Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A Petition to Mary

***You can find the Novena for Ascension Thursday here.  This year it will begin on May 5.  You can also find more prayers for the month of May here.


St. Alphonsus Liguori wrote the beautiful prayer below, honoring the Blessed Virgin Mary, to whom the Catholic Church dedicates the entire month of May. In this prayer we venerate our Holy Mother, expressing our love and gratitude for her help as we strive to grow in grace. We also beg for her continual prayers and guidance, even at the last moment of our death.

“A Petition to Mary” is a fitting prayer for Mary's month; not only does it beautifully honor our lady with words of love, but it also recognizes her as Mother, just as we honor our own mothers during May. Furthermore St. Alphonsus' prayer addresses Mary as Queen. Traditionally on May 31 Holy Mother Church honors Mary's Coronation (although this feast has been changed to August 22 in the new calendar).  A common practice for Catholics during the month of May is a May Crowning when a statue of the Blessed Mother is crowned with flowers, honoring her as Queen of Heaven.

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A Petition to Mary

Most holy Virgin Immaculate, my Mother Mary, to thee who art the Mother of my Lord, the queen of the universe, the advocate, the hope, the refuge of sinners, I who am the most miserable of all sinners, have recourse this day. I venerate thee, great queen, and I thank thee for the many graces thou has bestowed upon me even unto this day; in particular for having delivered me from the hell which I have so often deserved by my sins. I love thee, most dear Lady; and for the love I bear thee, I promise to serve thee willingly forever and to do what I can to make thee loved by others also. I place in thee all my hopes for salvation; accept me as thy servant and shelter me under thy mantle, thou who art the Mother of mercy. And since thou art so powerful with God, deliver me from all temptations, or at least obtain for me the strength to overcome them until death. From thee I implore a true love for Jesus Christ. Through thee I hope to die a holy death. My dear Mother, by the love thou bearest to Almighty God, I pray thee to assist me always, but most of all at the last moment of my life. Forsake me not then, until thou shalt see me safe in heaven, there to bless thee and sing of thy mercies through all eternity. Such is my hope. Amen.
--by St. Alphonsus Liguori

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A common practice for Catholics during the month of May is a May Crowning when a statue of the Blessed Mother is crowned with flowers, honoring her as Queen of Heaven.  A beautiful hymn that is sometimes sung during a May Crowning is "Bring Flowers of the Rarest.''  You can listen to a lovely rendition here.


Bring Flowers of the Rarest

Bring flow'rs of the fairest,
Bring flow'rs of the rarest,
From garden and woodland
And hillside and vale;
Our full hearts are swelling,
Our glad voices telling
The praise of the loveliest
Rose of the vale.

Chorus:
O Mary! we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May,
O Mary! we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May.

Our voices ascending,
In harmony blending,
Oh! Thus may our hearts turn
Dear Mother, to thee;
Oh! Thus shall we prove thee
How truly we love thee,
How dark without Mary
Life's journey would be.

Chorus:
O Mary! we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May,
O Mary! we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May.

O Virgin most tender,
Our homage we render,
Thy love and protection,
Sweet Mother, to win;
In danger defend us,
In sorrow befriend us,
And shield our hearts
From contagion and sin.

Chorus:
O Mary! we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May,
O Mary! we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May.

Of Mothers the dearest,
Oh, wilt thou be nearest,
When life with temptation
Is darkly replete?
Forsake us, O never!
Our hearts be they ever
As Pure as the lilies
We lay at thy feet.

Chorus:
O Mary! we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May,
O Mary! we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May.




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I would greatly appreciate your prayers for a family friend, Mark, who recently doctors told has leukemia.  Further tests are to be run soon for confirmation.  I know he, his wife, and children also would be very grateful for your prayers of healing and strength.  Thank you!

God bless!
+JMJ+

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