May and St. Mary

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May is a month dedicated to St. Mary.  The association of the month with Mary was established in the West probably in the 13th century., the link perhaps coming about as the Christian baptizing of pagan harvest feasts, yet the connection of the Holy Mother to the harvest feasts came about much earlier.

In the Old Testament, God’s connection with the bounty of the land is well attested.  Indeed it was right and proper to implore His blessings and give Him thanks for harvests.  Israel celebrated three Harvest festivals, Pescha {Passover}, Shav’outh {Feast of Weeks} that marked the appearance of the “first fruits” of the harvest, and the Sukkot {Feast of Booths} that marked the ingathering.  Shav’outh would occur in May or June.

With the early Christians, a further connection was made also between the Holy Mother and the harvests; she was after all the one who conceived, bore, and gave birth to our Savior, the fruit of her womb, Jesus.

In the Chaldean liturgical cycle, there were three feasts dedicated to St. Mary as the protector of the fields, one for the blessing of planting, one for the protection of the first fruits, and one for the blessing of the harvest.  The blessing of the planting was connected to the Annunciation, and her conception of the Christ, and the last of these, the blessing of the harvests, with the death and subsequent Assumption of Mary.  The second feast has retained it’s agricultural reference as the “Commemoration of St. Mary for the protection of the fields,” remembering how St. Mary protected and nourished the Child in her womb until the time of His birth.  This is the feast which was celebrated recently {May 15th}.

May indeed has been a month special to the Church in their reverence to St. Mary, and more recently, the month has been further associated with Mary with the apparition of our Lady of Fatima starting on May 13th, 1917.

May the Blessed Virgin’s prayers be of benefit to all the faithful, to whom she is a mother as well.

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One Response to “May and St. Mary”

  1. aboriente Says:

    Yes. This was written before May for the month of May. I’m late in posting it. I think until I get more time, this blog will be a scrapbook of articles/notes I have written for other purposes. Sorry, and I hope it is still useful and fun for people who come here.

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