Sunday, May 5, 2019

31 Way to Celebrate Our Lady in May

Happy May - the Month of Mary!  

{Some links which follow are affiliate ones.}

I pray that it's unfolding as a lovely month dedicated to Our Lady.

Whether you are looking to honor Mama Mary through prayer, reflection, crafting, or learning endeavors, I pray one of these 31 ideas will help enrich your experience this month.

Prayer and Pious Practices

1.  Begin your day with an Act of Consecration.

Start your day off with a gesture of prayer by praying a consecration to Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary:
O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary,I offer you my prayers, works, joys, and suffering of this day in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world. I offer them for all the intentions of Your Sacred Heart: the salvation of souls, reparation for sins, the reunion of all Christians; I offer them for the intentions of our Bishops and of all Apostles of Prayer and in particular for those recommended by our Holy Father this month. 

If you'd like to learn more about fuller Consecration to Mary, the Rooted Mom offers a succinct and helpful Consecration 101. (She also sells a variety of Marian-themed products.)

2. Make a Consecration to Mary with your children.

Source: Amazon

If you have little ones, the book Consecration to Mary for Little Ones by Kimberly Fries from My Little Nazareth is wonderful!

I have read through it myself and will be beginning a consecration with my children on May 13 - the Monday of the 4th week of Easter -with it.  If you'd like to do the same, now is the time to purchase this lovely book which I will be doing a full review of soon.

3. Add the Regina Caeli and the Angelus to your day.

This prayer is traditionally prayed at 9:00 a.m., noon, and 6:00 p.m. in order to sanctify our morning, afternoon, and evening hours through the sweet and holy presence of Mary.

The wonderfully helpful site Crusaders for Christ offers free printable handwriting sheets with the Angelus and Look to Him and Be Radiant with Joy has a super cute mini-book for each prayer.

4. Sing Prayers to Mary with Little Ones

Source: Amazon

The Bible often speaks about lifting our voices in song and prayer.

If you and your little ones like to do this, may I recommend Joyful Noises by Jennifer Sharpe of Hearts True Devotion?  In it, Jennifer has included two super sweet prayers to Our Lady that children can easily learn and sing.

I am a grown up and I've even begun singing them myself sometimes.

(I'll have a full review of this book coming, soon, too!)

5. Gain a fuller understanding of the Hail Mary.

Burning Hearts offers a wonderful line-by-line reflection on the Hail Mary.

You can also find lovely free copywork to for the prayer at Crusaders for Christ.

6. Begin a Devotion of the Three Hail Mary's

Source: Training Happy Hearts

To pray the Devotion of the Three Hail Mary's, we pray one Hail Mary in honor of each person of the Holy Trinity and ask our Our Lady to intercede for us with specific graces needed to live each and every day.

You can find our more about the devotion and how to introduce it here.

7. Wear the Miraculous Medal

If you do not already do so, consider wearing the Miraculous Medal.  Amy from Prayer, Wine, Chocolate shares 5 reasons to do so.

Source: Training Happy Hearts

If you're just introducing the Miraculous Medal to your children, you might also like to borrow ideas from a Miraculous Medal gathering I enjoyed with friends.

8. Pray the Memorare.

The Memorare is a wonderful prayer to learn and pray whenever you have a particular need.  

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.

You can find free copywork of this one at Crusaders for Christ, too!

9. Wear the Brown Scapular.

If you don't already, you might consider wearing the Brown Scapular. 

Source: Training Happy Hearts

If teaching your children about it, perhaps you might glean ideas from our July liturgical shelf and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel snack time.

Source: Training Happy Hearts

10. Pray the Rosary

It almost goes without saying when speaking of Our Lady and prayer, that we can refocus ourselves on praying the Rosary.

Source: Training Happy Hearts

Gracewatch Media's Illuminated Rosary (reviewed here), can be a beautiful tool to help families do just that.

Source: Training Happy Hearts

Joining the Children's Rosary Prayer Movement is a worthwhile idea, too.

And, of course, there are oodles of ideas and resources for introducing, re-introducing, and making a holy habit of praying the rosary.  Many of ours can be found here.

You might also start slowly with Elizabeth Clare's Rosary in a Month challenge.

Reflection Time

11. Imitate Mary.

Source: Amazon

In St. Louis de Montfort's classic True Devotion to Mary, he gives us a list of 10 principle virtues of Mary that we might imitate to help in our holiness.  They are:

  • deep humility
  • lively faith
  • blind obedience
  • unceasing prayer
  • constant self-denial
  • surpassing purity
  • ardent love
  • heroic patience
  • angelic kindness
  • heavenly wisdom

Being so very human, I have a hard time with many of these virtues. Perhaps you do, too. So, perhaps, pick just one at a time to work on.

Source: Amazon

Or, start simpler by reading the children's book Just Like Mary - a favorite of mine - with your children and see how it moves you all towards imitating Our Lady.

12. Reflect on Mary's Great Love for the Holy Trinity.

Sara from To Jesus, Sincerely shares beautiful reflections ideal for Mama (Dada, Grammy, Grampy, or Anyone) alone-time.

13. Get real about motherhood reflecting on Mary.

A Beautiful, Camouflaged, Mess of Life offers a brief, yet powerful reflection about Our Lady as the ultimate example of motherhood and Everyday Ediths shares the Messiness of Mary's Motherhood.

14. Color while you listen.

Everything is Grace and Kennedy Adventures share some free, printable Marian coloring pages that can keep little hands content while you listen to stories and reflections about Mary. 

Source: Amazon

I suggest Jesus and Mary and Leading Little Ones to Mary as read alouds for young ones this month.  We have read both in my home more than once!

Source: Amazon

15. Keep reminders of Mary at hand.

Rosa Isabel and Susana of Mary with You design everyday-wear jewelry including Our Lady of Guadalupe, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and Immaculate conception scapular bracelets and rosaries which can make a practical and lovely physical reminder to pray for the intercession of Our Lady.

Rose from Relics by Rose offers both classic and vintage jewelry, including some gorgeous Catholic Rosary bracelets. I would love to get ones for my daughter and myself. I bet you might like them, too.

16. Let a quote lead your meditations.

Crafting and Learning

17. Plant a Mary Garden.

Source: Training Happy Hearts

Mary Gardens have a long history and whether you make a permanent one or an annual Mini-Mary Garden, you are sure to enjoy the experience.

18. Gift a Mary Garden Basket.

Source: Training Happy Hearts

Along the same lines, you can make a real or paper Mary Garden to share with others - a lovely gift and a way to evangelize.

For further ideas about Mary Gardens, including some plant ideas, see Burning Hearts.  You can also get plant labels from Look to Him and Be Radiant with Joy.

19. Meditate while Embroidering

Happy Nest Home Goods has loads of lovely products for sale on her Etsy shop, including a beautiful Madonna & Child pattern that would be perfect for Charlotte Mason-inspired homeschoolers and others who like handicrafts.

20. Set Up a Marian Prayer Space

A rosary, a small statue or image of Mary, a vase of flowers can make a simple, yet effective Marian prayer space.

You might also decorate your space with Schroeder Stitchery's Marian embroidery hoops on Etsy or the
 Benedicta Boutique's beautiful Catholic Marian Wall Art.

21. Paint Marian Peg Dolls.

Painting peg dolls can lead you to learning and meditation - and the end product is perfect for your prayer space.

Source: Training Happy Hearts

Get ideas for Marian Apparition sets...

Source: Training Happy Hearts

...and monthly Marian dolls.

22. Focus copywork on Our Lady of Fatima.
Our Lady of Fatima's feast day is this month.  

Source: Training Happy Hearts

Add some free related copywork to your learning time.

23. Create a service craft for Our Lady of Fatima's feast day.

Source: Training Happy Hearts

If you're looking for a craft to share with people in nursing homes, VA hospitals, or the like, you might like the one we did a couple years ago.

25. Prepare for Apologetics

If your kids are at the stage where they are being questioned about what is up with we Catholics and Mary, this brief piece by Lord, Make Me a Saint can make a great jumping off point for apologetics. It succinctly offers Biblical verses for the Hail Mary, links to deeper resources, and sums things up!

26. Plan and Host a Marian Tea Party

A Marian Tea Party can bring together practical life skills, social skills, socialization, and so much more - all with a central theme of Mary.

Catholic Inspired provides some ideas and photographs to get you started, or you can browse the many liturgical tea, saint-teas, and liturgical meals and snacks we have enjoyed.

27. Plan a May Crowning

Source: Training Happy Hearts

Catholic Icing takes you through how to plan a May Crowning.

We've done them ourselves with friends a number of times, and elaborate or simple, they are always a wonderful experience.

28.  Get Cooking with Mary.

Catholic Cuisine has loads of ideas for the Month of Mary.

29. Let free printable guide the way.

Real Life at Home offers a host of free printables (and some paid ones) to keep you focused on Mary all month long and Catholic Toolbox has oodles more ideas and printables for fun and learning.

30. Enjoy coloring a Marian Quote.

Life, Love, & Sacred Art offers many free printables. Among them is a lovely quote to color and meditate on.

31. Have a Poet-tea.

Use the catalog of May poems found on the University of Dayton website over a tea time to celebrate Our Lady.

I'd love to hear, which, if any of these ideas spark observances of this Month Dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary in your home.

Mary, Our Mother, pray for us.


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