As we begin the month of May we are celebrating the Fifth Sunday of Easter today. The gospels for the next three Sundays will focus on the last discourse of Jesus in St. John’s Gospel, Chapter 15 and 17.
During this month we have the feast of the English Martyrs this Tuesday, the feast of the Ascension on Thursday 13th May, Pentecost Sunday on 23rd May and the feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ the Eternal High Priest on Thursday 27th May. In the context of these liturgical feasts we acknowledge that May is a Marian month.
In the Vatican document “The Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy” says “The pious exercises connected with the month of May could easily highlight the earthly role played by the glorified Queen of Heaven, here and now, in the celebration of the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Eucharist. The directives of Sacrosanctum Concilium on the need to orient the “minds of the faithful…firstly to the feasts of the Lord, in which, the mysteries of salvation are celebrated during the year”, and with which the Blessed Virgin Mary is certainly associated, should be closely followed.
Fr Fr David Birchall SJ from the Ignatian Spirituality Centre in Glasgow, writes on the Jesuit website ‘As a retreat giver I have found that people can often be divided into two when it comes to Mary the mother of Jesus. There are those for whom Mary plays a large role in their spirituality, and there are those, often from the Reformed tradition, who shy away from Mary. However, when praying over Gospel stories, very many of this second group of people have found Mary, as she is presented in Scripture, an attractive and down to earth figure who is easy to identify with and who speaks to us through the ages. We invite you to get to know the very human mother of Jesus from the Scripture. Here are ten meditations of the life of Mary.
May is an ideal good opportunity for us to pray the rosary. The rosary will be recited before Mass here at 11:25 every weekday in church at the end of exposition of the blessed sacrament. You will find on the Jesuit website “The Pray-as-you-go Rosary meditations” which draw heavily on traditional prayers and traditional music. The meditations are based on passages from Scripture with two questions of reflection for each one. Each meditation is quite long (around twenty minutes) and are designed to offer an extended period of prayer. These meditations are designed to offer something to everyone. They will introduce people who are unfamiliar with the Rosary to this immensely popular devotion, and offer those who regularly pray the Rosary a chance to experience something new.
Finally Pope Francis has invited Catholics and Marian Shrines around the world to dedicate the month of May to a marathon of prayer for an end to the Covid-19 pandemic. We have a good selection of rosaries in the shop.