QUEEN OF THE MAY
Monday
May 22, 2006
Volume 17, no. 129




    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. See the beautiful prayer below said throughout Mary's Month of May: Little Crown of the Twelve Stars of the Blessed Virgin Mary


  

Today on the twenty-second day of May the flower offered to Our Lady as Queen of the May is the yellow BUTTERCUP with the corresponding Virtue being OBEDIENCE. We must always have obedience to God and we owe allegiance to man only when man's directive is in full harmony with the ordaining will of God. The Buttercup, with its five petals and small, humble appearance is a most fitting reminder of obedience for the 15 Mysteries of the Rosary are divided into three sets of five and begin with the Annunciation, which epitomizes obedience for Our Lady's fiat paved the way for the ultimate obedience to the Father with her Divine Son's Passion, Death and Resurrection so that salvation could be attained through the merits of Jesus Christ. What a wonderful flower to offer to the Blessed Mother in her month of May.


Bouquets offered thus far to the Queen of the May:

 
On the First Day of Mary's Month of May was 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 chase Protector of Mary than the holy Joseph whose feast we celebrate and who is the symbol of purity, most always depicted by the pure Lily.

 
On the second day of Mary's Month of May, 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 the third day of Mary's Month of May, the MYOSOTIS was presented to represent THANKSGIVING. This bluebell-like flower is most appropriate for some say it was the only thing that bloomed on Calvary after the Crucifixion of our Lord and Savior. If we should offer thanksgiving for anything, it is for the ultimate Sacrifice of the Cross in which we are saved and which is re-enacted daily in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

 
On the fourth day of Mary's Month of May, the feast of Saint Monica the bouquet offered were the delicate, colorful PANSIES which represent the virtue of THOUGHTS OF HEAVEN. Few exemplified this virtue better than Saint Monica who spent every hour of her day praying and sacrificing for the conversion of her son Augustine. She constantly had thoughts of Heaven in her mind, heart and soul, praying so wholeheartedly for the spiritual welfare of her son who had gone astray. The pansies of persistence paid off as we know and Monica lived to see her son become a religious. All she had prayed for came true. So also with us if we offer Our Lady our pansies of heavenly thoughts, she will intercede before her divine Son and answer our prayers.

 
On the fifth day of Mary's Month of May, the feast of the holy Sovereign Pontiff Pope Saint Pius V the flower contributing to the bouquet offered to the Blessed Mother is the MARGUERITE which represents SIMPLICITY so perfect for this holy saintly Shepherd who, through his infallible decree Quo Primum, sought to make worship so simple with the infrangible Mass of all Ages - the Apostolic Latin Holy Sacrifice of the Mass set in stone by the dogmatic Council of Trent and codified by this holy Pope for all posterity. How simple can it be? This is the way it is as St. Pius laid out in following the infallible tenets of Trent, and all one needs do is follow those rules and rubrics. Simple! But it is the devil who complicates things and therein we can see his complicity in Vatican II and how Our Lady has wept so at so many who who have apostacized from her divine Son's Church.

 
On the sixth day of May, the Feast of Saint John Before the Latin Gate was devoted to the virtue of HUMILITY and represented by the VIOLET. This is so appropriate considering the great humility of the beloved disciple who took Mary as his Mother at her Divine Son Jesus' dying request on the cross, to look after her and care for her. Humility is something so lacking in so many of us and so necessary for sanctity. The beloved disciple John possessed this virtue throughout his life and in his inspired words of Sacred Scripture. It was this humility which prompted God to choose him as Mary's protectress and also preserved him from the boiling oil and afforded him, through the Mercy of God, to be exiled to the Isle of Patmos where he received the final account of the final days in the Book of the Apocalypse and was the only Apostle not to die a martyr.

 
On the seventh day of May, is the Feast of Saint Stanislaus Kostka, Bishop and Martyr. The virtue is 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. It is most appropriate that this also falls this year on the Third Sunday after Easter which shouts joyously Jubilate Deo - "Shout with joy to God" - for if one has a fervent attachment to God and seeks to do His divine Will, one will always be joyful no matter what slings and arrows life and the devil fires at a soul.

 
For the eighth day of May and the Double Major Feast of the Apparition of Saint Michael the Archangel the virtue was FAITH and the greatest warrior in Heaven for defending the Faith is the noble winged general. The flower symbolized was 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. Just as the iris is so functional to the eye, we must be on our watch against the wiles and snared of the devil. Count on St. Michael the Archangel - Quis ut Deus - He who is like God - to be our defense against satan who seeks the ruin of souls.

 
For the ninth day of May 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).

 

Today is the tenth day of May and SWEETNESS is 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. Truly pure Sweetness!

 
On the eleventh day of May and 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 the Prophet.

 
On the twelfth of May the flower offered to Our Lady 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 humility to think of spiritual rather than temporal things.

 
For the thirteenth of May the flower was the LAUREL blossom with the corresponding Virtue being LOVE OF DUTY. What a perfect day for this for it was the love of 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.

 
For the fourteenth day of May, the flower offered to our Blessed Mother was the PASSION FLOWER with the corresponding Virtue being SACRIFICE. How appropriate this was on Mother's Day for a true mother personifies sacrifice great and small, being the personal conduit of children from the womb to the tomb, entrusting them to God and sacrificing so much with her husband in striving to do God's holy Will. The greatest Sacrifice was 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 when we honor mothers, let us remember also the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass - same Sacrifice as that of the cross, for the victim is one and the same, namely, Christ our Lord, Who offered Himself, once only, a bloody Sacrifice on the altar of the cross. The bloody and unbloody victim are not two, but one victim only, whose Sacrifice is daily renewed in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass when the bread and wine are confected into the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist. This continual Sacrifice is carried on in obedience to the command of our Lord: "Do this for a commemoration of Me." There is no bouquet more pleasing to His Blessed Mother than worthily assisting at Holy Mass where 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, so abundant in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

 

For the fifteenth day of May, the flower offered to our Blessed Mother was the whispy MIMOSA with the corresponding Virtue being GENEROSITY. God loves a generous heart and one who loves God and seeks to do His holy Will at all times cannot help but being generous in all things, illustrated in the stamen of the Mimosa flower, fanning out in ray-like fashion to receive the graces God grants to those who are open to them and practice the cardinal virtues as well as the various virtues illustrated in this, Mary's special month for she is the Queen of the May. It is only natural that everyone would want to be generous to the Queen for that brings great favor from the King Who is, of course, her divine Son Jesus Christ, to Whom we owe all allegiance, all fidelity, all our love and generosity.

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For the sixteenth day of the month, 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.

 

On the seventeenth day of May the Virtue was 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.

 

Today on the eighteenth day of May 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.

 

For the nineteenth day of May the flower offered to Our Lady for Queen of the May was the rugged HAWTHORN with the corresponding Virtue being MORTIFICATION. This is appropriate for mortification takes being able to withstand pain and pleasure. The red-fruited Hawthorn consisting of dense corymbs of pink-red flowers has stems and leaves which are densely covered with short wooly hairs and must bear up under cold and windy conditions. That is why it is found in evergreen country where conditions are rough for a lot of wind helps the weather-worn Hawthorn to bloom. So also mortification helps to toughen us in the face of temptation and the life of ease, allowing grace to blossom forth.

 

For the twentieth day of May the flower offered to Our Lady for Queen of the May was the popular GERANIUM with the corresponding Virtue being ZEAL FOR SOULS. Consider that the colorful Geraniums number over 100 million plants grown and sold throughout the world every year. Each colorful, hardy perennial plant, while often different in color and even design, still belongs to the Geranium family. Now consider that in souls - 100 million souls a year being converted! Talk about Zeal for Souls! That is what we should all have and what pleases Blessed Mary so much. We should consider a person's soul much more beautiful in God's sight than a Geranium and tend to cultivating souls by nourishing them perennially with the Truths and Traditions of the One, True Church.

 

For the twenty-first day of May the flower offered to Our Lady as Queen of the May was the bluish PERIWINKLE with the corresponding Virtue being PURITY OF INTENTION. It has been said the best intentions often go awry. One reason they do is because they may not be based on God's will. Through purity of intention, it is based on doing the Divine Will in all things. One reason the Periwinkle plant is associated with this is because the periwinkle is a trailing evergreen herb with solitary blue or white flowers, often also referred to as myrtle in the U.S. The trail of good intentions, if followed in a straight line toward Heaven will stretch further toward God; those intentions which are not cultivated and cropped by living a virtuous life, will scatter every which way and gather cockle and thistles, thus becoming refuse to be cast into the eternal fires (cf. Matthew 7: 19).

    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 the book Our Lady by Father F. X. Lasance, the same who produced the Fr. Lasance Daily Missal as well as a plethora of other traditional works.


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

LET US PRAY

    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.
Amen.





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