BLESSED POPE PAUL VI ON
MAY, THE MONTH OF MARY
(Enc. Mensae Maio, April 29, 1965)
“The month of May is … a month which the piety of the faithful has long dedicated to Mary, the Mother of God. Our heart rejoices at the thought of the moving tribute of faith and love which will soon be paid to the Queen of Heaven in every corner of the earth. For this is the month during which Christians, in their churches and their homes, offer the Virgin Mother more fervent and loving acts of homage and veneration; and it is the month in which a greater abundance of God’s merciful gifts comes down to us from our Mother’s throne.
We are delighted and consoled by this pious custom associated with the month of May, which pays honor to the Blessed Virgin and brings such rich benefits to the Christian people. Since Mary is rightly to be regarded as the way by which we are led to Christ, the person who encounters Mary cannot help but encounter Christ likewise. For what other reason do we continually turn to Mary except to seek the Christ in her arms, to seek our Savior in her, through her, and with her? To Him men are to turn amid the anxieties and perils of this world, urged on by duty and driven by the compelling needs of their heart, to find a haven of salvation, a transcendent fountain of life.”
Because the month of May is a powerful incentive to more frequent and fervent prayers, and because our petitions more readily find access to her compassionate heart during it, it has been a favorite custom of Our predecessors to choose this month, dedicated to Mary, for urging the Christian people to offer up public prayers whenever the needs of the Church demanded it or some grave crisis threatened the human race. …
But peace, Venerable Brothers, is not solely the work of man. It is also, and primarily, a gift from God. Peace comes from heaven. It will truly reign among men when we have finally proved ourselves worthy to receive this gift from Almighty God. Just as the happiness and destiny of nations are in His power, so also are the hearts of men. And so we shall obtain this lofty benefit by praying to God; by praying with constancy and watchfulness, as the Church has been wont to do from her very beginning; by praying, in particular, for the intercession and protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who is the Queen of peace.
So, Venerable Brothers, throughout this month of May, let us offer our pleas to the Mother of God with greater devotion and confidence, so that we may obtain her favor and her blessings. Even if the grave sins of men provoke God’s justice and merit His just punishments, we must not forget the he is “the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort,” (1) that He has appointed Mary most holy as the generous steward of His merciful gifts.
May she who experienced the cares and hardships of earthly life, the weariness of daily toil, the hardships and trials of poverty, and the sorrows of Calvary, come to aid the needs of the Church and the human race. May she graciously lend an ear to the devout pleas of those all over the world who beg her for peace. May she enlighten the minds of those who rule nations. And finally, may she prevail on God, who rules the winds and storms, to calm the tempests in men’s warring hearts and grant us peace in our day. What we seek is true peace grounded on the sturdy foundations of justice and love—on a justice which recognizes the legitimate rights of the weak as well as those of the strong; on a love which keeps men from falling into error through excessive concern for their own interests. Thus each person’s rights may be safeguarded without the rights of others being forgotten or violated.
We ask you, Venerable Brothers, to make known Our wishes and Our urgent pleas to the faithful entrusted to your care, in whatever way you deem most suitable. We also ask that you make provisions for special prayers in every diocese and parish during the month of May; in particular, on the feast of the Queenship of Mary, let there be solemn public prayer for the intentions We have mentioned.
You should know that We are relying particularly on the prayers of children and those suffering affliction, for their pleas have special power to penetrate heaven and soften God’s justice. Since this is a perfect occasion, do not fail to put repeated emphasis on the recitation of the Rosary, the prayer so pleasing to Our Lady and so often recommended by the Roman Pontiffs. It affords the faithful an excellent means of complying effectively and pleasingly with our divine Master’s command: “Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you. ” (2)
-Blessed Paul VI, Enc. Mense Maio, nn. 1-3, 11-13. Emphasis mine
CSFH PHOTO of La Virgen y el Niño, by Armando Pareja