MAY, THE MONTH OF OUR MOTHER MARY – FLOWERS FOR THE BLESSED MOTHER
As Vietnamese Catholics, especially people who have grown up in a northern, central or southern parish, they are not probably strange with religious activities in May – the month of Our Mother Mary.
When thousands of green, red, white, purple, and yellow flowers bloom in the field; her children also prepare teams, processions to offer flowers and honor Her in heaven. Affectionate familiar songs suddenly rise up in the souls.
1. Origin about the month of Mother Mary
In the early centuries, every year, when May returned, the Romans honored the awakening after the long winter of nature by the celebrations called the feast of honoring flowers for the Spring Goddess.
Catholics in the parishes have sanctified this custom. They organized flowers processions and prayers for abundant crops.
There were places where people hold “green processions”. People cut the branches of green trees that were flowering, take them to decorate in the churches and especially in the altars to worship Our Lady. Poets, Saints composed songs, sermons to praise holidays as well as Mother Mary.
By the 14th century, Father Henri Suzo – the order of Dominican, on the first day of May, offered special devotions to the Blessed Mother and decorated the statue of Our Lady.
At the beginning of the 17th century, in Naples, Italy, in the sanctuary Saint Clara of nuns in congregation of Franciscans, the month of Our Lady was celebrated publicly. Every afternoon, there were the song of devotion to Our Lady, blessing the Blessed Sacrament. From that day, the month of Our Lady quickly spread throughout the parish.
In the early 19th century, all lands in the Church honored solemnly the month of Our Mother Mary. The main churches had priests to preach, and most of the time after Lent was the official time to honor Our Lady. In this, priest Chardon has made great contributions. He not only made the zeal for Mary’s month popular in France but also in every other Catholic country.
2. The meaning of the flowers month of Our Lady
Mother Mary is likened to the most wonderful and beautiful woman among the thousands of women. Mother has beautiful soul, Mother has beautiful body. Therefore, the place where the flower emits a fragrant aroma, symbolizes her virtues. At the same time, the colors of the flower symbolize for Her being Mother of all when accepting the role of God’s mother.
Our Lady is also regarded to the Ark of God, whose flowers used to decorate the Ark of the Covenant. Like this, Our Lady is always with God. And the flower is with Her.
In the Old Testament times, God commanded Moses to make buds and petals for decoration in the seven-lamp that set in front of Ark of the Covenant. Or like Salomon, he ordered the artisans to sculpture the petals inside and outside to decorate the holy place in the church.
Derived from that, flowers in the liturgy – the tradition of the Catholic people are always respected. They use for the decoration the sanctuary, the altar or paying honour to the Saints, especially the Blessed Mother. That is, the flowers are like as a solemn position in the liturgical life of the Church.
Wish the devotions to Mother Mary will lead all to follow Her example to live to please God as she lived.