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May 2016 - Overview for the Month

Who is she that cometh forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun?
Highlights
May 1
Ascension
The whole universe is invited to acclaim the glories of the Ascending Christ. He is surrounded with the just of Limbo, with the souls who had finished their purgatorial expiation and probably with the saints who came out of their tombs on Easter Sunday: "Ascending on high He has led captivity captive".
Recipe of the Month
Pentecost Cake
To celebrate Pentecost try this delicious moist cake, inexpensive and easy to make. It is served with a strawberry frosting.
Activity of the Month
Pentecost Wheel
Construct this Pentecost wheel to remind children of the working of the Holy Spirit in their lives. After constructing the wheel, begin using it seven days before Pentecost, discussing a gift of the Holy Spirit each night.

Symbols
It was to St. Philip that Christ addressed his remark concerning the feeding of the multitude. The roundels represent two loaves of bread.
This symbol refers to the tradition that St. James was cast down from a pinnacle of the temple in Jerusalem, stoned and sawn asunder by the Jews.
Chosen, by lot, to replace Judas Iscariot, St. Matthias served as a missionary in Judaea, where he is said to have been stoned and beheaded. A battle axe with silver head and tawny handle, white open book with inscription "super Mathiam".
The fleur-de-lys is a symbol for the Blessed Virgin Mary and is derived from the Madonna's lily.
You are all-beautiful, O Mary! You are the glory, you are the joy, you are the honor of our people!

The month of May is dedicated to The Blessed Virgin Mary. The first 15 days fall within the liturgical season of Easter, which is represented by the liturgical color white — the color of light, a symbol of joy, purity and innocence (absolute or restored). The remainder of the month (beginning the Monday after Pentecost) is in Ordinary Time which is represented by the liturgical color green. This symbol of hope is the color of the sprouting seed and arouses in the faithful the hope of reaping the eternal harvest of heaven, especially the hope of a glorious resurrection.

The Holy Father's Intentions for the Month of May 2016

Universal: That in every country of the world, women may be honored and respected and that their essential contribution to society may be highly esteemed.

Evangelization: That families, communities, and groups may pray the Holy Rosary for evangelization and peace. (See also Apostleshiop of Prayer International Website)

Feasts for May

The feasts on the General Roman Calendar celebrated during the month of May are:

2. Athanasius, Memorial
3. Philip and James, Feast
8. Ascension or the Seventh Sunday of Easter, Sunday
10. St. Damien Joseph de Veuster, priest, Opt. Mem.
12. Nereus and Achilleus; Pancras, martyrs, Opt. Mem.
13. Our Lady of Fatima, Opt. Mem.
14. Matthias, Feast
15. Pentecost; Whitsunday, Sunday
18. John I, Opt. Mem.
20. Bernardine of Siena, Opt. Mem.
21. Christopher Magallanes and companions; Eugene de Mazenod (Canada), Opt. Mem.
22. Trinity Sunday, Solemnity
25. Bede the Venerable; Gregory VII; Mary Magdalene de Pazzi, Opt. Mem.
26. Philip Neri, Memorial
27. Augustine of Canterbury, Opt. Mem.
29. Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, Solemnity
31. Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Feast

Focus of the Liturgy

The Gospel readings for all the Sundays in May are taken from St. John and St. Luke and are from Year C, Cycle 2.

May 1st - 6th Sunday of Easter

In this Gospel Jesus promises to send the Holy Spirit.

May 8th - Ascension/7th Sunday

This Gospel relates Christ's Ascension into heaven.

May 15th - Pentecost Sunday

In this Gospel Jesus says "If you love Me keep My commandments".

May 22nd - Trinity Sunday

Jesus says the Spirit of truth will come and that everything the Father has is His.

May 29th - Body & Blood of Christ

The Gospel relates Jesus feeding the multitude with five loaves and two fish.

Highlights of the Month

As Spring blossoms forth and we are surrounded by new life, we spend this month full of the joy of our Easter celebration and in anticipation of the coming of the Holy Spirit, our Consoler and Advocate.

The saints that we will focus on this month — those who have already shared in the rewards of the Resurrection — are St. Athanasius (May 2), Sts. Philip and James (May 3), St. Damian the Leper (May 10), St. Nereus & Achilleus, St. Pancras (May 12), Our Lady of Fatima (May 13), St. Matthias (May 14), St. John I (May 18), St. Bernadine of Siena (May 20), St. Christopher Magallanes (May 21), St. Bede, St. Gregory VII and St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi (May 25), St. Philip Neri (May 26), St. Augustine of Canterbury (May 27) and the Visitation (May 31).

The feasts of St. Joseph the Worker (May 1), St. Isidore the Farmer (May 15) and St. Rita of Cascia (May 22) are superseded by the Sunday liturgy. The Solemnity of the Ascension (May 5) is celebrated on May 8 (Sunday) in most dioceses in the United States.

A Time of Grace

The world is resplendent with Spring's increased light and new growth. It is Mary’s month in the Easter season and all of nature rejoices with the Queen of heaven at the Resurrection of the Son she was worthy to bear. During the remainder of Easter time, let us endeavor through the prayers of the Holy Liturgy and the Holy Rosary to deepen our gratitude for the mystery of our Baptismal rebirth in Christ.

"The month of May, with its profusion of blooms was adopted by the Church in the eighteenth century as a celebration of the flowering of Mary's maidenly spirituality…With its origins in Isaiah's prophecy of the Virgin birth of the Messiah under the figure of the Blossoming Rod or Root of Jesse, the flower symbolism of Mary was extended by the Church Fathers, and in the liturgy, by applying to her the flower figures of the Sapiential Books-Canticles, Wisdom, Proverbs and Sirach.

"In the medieval period, the rose was adopted as the flower symbol of the Virgin Birth, as expressed in Dante's phrase, 'The Rose wherein the Divine Word was made flesh,' and depicted in the central rose windows of the great gothic cathedrals-from which came the Christmas carol, 'Lo, How a Rose 'ere Blooming.' Also, in the medieval period, when monasteries were the centers of horticultural and agricultural knowledge, and with the spread of the Fransiscan love of nature, the actual flowers themselves, of the fields, waysides and gardens, came to be seen as symbols of Mary…" – John S. Stokes

The first week in May we will begin the Pentecost Novena. Pentecost, the birth of the Church, is also among the celebrations of May. Though sprung from the side of Christ on the Cross, the Church marks as her birthday the descent of the Holy Spirit on Mary and the Apostles. At the 'birth' of the world, the Holy Spirit — the Breath of God — was the "mighty wind [that] swept over the waters" (Gen 1:2); at the birth of the Church He is present again "like the rush of a mighty wind" to recreate the world in the image of Christ through His Church (Acts 2:2).

We, the members of Christ’s Mystical Body, are the present-day disciples sent by the Holy Spirit to bring Christ to the world. May we go forth as did Mary, who set out in haste to assist St. Elizabeth (feast of the Visitation, May 31). Come upon us, O Holy Spirit, so that, with Mary, we may proclaim the greatness of the Lord who has done great things for us — for his mercy endures forever!

"In the hierarchy of holiness it is precisely the 'woman', Mary of Nazareth, who is the 'figure' of the Church. She 'precedes' everyone on the path to holiness; in her person 'the Church has already reached that perfection whereby she exists without spot or wrinkle'". — JOHN PAUL II Mulieris Dignitatem, 1988