May, 2013 - Overview for the Month
The month of May is dedicated to The Blessed Virgin Mary. The first 19 days of the month 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 2013
General: That administrators of justice may act always with integrity and right conscience.
Feasts for May
The feasts on the General Roman Calendar celebrated during the month of May are:
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 1.
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. Joseph the Worker (May 1), St. Athanasius (May 2), Sts. Philip and James (May 3), Our Lady of Fatima (May 13), St. Matthias (May 14), St. Isidore the Farmer (May 15), St. John I (May 18), St. Bernadine of Siena (May 20), St. Christopher Magallanes (May 21), St. Rita of Cascia (May 22), St. Bede, St. Gregory VII and St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi (May 25), St. Augustine of Canterbury (May 27) and the Visitation (May 31).
The feast of St. Philip Neri (May 26) is superseded by the Sunday liturgy. The Solemnity of the Ascension (May 9) is celebrated on May 12 (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
"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
Who is she that cometh forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun?
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
To celebrate Pentecost try this delicious moist cake, inexpensive and easy to make. It is served with a strawberry frosting.
Activity of the Month
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.
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!