visit to Ireland in August, we have many reminders and opportunities to help our own families by renewing devotion to Our Lady during the month of May in seeking her protection and guidance in our lives.