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'Tis the Month of Our Mother!
Prayerful greetings from Casa Maria! We pray for you daily and want to share some thoughts on Our Lady in this month dedicated to her. We miss you!
Mother Louise Marie and the Sister Servants
On Mother's Day, as the community gathered around the statue of Mary, and our postulant, Sister Laura crowned Our Lady to the strains of "Bring Flowers of the Rarest," I was reminded of the countless times I sang those words growing up.
The May Crowning was a traditional event in our home, always celebrated with all the solemnity that children’s hearts can muster! Every year at the beginning of the month, we had to make our May Altar. Someone would select a table and find a place for it, someone would find a candle or two, and the rest of us would go outside looking for flowers. Anything was fair game. Everything from clovers and dandelions to Mom’s irises would be ruthlessly plundered for the sake of Our Lady! And no matter how beautiful the bouquets or how simple or even straggly were our offerings, neither our Mom, nor our heavenly Mother ever rejected any of them.
The statue would be brought out and one of us would get to place the crown on Mary’s head while we all sang, “Bring Flowers,” “Tis the Month of Our Mother” and any other Marian hymn of which we could remember a significant number of words (If you forgot part, you just hummed, or thought up other words that sounded relatively suitable). Then it was not uncommon to do it all over again, because somebody was sad that they hadn’t been chosen to crown Mary, so they had to have a turn. Over the years, as nieces and nephews came into the mix, we might crown Mary on several different days, sometimes at the May Altar, sometimes at the outdoor statue, with whichever bunch of kids was visiting. Sometimes we would pray the Rosary, sometimes other prayers, but we always sang, and we always brought flowers.
Was it as perfect as I am making it sound? Of course not (memory has a way of smoothing off the rough edges!), but one thing I know is that my relationship with Mary was fostered by that devotion in my family. And the idea of Mary as a Mother who is as pleased with my little bouquets of clover as my own Mom never failed to be has been with me ever since.
I asked Mother Louise Marie if I could share my memories with you in the hopes that you might consider making this devotion a tradition in your own family. Even if you live alone, making a special place to honor Mary in your home and your heart during the month of May will surely bear fruit. Our Lady will certainly be pleased, and you might find that it’s a little easier to relate to her as Mother when you come to her “bringing flowers of the rarest” or at least with the simplicity of a child.
In his letter to the Church for the month of May, Pope Francis urged families to pray the Rosary together, especially during this month dedicated to our Blessed Mother. He suggests adding two special prayers to the end of the Rosary this month. Michael Pakaluk’s recent article in the Catholic Thing gives more tips for incorporating this devotion into your family life.
Sr. Rita Marie recorded a brief talk for the Say Yes to Holiness Transformative Summit happening right now. She will be participating in a live panel Q&A on Friday, May 22, at 7 pm CST on the Say Yes to Holiness Facebook page. You can view her talk by clicking here.
With the current pandemic, we have been unable to host our retreats for
the past two months. Many of you have asked us how you can support the
life and mission of the Sister Servants, particularly by meeting our
more urgent needs. You can contribute
online or send checks to the Sister Servants at 3721 Belmont Rd, Irondale, AL 35210.
Most importantly during this difficult time, we count on the support of your prayers. Would you commit to praying three Hail Marys each day for our community and vocations? You can also share our retreat schedule, free talks and photo galleries with your family and friends.
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