May is traditionally ‘Mary’s month’, when we join with her in celebration of her Son’s glorious Resurrection. Often our churches will decorate their shrines of Our Lady and have ‘May Devotions’ in her honour.
Even though we will not be able to have these festivities together we might ordinarily enjoy this year, the month of May remains dedicated to Our Lady, and we are still encouraged to join with her in prayer. Mary is the model of our prayer life, she was the one who ’treasured all these things in her heart’, the one we rejoice with, the one we weep and mourn with, and the one we contemplate with. One way of keeping May is to pray the Rosary each day. The word Rosary comes from the Latin Rosarium – rose garden, and as nature springs to life all around us it seems an appropriate time to pray these beautiful prayers.
Pope Francis is encouraging households to join together in praying the Rosary throughout May, and we are encouraging families to do the same. It might be that you are living alone – but please be reminded that whenever we pray, we are never alone, we are always joined with the Church throughout the world. It might be that parishes or groups of people promise to pray the Rosary at the same time each day, and be joined together in that knowledge of praying together at a certain time as a spiritual family. The Shrine at Walsingham prays the Rosary at 6pm each evening, and includes intercessions from around the world. That is shown on their website and on Facebook, and you can join in the prayers there. In a month where many of us would be visiting Walsingham for the National Pilgrimage, it might be a comfort and strength to pray with the view of the Holy House in front of us as an aid to prayers.
If you have never prayed the Rosary before or have not prayed it for some time, don’t worry, Bishop Jonathan has produced a short video that explains it and there is a leaflet available that gives help all of which are available free to use and download below.
Each Friday in May at 12pm you are invited to join in with praying the holy rosary via Facebook Livestream. These livestreams are especially helpful for those unfamiliar with this ancient prayer as well being a helpful aid for those who pray it regularly already. If you or your parish wish to promote and share these livestreams we have also produced some graphics that you can use to promote this on your websites and social media.
Pope Francis has also suggested two new prayers to use at the end of the Rosary that particularly ask for Our Lady’s prayers at this time of Coronavirus, praying for our leaders and our doctors and nurses, and include the most ancient prayer to Our Lady that we have. The Pope’s May Rosary Initiative is based around the Sub tuum praesidium, the oldest preserved extant hymn to the Blessed Virgin Mary as Theotokos. You can listen to an English metrical paraphrase which is produced in the hope that the hymn can become popular once more.
Through the Rosary, let us offer to God with Mary the beautiful rose garden of our prayers this May. Free resources to download and share:
Facebook and Instagram Square Graphic #PrayTheRosary call to action – DOWNLOAD
Twitter Graphic #PrayTheRosary call to action – DOWNLOAD
Twitter Graphic – A Prayer to Our Lady – DOWNLOAD
PDF Pope Francis Prayer to Our Lady – DOWNLOAD
Digital Booklet – How to Pray The Rosary Booklet
Printer Friendly Sheet – Printer-friendly Rosary guide
The Society of Mary have produced a ‘Praying at Home with the Blessed Virgin Mary’ booklet – DOWNLOAD
Other free resources are available from The Church Union.
Watch and share the film below: