May is Mary’s Month

Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary is a mark of both Catholic and Orthodox Christianity, so much so that those innocent of Church history sometimes express surprise that St Benedict never mentions Mary in the Rule, unless we are to understand that she is included among ‘the saints’ to whom he refers in general terms. Indeed, judging by today’s chapter of the Rule, RB 73, he is keener for the monk to take Scripture and the Fathers as models than Mary or any other saint or martyr.

It would be wrong, however, to deduce from this that Benedictines are indifferent to Mary or have no devotion to her. On the contrary, it is because Mary is so close to us, Our Lady as we call her in England, that we do not make much of a razzmatazz about her. We ask her prayers, and are confident that she prays for us as she prays for the whole Church, with a tender sympathy and interest. May is a month peculiarly dedicated to her honour: one in which we rejoice in her as Mother of God who leads us closer to her beloved Son, Jesus Christ.

Some years ago we produced a little booklet of poems as a kind of monastic jeu d’esprit, a May Day gift for Mary. We hope you will enjoy it.

If you like Ladyflower, have a look of some of our other digital books on our main web site, http://www.benedictinenuns.org.uk/Media/Media/books.html

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9 thoughts on “May is Mary’s Month”

  1. Thank you for the leaflet.

    Even Anglicans these day’s share some of the respect for Saint Mary (as she is termed), although, only the Anglo Catholic tradition follow the devotional path in the way you describe.

    But, some things stay with you. I still pray the Hail Mary daily.

  2. Thank you for making this exquisite book of poems available.
    I endorse the previous comments about Anglican devotion to Our Lady and offer a couple of verses from an Anglican hymn:
    For Mary, Mother of the Lord
    God’s holy name be praised,
    Who first the Son of God adored,
    As on her child she gazed.

    The heavenly call she thus obeyed,
    And so God’s will was done;
    The second Eve love’s answer made
    Which our redemption won.

  3. Thank you. I wasn’t actually ignoring/slighting Anglican devotion to Our Lady — if you read the introduction to my ‘Magnificat’ ebook, you’ll see what I have to say on the subject of Mary’s ecumenical importance — but in singling out Marian devotion as a markof Catholic and Orthodox Christianity, I was making a point about her place in the theology of Eastern and Western Christianity. That goes beyond devotion to dogma, which not all my Anglican friends would accept.

    • No slight taken! Thank you for directing us to Magnificat – another truly beautiful and prayerful book.
      I pray for the day when we can recognise Our Lady as symbol of our unity rather than a reason for division.

  4. Thank you to our Anglican viewers who have left their positive comments, of course you would love Mary, just as you would love your best friend’s mom! Our daughter’s friend, an evangelical Protestant, visited Ephesus some time ago while on vacation in Turkey, with her husband and sister, made a pilgrimage to the shrine of St. John, the home where the apostle brought Mary to live after Jesus’ crucifixion. She was quite moved by the experience of the place, purchased two rosaries, dipped them in the spring, said she finally “got it”, that Mary wasn’t just a figurine to trot out with her nativity set once a year.

  5. I wanted to mention, also, that our former parish was served by Carmelite priests, an order with a particular devotion to Mary, our Lady of Mount Carmel, and Elijah, these two figures linking the Old and the New Testaments. While one order might place an emphasis on the church fathers, another on prophets and Mary, all have their unique spirituality which we can benefit from when we learn from them. Harold and I have been enjoying this site, thank you Sister, for sharing your Benedictine approach to Christianity!

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