Ember Wednesday After Pentecost
May 18, 2005
Volume 16, no. 138

    Each day of May there is a special flower dedicated to Our Lady which corresponds with a particular virtue. When you offer to Mary each day of May the acts of the designated virtue, you will have presented her with a most beautiful spiritual bouquet of flowers by her glorious feast on May 31st of the Queenship of Mary.


Today on Ember Wednesday, May 18th, the flower is the delicate LAVENDER with the corresponding Virtue being MODESTY. This is appropriate for modesty is the cornerstone of chastity and purity. Nothing makes Our Lady happier than a pure heart and a pure heart begins with being pure in the flesh. What we wear governs how we think, where we place God in our lives. Like the Lavender, our souls are delicate and to be immodest in any way or not to practice custody of the eyes puts that delicateness in jeopardy. Our bodies are temples of the Holy Ghost and we must strive to adorn these temples with layers of clothing that are pleasing to our Almighty Creator, not man.

   Bouquets offered so far of flowers and virtues are:

On May 1st, the Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker, Mary's earthly spouse was the LILY and the designated virtue: PURITY. No flower is more significant in identifying the Foster Father of Jesus and chaste Protector of Mary than the holy Joseph who is the symbol of purity, and that symbolic flower is the white, pure Lily.


May 2nd, the Feast of Saint Athanasius, a ROSE was presented to represent LOVE OF GOD. No one loves God more than His Blessed Mother Mary who humbly became the Living Tabernacle of the Holy of Holies. Mary is associated with the rose because it is one of the most beautiful flowers of all and her special prayer - the Rosary - is a bouquet of spiritual roses that we can offer her each day for her to take to the Holy Trinity in intercession for us as her Heavenly Mother who loves us so much.


On May 3rd a MYOSOTIS flower indicates Thanksgiving which is so appropriate for the Feast of the Finding of the Cross.


On the Feast of Saint Monica the flower for Mary is the PANSY for though this holy widow and mother was no pansy, the virtue she exhibited resulted in her son becoming one of the greatest saints and Doctors of the Church. That virtue is THOUGHT OF HEAVEN.


On the Feast of Saint Pius V the flower presented to the Blessed Mother is the MARGUERITE which represents SIMPLICITY so perfect for this holy Sovereign Pontiff who through his infallible decree Quo Primum sought to make worship so simple with the infrangible Mass of all Ages - the Apostolic Latin Mass.


On May 6 the Feast of Saint John Before the Latin Gate is devoted to the virtue of HUMILITY and represented by the VIOLET. So appropriate considering the great humility of the beloved disciple who took Mary as his Mother at her Divine Son's dying request on the cross, to look after her and care for her.


May 7th the Feast of Saint Stanislaus Kostka, Bishop and Martyr the virtue was ATTACHMENT TO GOD and is represented by the BINDWEED which is truly not a weed, but a flower that is stately just as St. Stanislaus remained attached to God despite the pressure of his fellow Poles and even the King. He had only one King: Christ the King, ever remaining the loyal subject and attached always to God.


May 8th, was, besides the Sunday Within the Octave of the Ascension, also the Double Major Feast of the Apparition of Saint Michael the Archangel. The virtue is FAITH and the greatest warrior in Heaven for defending the Faith is the noble winged general.The flower symbolized today is the Iris which blooms in the Spring and we must spring forward with faith to uphold and spread the True Faith, being irises who bloom where they are planted.


For May 9th the flower was the majestic MIGNONETTE with the corresponding Virtue being the PRACTICE OF HIDDEN VIRTUES. Appropriately it is the Feast Day of Saint Gregory Nazianzen, the holy Bishop and Doctor of the Church who was a vaunted defender of the Faith against the Arian heresy and practiced the Hidden Virtues in winning souls to the True Faith while traversing the rocky regions of Constantinople near the Mediterranean where the Mignonette blooms forth abundantly with its spikelike clusters of greenish or yellowish white flowers. The Mignonette emits an intense spicy fragrance, at first hidden from the nose's senses until closer to it, just as practicing Hidden Virtues may not be evident to all until they are exposed to the virtuous life of the person for "By their fruits you shall know them" (Matthew 7: 20).


On May 10th SWEETNESS was the designated Virtue with the corresponding flower for Mary's bouquet being the delicate JASMINE. On this Feast of Saint Antoninius it is appropriate that the Jasmine, a fragrant white or yellow flower, employed to flavor tea or in perfume, is the flower of the day since St. Antoninius, as the Archbishop of Firenze, sought to extinguish the noxious fumes of the false Renaissance with the love of truth and encouraging his flock to study and do penance whereby the sweetness of the fragrance of truth emanated through in souls being saved. As the Epistle of the Day from Ecclesiasticus 14: 20 states, "to offer Him a worthy incense for an odor of sweetness." Truly pure Sweetness!


For May 11th the flower was the beautiful PINK ROSE with the corresponding Virtue being PRAYER. How appropriate that outside of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the most efficacious prayer is Mary's Holy Rosary. The pink rose so magnificently expresses Our Lady's true femininity and divine motherhood. Her Rosary which she herself bestowed to St. Dominic is a spiritual bouquet of roses we can offer daily to Heaven, a spiritual bouquet built upon the ancient prayers of the Psalter - 150 decades for the 150 Psalms of David.


On May 12th the flower was the tube-like HEATH-FLOWER with the corresponding Virtue being RECOLLECTION. The Heath-Flower comes from the Greek genus Epacris - meaning "upon the hill" where it grows. Many believe they sprouted on Calvary but this has not been proven in such climes. Yet, it would be appropriate for the Virtue of Recollection is centered on the Sacrifice of Christ upon Golgotha where His Blessed Mother stood faithfully to the end. So also are we able to stand with her through recollection of the Mysteries of the Cross. Appropriately, today's feast of Sts. Nereus and Companions focuses on this beginning with the Introit Ecce oculi - "Behold the eyes of the Lord are on them that fear Him, hoping in His mercy." As the Heath-flower hangs down like a religious' habit, so to speak, - such as a monk in a monastery - to remind one to put on the garments of God in humility and recollect, so also practicing the Virtue of Recollection prompts one to look within the soul and seek in all humilty to think of spiritual rather than temporal things.


On May 13th the flower was the LAUREL blossom with the corresponding Virtue being LOVE OF DUTY. What a perfect day for this for it was duty to the Church and Christ's Vicar on earth that prompted St. Robert Bellarmine to become a Jesuit priest and then to utilize all his God-given talents for the greater honor and glory of God and His Holy Church. Likewise, Our Lady appeared near the Cova and a copse of trees where Laurel blossoms might be found and her message was to remind her children of our duty to pray and to obey her Divine Son. She instilled in the Fatima children and from them out to all mankind the importance of the Virtue of Love of Duty. We have a duty to spread and live all Our Lady imparted and which was officially approved as worthy of belief by Holy Mother Church.


On May 14th the flower was the PASSION FLOWER with the corresponding Virtue being SACRIFICE. How appropriate that on this Vigil of Pentecost this year this devotion emphasizes Sacrifice. Was it not the Passion of our Lord which was the greatest Sacrifice that resulted in the blossoming of souls through salvation for all who followed Christ's teachings? On this day before the Holy Ghost is sent as Christ promised, our souls should open wide like the Passion Flower to embrace our crosses sent so lovingly by the Almighty. Carrying our cross daily is what Sacrifice is all about so that grace will flower forth.


On May 15th the flower was the MIMOSA with the corresponding Virtue being GENEROSITY. How so very perfect this year that it is on Whitsunday for what is more expressive of infinite generosity then for the Holy Trinity to send the Advocate - the Holy Ghost? Like the rays of the Spirit descending upon the Blessed Mother and the Apostles, the stamen of the Mimosa flower fan out in ray-like fashion.


On May 16th the flower was the LILY OF THE VALLEY with the corresponding Virtue being PUNCTUALITY. The purity of the Lily of the Valley can be equated with the parable of the Five Virgins who were punctual and had their lamps lit when the Master came; whereas the other five foolish virgins were not punctual and because they were not, missed out on eternal bliss. That is why punctuality in all things is a virtue so that we will always live in the state of sanctifying grace and like the snow-white Lily of the Valley be ready when God decides to take us out of this Valley of Tears.


May 17th was dedicated to FIDELITY IN LITTLE THINGS with the corresponding Flower being the beautiful LILAC. It is the little buds that group together in fidelity to the greater good God intended to emit the spring fragrance that is so pleasing to the olfactory senses. Lilacs grow in colder climes, meaning they go dormant - retreat, if you will, so that toughened in the rough weather they can blossom ever more magnificently. So also with us. The more trials we face, the more we grow in grace and the more we will be faithful in little things, just as the holy Saint Therese of Lisieux practiced every day of her life.


    Each day we will reveal the flower of that day and the corresponding virtue we should all focus on that day. These are taken from Our Lady Book by Father Lasance.

The Little Crown of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The beloved disciple Saint John the Evangelist was granted the blessing of the vision of a woman crowned with twelve stars, clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet. According to expert commentators,most specifically the Haydock Commentary in the Douay-Rheims version, this woman is the Blessed Virgin Mary, with her virtues and her privileges, especially that of her divine maternity. Thus originated the Little Crown of the Twelve Stars of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which Saint John Calasanctius, Saint John Berchmans and many other saints made it a practice to recite frequently, especially during Mary's Month of May.

    In order to make this prayer more attractive, Saint Louis Marie de Montfort added to each Hail Mary one of the praises of the Blessed Virgin, with the invocation: "Rejoice, O Virgin Mary; rejoice a thousand times."

    It is this prayer which St. Louis gave to his religious families (The Montfort Fathers and the Daughters of Wisdom) as their morning prayer. He also recommends it to all those who embrace the devotion of the holy and loving slavery of Jesus through Mary. We combine with this beautiful prayer at the very beginning the designated flower and virtue for the day throughout Mary's month for she is the Queen of the May.

I. Crown of Excellence

(To honor the divine maternity of the Blessed Virgin, her ineffable virginity, her purity without stain and her innumerable virtues.)

1. Our Father, Hail Mary

    Blessed art thou, O Virgin Mary, who didst bear the Lord, the Creator of the world; thou didst give birth to Him Who made thee, and remainest a virgin forever.

    Rejoice, O Virgin Mary; rejoice a thousand times!

2. Hail Mary

    O holy and immaculate Virgin, I know not with what praise to extoll thee, since thou didst bear in thy womb the very One Whom the Heavens cannot contain.

    Rejoice, O Virgin Mary; rejoice a thousand times!

3. Hail Mary

    Thou art all fair, O Virgin Mary, and there is no stain in thee.

    Rejoice, O Virgin Mary; rejoice a thousand times!

4. Hail Mary

    Thy virtues, O Virgin, surpass the stars in number.

    Rejoice, O Virgin Mary; rejoice a thousand times!

II. Crown of Power

(To honor the royalty of the Blessed Virgin, her magnificence, her universal mediation and the strength of her rule as Queen of Heaven and earth.)

5. Our Father, Hail Mary

    Glory be to thee, O Empress of the world! Bring us with thee to the joys of Heaven.

    Rejoice, O Virgin Mary; rejoice a thousand times!

6. Hail Mary

    Glory be to thee, O treasure house of the Lord's graces! Grant us a share in thy riches.

    Rejoice, O Virgin Mary; rejoice a thousand times!

7. Hail Mary

    Glory be to thee, O Mediatrix between God and man! Through thee may the Almighty be favorable to us.

    Rejoice, O Virgin Mary; rejoice a thousand times!

8. Hail Mary

    Glory be to thee who destroyest heresies and crushest demons! Be thou our loving guide.

    Rejoice, O Virgin Mary; rejoice a thousand times!

III. Crown of Goodness

(To honor the mercy of the Blessed Virgin towards sinners, the poor, the just, and the dying.)

9. Our Father, Hail Mary

    Glory be to thee, O refuge of sinners! Intercede for us with God.

    Rejoice, O Virgin Mary; rejoice a thousand times!

10. Hail Mary

    Glory be to thee, O Mother of orphans! Render the Almighty favorable to us.

    Rejoice, O Virgin Mary; rejoice a thousand times!

11. Hail Mary

    Glory be to thee, O joy of the just! Lead us with thee to the joys of Heaven.

    Rejoice, O Virgin Mary; rejoice a thousand times!

12. Hail Mary

    Glory be to thee who art ever ready to assist us in life and in death! Lead us with thee to the kingdom of Heaven!

    Rejoice, O Virgin Mary; rejoice a thousand times!
    Glory be to the Father


    Hail, Mary, Daughter of God the Father; Hail, Mary, Mother of God the Son; Hail, Mary, Spouse of the Holy Ghost; Hail, Mary, Temple of the most Holy Trinity; Hail, Mary, my Mistress, my treasure, my joy, Queen of my heart; my Mother, my life, my sweetness, my dearest hope - yea, my heart and my soul! I am all thine and all that I have is Thine, O Virgin blessed above all things! Let thy soul be in me to magnify the Lord; let thy spirit be in me to rejoice in God. Set thyself, O faithful Virgin, as a seal upon my heart, that in thee and through thee I may be found faithful to God. Receive me, O gracious Virgin, among those whom thou lovest and teachest, whom thou leadest, nourishest and protectest as thy children. Grant that for love of thee I may despise all earthly consolations and ever cling to those of Heaven until, through the Holy Ghost, thy faithful Spouse, and through thee, His faithful spouse, Jesus Christ thy Son be formed in me for the glory of the Father.

Daily Devotion of the
Little Crown of the BVM
along with a garland of flowers
for Our Lady - Queen of the May