A May for Mary


            A May for Mary                                                              

May, the month of the Primroses, the May Altar, and the May Procession. Mary was always the centre of this month.

May, when the earth blooms in Springtime beauty, is an ideal time for our thoughts and sentiments to be directed towards this supremely lovely Queen of Heaven and Earth, who busily labors from her heavenly throne to conquer hearts, minds, and souls for the greater glory of her Son.

In the words of Pope Francis May is “a month which the piety of the faithful has long dedicated to Mary, the Mother of God.”

This month of May, dedicated to Mary, is a fitting time to begin to recite the rosary daily.

Flowers of the Rarest is a hymn, most likely Irish, that traces its origins to the thirteenth century. There are several versions of the lyrics, including one written by Mary E. Walsh and first published in 1871. This hymn is often sung during May  in the Church.

(The beautiful performance here is by the Irish tenor Frank Patterson,
1938-2000.) Click below to listen.

Frank Patterson sings Bring Flowers of the Rarest

~ from The May Magnificat by Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J.,
May is Mary’s month, and I
Muse at that and wonder why:
Her feasts follow reason,
Dated due to season ─
Candlemas, Lady Day;
But the Lady Month, May,
Why fasten that upon her,
With a feasting in her honor?
asks the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins.
Is it only its being brighter
Than the most are must delight her?
Is it opportunest
And flowers finds soonest?
Ask of her, the mighty mother:
Her reply puts this other
Question: What is Spring? ─
Growth in every thing ─
Flesh and fleece, fur and feather,
Grass and greenworld all together;
Star-eyed strawberry-breasted
Throstle above her nested
Cluster of bugle blue eggs thin
Forms and warms the life within;
And bird and blossom swell
In sod or sheath or shell.
All things rising, all things sizing
Mary sees, sympathizing
With that world of good,
Nature’s motherhood.


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