Monday, May 1, 2023
Flowers in Mary's month tie us closely to the reawakening earth. The time of Resurrection and expectant Pentecost is one of buds, blossoms, wildflowers, and greening of meadows and lawns. Days lengthen and we welcome the warmth of the sun after the long winter. Jesus is risen and is present in our midst, and so we rise and ascend with him.
Overview of May
May is the "month which the piety of the faithful has especially dedicated to Our Blessed Lady," and it is the occasion for a "moving tribute of faith and love which Catholics in every part of the world [pay] to the Queen of Heaven. During this month Christians, both in church and in the privacy of the home, offer up to Mary from their hearts an especially fervent and loving homage of prayer and veneration. In this month, too, the benefits of God's mercy come down to us from her throne in greater abundance" (Paul VI: Encyclical on the Month of May, no. 1).
The entire month of May falls within the liturgical season of Easter, which is represented by the liturgical color white — the color of light, a symbol of joy, purity and innocence (absolute or restored).
· The world is resplendent with Spring's increased light and new growth. It is Mary’s month in the Easter season and all of nature rejoices with the Queen of heaven at the Resurrection of the Son she was worthy to bear. During the remainder of Easter time, let us endeavor through the prayers of the Holy Liturgy and the Holy Rosary to deepen our gratitude for the mystery of our Baptismal rebirth in Christ.
· "The month of May, with its profusion of blooms was adopted by the Church in the eighteenth century as a celebration of the flowering of Mary's maidenly spirituality, with its origins in Isaiah's prophecy of the Virgin birth of the Messiah under the figure of the Blossoming Rod or Root of Jesse, the flower symbolism of Mary was extended by the Church Fathers, and in the liturgy, by applying to her the flower figures of the Sapiential Books-Canticles, Wisdom, Proverbs and Sirach.
· "In the medieval period, the rose was adopted as the flower symbol of the Virgin Birth, as expressed in Dante's phrase, 'The Rose wherein the Divine Word was made flesh,' and depicted in the central rose windows of the great gothic cathedrals-from which came the Christmas carol, 'Lo, How a Rose 'ere Blooming.' Also, in the medieval period, when monasteries were the centers of horticultural and agricultural knowledge, and with the spread of the Franciscan love of nature, the actual flowers themselves, of the fields, waysides and gardens, came to be seen as symbols of Mary…" – John S. Stokes
· Pentecost, the birth of the Church, is also among the celebrations of May. Though sprung from the side of Christ on the Cross, the Church marks as her birthday the descent of the Holy Spirit on Mary and the Apostles. At the 'birth' of the world, the Holy Spirit — the Breath of God — was the "mighty wind [that] swept over the waters" (Gen 1:2); at the birth of the Church, He is present again "like the rush of a mighty wind" to recreate the world in the image of Christ through His Church (Acts 2:2).
We, the members of Christ’s Mystical Body, are the present-day disciples sent by the Holy Spirit to bring Christ to the world. May we go forth as did Mary, who set out in haste to assist St. Elizabeth (feast of the Visitation, May 31). Come upon us, O Holy Spirit, so that, with Mary, we may proclaim the greatness of the Lord who has done great things for us — for his mercy endures forever!
It is a very old tradition to make pilgrimages during the month of May to shrines dedicated to Mary.
May is also:
· National Military Appreciation Month
· National Barbecue Month
· Carlsbad Caverns National Park Month of May Head to this amphitheater at Carlsbad Caverns National Park for a grand show: Each May Mexican free-tailed bats emerge from a large, rocky passage within Carlsbad Cavern in search of a tasty mix of insects for dinner. In case you’ve happened on this wondrous sight in southeastern New Mexico with your family (and your kids have questions), a park ranger gives an informative talk as visitors wait for the bats to come out.
· Whale Watching, Stellwagen Bank—May thru October-- Did winter come and go without you getting a chance to see whales? There’s still time: Between May and September, more than 400 orcas swim in the waters around Canada’s Vancouver Island. Or head to the Azores, the Portuguese archipelago about 1,000 miles from Lisbon, where sperm whales gather from May to October. Closer to home, Stellwagen Bank, a submerged sandbank between Cape Cod and Cape Ann in Massachusetts, attracts the endangered North Atlantic right whale to its waters.
· Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival—April 27 thru May 7-- Take in the small-town charm of Winchester, VA, in this 6-day celebration of spring. First held in 1924, the annual festival packs a wallop of more than 30 events into its lineup: band competitions, dances, parades, carnival, a 10K race, the coronation of Queen Shenandoah and so much more, attracting crowds in excess of 250,000.
· Cinco de Mayo—May 5 thru May 7--Celebrate Cinco de Mayo (meaning "fifth of May" in Spanish) right here in the United States. Nationwide, there are more than 120 official US celebrations, spanning 21 states, in cities such as Cleveland, Los Angeles, Dallas and Atlanta. The holiday stretches back to the first few years of the American Civil War, when Mexican American communities sought to commemorate the causes of freedom and democracy. Head to downtown Denver for one such celebration: Here, members of a Mexican folkloric dance academy perform at the city’s Civic Center Park.
· Kentucky Derby-May 6th On your mark, get set … it’s off to Louisville for the granddaddy of all horse races. In time-honored tradition, the 149th annual Kentucky Derby -- the first leg of the Triple Crown -- kicks off the first Saturday in May. Settle into your seat at Churchill Downs racetrack on Central Avenue, sip a mint julep and enjoy the "Most Exciting 2 Minutes in Sports."
o Derby Day Turf Paradise Arizona
· Mother’s Day Tea at The Plaza—May 14th Mom is always fussing over you, now’s your chance to turn the tables -- in style. Treat Mom to afternoon tea at The Plaza’s Tea Room. A tradition since the hotel opened in 1907, tea at this NYC landmark has inspired scenes in popular films and novels, including Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Mom can enjoy a selection of sandwiches and savories from the Fitzgerald Tea for the Ages and The New Yorker menus.
o Acadia Farms Mother’s Day Tea Arizona
· Cannes Film Festival—May 16-27-- La lumière, la caméra, l'action! Slip on some shades, and head to the French Riviera for the largest annual showcase of cinema in the world. Don’t have a ticket to events inside the Palais des Festivals et des Congres building where the festival is held? Pas de probleme! Enjoy open-air shows at the Cinema de la Plage, and for celebrity sightings show up extra-early outside the Palais. You may just spot Ang Lee, Nicole Kidman or Steven Spielberg on this year’s red carpet.
· Indianapolis 500—May 28-- Rev up for the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” Part of the Triple Crown of Motorsports (with the Monaco Grand Prix and 24 Hours of Le Mans right behind) this annual race is quite possibly the largest single-day sporting event in the entire world, attracting roughly 400,000 spectators. Head to Indianapolis the last weekend in May, and prepare for a high-speed show around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s 2.5-mile oval circuit.
o RED ROCK RUMBLE May 21st-5 Mile Trail Race, Sedona, Arizona
· May 1st St. Joseph the Worker
· May 3rd Feast Sts Phillip & James Finding of the Cross
· May 5th MASS First Friday
· May 6th MASS First Saturday
· May 7th Fifth Sunday of Easter
· May 10th Saint Damien
· May 13th Saturday Our Lady of Fatima
· May 14th Sixth Sunday of Easter
o Rogation Sunday Feast of St. Matthias
o Start Novena to St. Rita Saint of Impossible causes
o Mothers Day
· May 22nd St. Rita
· May 15th Rogation Monday
· May 16th Rogation Tuesday
· May 17th Rogation Wednesday
· May 18th Mass Ascension Thursday
· May 19h Friday in the Octave of the Ascension
· May 21st Seventh Sunday of Easter
· May 28th Pentecost Sunday
· May 29th Whit Monday
· May 30th MASS St. Joan of Arc
· May 31st MASS Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
MAY 1 Monday of the Fourth Week of Easter
ST. JOSEPH THE WORKER-MAY DAY
Deuteronomy, Chapter 5, Verse 4-6
4 Face to face, the LORD spoke with you on the mountain from the midst of the fire, 5 while I was standing between the LORD and you at that time, to announce to you these words of the LORD, since you were AFRAID of the fire and would not go up the mountain: 6 I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
Today reflect on how our labor can be slavery or it can be a joy. In the end you are responsible for your own happiness. The fire on the mountain was not an impediment to the Israel people coming to God; it was their excuse. The secret of success is finding out our vocation from God and following it. When we follow God’s guidance to the do the work he has intended for us, we are like the tree that Moses saw that brought him into the service of the Lord. We will burn but not be consumed! Then, when others see our work and wonder at our joy in slavery to the Lord they too will come to know that “His burden is light.” (Mt. 11-30)
Many years ago, I also, like the people of Israel was afraid of the fire; and refused to go up on the mountain. Yes, I was called to the priesthood. I was afraid of the fire. I made all the excuses: I am not worthy, I want a wife; I want children. I turned away and the life I thought would be a joy was unsatisfying. Yet, the Lord did not abandon me; He has never chided me; no only I have chided myself. He has made good out of all I have shattered with my selfishness. This is the challenge of the cross that when we fall, and we will fall; that we pick the cross up again and drink the cup the Lord has given us to the dregs. How committed are you to discovering and following Jesus?
My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord; I know them, and they follow me. (Jn: 10:27)
St. Joseph the Worker
"May Day" has long been dedicated to labor and the working man. It falls on the first day of the month that is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Pope Pius XII expressed the hope that this feast would accentuate the dignity of labor and would bring a spiritual dimension to labor unions. It is eminently fitting that St. Joseph, a working man who became the foster-father of Christ and patron of the universal Church, should be honored on this day. The feast of St. Joseph the Worker was established by Pope Pius XII in 1955 in order to Christianize the concept of labor and give to all workmen a model and a protector. By the daily labor in his shop, offered to God with patience and joy, St. Joseph provided for the necessities of his holy spouse and of the Incarnate Son of God, and thus became an example to all laborers. "Workmen and all those laboring in conditions of poverty will have reasons to rejoice rather than grieve, since they have in common with the Holy Family daily preoccupations and cares"(Leo XIII).
Highlights and Things to Do:
· Read more about St. Joseph the Worker:
· May 1 is celebrated in Communist countries as the Day of the International Solidarity of Workers. Today would be a good day to pray for atheistic Communism's influence to cease and a proper application of the principles explained by Leo XIII in Rerum novarum and John Paul II in Centesimus annus to be the guide used by nations.
· Read this comparison, May Day the Socialist Worker vs. St. Joseph the Worker.
· Read St. Joseph the Worker on May 1 and Every Day in the National Catholic Register.
· Louisiana in 2021 made May 1 an Annual ‘St. Joseph the Worker Day’ Statewide.
· Consider purchasing and reading Consecration to St. Joseph: The Wonders of Our Spiritual Father by Fr. Donald Calloway.
· The Josephites are a religious order of brothers and priests with the mission of serving African Americans. Visit their site for more information and also some prayers for the feast of St. Joseph the Worker. They are named Josephites because St. Joseph was the first missionary.
· Find some cooking inspiration for this feast day at Catholic Cuisine.
· Become a temple of the Holy Spirit via the St. Joseph Universal Man Plan.
The earliest May Day celebrations appeared in pre-Christian times, with the Floralia, festival of Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers, held on April 27 during the Roman Republic era, and with the Walpurgis Night celebrations of the Germanic countries. The day was a traditional summer holiday in many pre-Christian European pagan cultures.As Europe became Christianized, the pagan holidays lost their religious character and May Day changed into a popular secular celebration. A significant celebration of May Day occurs in Germany where it is one of several days on which St. Walburga, credited with bringing Christianity to Germany. The secular versions of May Day, observed in Europe and America, may be best known for their traditions of dancing around the maypole and crowning the Queen of May. Fading in popularity since the late 20th century is the giving of "May baskets," small baskets of sweets or flowers, usually left anonymously on neighbors’ doorsteps. Since the 18th century, many Roman Catholics have observed May – and May Day – with various May devotions to the Blessed Virgin Mary. In works of art, school skits, and so forth, Mary's head will often be adorned with flowers in a May crowning.
May Day Facts & Quotes
· Roman Catholics celebrate May as Mary's month, and May Day is celebration of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
· May Day is also recognized as International Worker's Day, or Labor Day. This day commemorates workers’ rights and the labor movement. One popular cause that this day commemorates is the eight-hour workday.
· During the Haymarket Affair of 1886, more than a dozen people were killed after a 3-day strike and rally. US Labor Unions had agreed upon a general nationwide strike on May 1, 1886 in support of an eight-hour workday. One such rally, held outside the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company, Chicago, Illinois, became violent when police fired into the crowd of striking workers. Outraged, the worker's organized another rally the next day at Haymarket Square. The rally became violent when a bomb was thrown into a crowd of police. Seven officers were killed. A very public trial ensued which ended in the public hanging of four anarchists.
· In France, it is customary to give a sweet-smelling flower called the spring of lily of the valley (a symbol of springtime) on May 1st. The tradition started in 1561 when King Charles IX of France received a lily of the valley as a lucky charm.
· All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence. – Martin Luther King Jr.
May Day Top Events and Things to Do
· Dance around a Maypole. Decorate a tall pole with garlands of flowers and ribbons. Have a group of friends each take a ribbon and dance around the pole, interweaving the ribbons to form a braided affect. The braid can be undone by retracing one's steps.
· Have a picnic outdoors in the sunshine.
· Attend a May Day Festival.
· Visit a local fresh air market.
a film relating to worker’s rights. Our favorite films on the topic:
1) The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
2) Office Space (1999)
3) Caesar Chavez (2014)
Catechism of the Catholic Church
PART FOUR: CHRISTIAN PRAYER
SECTION TWO-THE LORD'S PRAYER
Article 3-THE SEVEN PETITIONS
2803 After we have placed ourselves in the presence of God our Father to adore and to love and to bless him, the Spirit of adoption stirs up in our hearts seven petitions, seven blessings. the first three, more theological, draw us toward the glory of the Father; the last four, as ways toward him, commend our wretchedness to his grace. "Deep calls to deep."
2804 The first series of petitions carries us toward him, for his own sake: thy name, thy kingdom, thy will! It is characteristic of love to think first of the one whom we love. In none of the three petitions do we mention ourselves; the burning desire, even anguish, of the beloved Son for his Father's glory seizes us: "hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done...." These three supplications were already answered in the saving sacrifice of Christ, but they are henceforth directed in hope toward their final fulfillment, for God is not yet all in all.
2805 The second series of petitions unfolds with the same movement as certain Eucharistic epicleses: as an offering up of our expectations, that draws down upon itself the eyes of the Father of mercies. They go up from us and concern us from this very moment, in our present world: "give us . . . forgive us . . . lead us not ... deliver us...." the fourth and fifth petitions concern our life as such - to be fed and to be healed of sin; the last two concern our battle for the victory of life - that battle of prayer.
2806 By the three first petitions, we are strengthened in faith, filled with hope, and set aflame by charity. Being creatures and still sinners, we have to petition for us, for that "us" bound by the world and history, which we offer to the boundless love of God. For through the name of his Christ and the reign of his Holy Spirit, our Father accomplishes his plan of salvation, for us and for the whole world.
PRAYERS AND TEACHINGS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
Closing Invocation for Night Prayers
Holy Mother of Jesus, my guardian angel, St. Joseph and my holy patron saint, protect me during this night and during my whole life, especially at the hour of my death. Amen.
· Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: End to abortion
· Eat waffles and Pray for the assistance of the Angels
· Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus
· Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus
· Make reparations to the Holy Face
· Monday: Litany of Humility
Monday Night at the Movies
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