REFLECTION ON THE TRADITION OF MAY CROWNING OF THE BLESSED MOTHER
It has been an ancient tradition of crowning icons with flowers as early as the middle of the twelve century and was extremely popular by the sixteenth century. Honoring the Blessed Virgin Mary has been with us since the time of the Apostles. Moreover, it has been a long-standing calendar tradition of giving special honor and devotion to Mary during the month of May to counteract the pagan worship of goddesses. Furthermore, liturgical calendars have had numerous feasts days honoring the Blessed Mother: Our Lady, Queen of the Apostles (Saturday following the Ascension), Our Lady of the “Most Blessed Sacrament” and Our Lady of Fatima (5/13), Mary, Help of Christians (5/24), Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces and the “Visitation” (5/31).
Pope Pius XII recognizing the traditional practices of honoring the Blessed Mother proclaimed the “Queenship of Mary” through his encyclical AD CAELI REGINAM. May 1st or Mother’s Day has been the traditional day for honoring Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth, the Mother of God, and our Mother in the United States.
It has been a special traditional devotion in which our Blessed Mother Mary is crowned with a wreath of roses or other flowers. Usually, while children are carrying flowers in a procession and placing them at the feet of an image (statute or icon) of Mary, the faithful are singing traditional songs of Mary; Hail Holy Queen, Gentle Woman, Ave Maria, etc. The climax occurs with crowning of Mary and praying the Hail Mary or the entire rosary. Traditionally identified passages concerning our Blessed Mother from the Book of Revelation may be read. This special devotion usually takes place outside. There may be treats or crafts for the children afterwards. This act of devotion can also take place in the faithful’s home.
Since this is Mother’s Day, and although this devotion faded away in the 70’s and 80’s, it is a practice that should be renewed by the faithful as a sign of our love for the Mother of Jesus and our mother. As she had intervened at the marriage feast at Canna to prevent a hardship, she will intervene in our lives if we only ask. Mary, Undoer of Knots, pray for us.
Mac and Marcia