Archbishop Christian Lépine of Montreal unveils five ways to participate actively throughout the Marian month of May, dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
Mary, the Mother of Jesus Christ, clearly spent her life trusting in faith completely. She persevered in prayer and remained faithful to the end; namely, to the Cross. It was at the foot of the Cross that Jesus named her Mother of the Church: “Woman, here is your son,” and presented her to us as our Mother, “Here is your mother.” (John 19:26-27)
This title, which is drawn from the Gospel and whose usage dates back to the fourth century, was given prominence by Pope Paul VI and the Second Vatican Council. More recently, in 2018, Pope Francis designated the Monday after Pentecost as the Feast of "Mary, Mother of the Church".
Given this context, here are five ways to participate actively in this month:
1. Consecration to "Mary, Mother of the Church"
- During this pandemic, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) are inviting their respective bishops to consecrate their dioceses to "Mary, Mother of the Church" on May 1, which is also the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker.
- In addition, the president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops will consecrate Canada on the same day.
- This invitation is also extended to parish priests with respect to their parishes, to parents for their families, to the leaders of religious communities, institutes and movements, as well as to each individual who can consecrate himself/herself personally.
- You can find full details of the celebration on the CCCB website: https://www.cccb.ca/ or on the Montreal diocesan website at: https://diocesemontreal.org/.
- I will consecrate the Archdiocese of Montreal on May 1 during the 8 a.m. Mass celebrated “in camera” (privately) at Mary Queen of the World Cathedral, televised live on Salt + Light Television and also available for viewing anytime on the diocesan YouTube channel.
2. Praying the Rosary at home throughout the month of May
- Pope Francis encourages “everyone to rediscover the beauty of praying the Rosary at home in the month of May" (Letter to all the faithful, April 25, 2020). He challenges us: "Dear brothers and sisters, contemplating the face of Christ with the heart of Mary our Mother will make us even more united as a spiritual family and will help us overcome this time of trial" (id.).
- Every day throughout the month of May, at 7 p.m., the Rosary will be recited either live from Mary Queen of the World Cathedral or as a pre-recorded segment from individual homes. This will be available via the diocesan YouTube channel and on the Facebook pages for both the diocese and the cathedral. I will lead the recitation held at the cathedral, alternating with families or individuals who will lead the Rosary from their homes until May 21.
3. Novena to the Holy Spirit
- Mary was in the Upper Room with the Apostles, where they remained "confined" in fear while awaiting the gift of the Holy Spirit. I invite all the faithful of the Archdiocese of Montreal to "enter" the Upper Room with Mary so as to make a novena to the Holy Spirit, from Friday, May 22 to Saturday, May 30. The novena will conclude on Sunday, May 31 with the Feast of Pentecost.
- I will preside over the novena to the Holy Spirit, praying for the following intentions: a spiritual renewal within the diocese and a new breath of life for evangelization. The recitation of the Rosary begins at 7 p.m., followed by a meditation on the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Let us not forget that, regardless of any confinement we might experience, God has the power to touch our hearts and manifest his love.
4. Feast of "Mary, Mother of the Church"
- Monday, June 1 will be the feast of Mary, Mother of the Church
- I will celebrate this feast during daily Mass (details to come).
5. Free gift of Rosary prayer beads
- Anyone requesting a set of Rosary beads during the month of May, will receive it by mail, free of charge:
- Kindly send your request by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Let us entrust ourselves to Mary's maternal intercession so that she may protect us and our families, our society, all of humanity and the Church. May she intercede for us in our conversion to Divine love.
Archbishop of Montreal