Fr. Brian Trueman
Crowning our Blessed Mother
Last week, I was away for the annual priest retreat in Pinawa so I didn’t have the opportunity to write my usual weekly message. Fortunately, it seemed providential that I had previously written about the month of May as traditionally being a month of greater devotion to Mary so we included that previous message.
For this week’s message, I simply wish to affirm all that the message conveyed and to encourage some concrete way(s) to grow in deeper fondness of our Blessed Mother in our hearts and our homes. I also wanted to add that, as a parish, we shall be taking up a cherished tradition of the “May Crowning” of an image of Our Lady. Typically, a day was chosen on which the faithful could celebrate some ritual prayers, and bestow a crown made of flowers or other suitable materials onto a statue of Mary. This practice could be done in a more permanent way, usually by the Pope or a bishop, or in a smaller way annually on some Marian feast day.
Our parish will celebrate this tradition on the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which always comes at the end of May. So we will “crown” our month of devotions to Mary throughout May by praying Evening Prayer for that feast together in the church, which will include the bestowal of a small crown on our statue of Mary which is kept by our baptismal font.
Evening Prayer on the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, May 31st, will begin at 7pm, and all are welcome to participate as a parish family. Such a tradition and pious practice can even be done in the homes of the faithful, and I would be happy to assist if anyone would like resources on how it could be done in their family.
“The queen symbol was attributed to Mary because she was a perfect follower of Christ, who is the absolute ‘crown’ of creation. She is the Mother of the Son of God, who is the messianic King. Mary is the Mother of Christ, the Word Incarnate … ‘He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High; the Lord will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of His kingdom there will be no end.’ Elizabeth greeted the Blessed Virgin, pregnant with Jesus, as ‘the mother of my Lord.’ Mary is the perfect follower of Christ. The maid of Nazareth consented to God’s plan; she journeyed on the pilgrimage of faith; she listened to God’s Word and kept it in her heart; she remained steadfastly in close union with her Son, all the way to the foot of the Cross; she persevered in prayer with the Church. Thus, in an eminent way, she won the ‘crown of righteousness,’ ‘the crown of life,’ ‘the crown of glory’ that is promised to those who follow Christ.”-- St. John Paul II, issuing a ritual for the Order of Crowning an Image of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Furthermore, I also wish to extend a blessing to all mother’s this weekend as we celebrate the North American cultural Mother’s Day this 14th. I invite you to join me in a prayer of gratitude for your mother.
Dear Lord, today I turn to you to give you thanks for my mother. With your own gift of life, she bore me in her womb and gave me life. She tenderly, patiently cared for me and taught me to walk and talk. She read to me and made me laugh. No one delighted in my successes more; no one could comfort me better in my failures. I am so grateful for how she mothered me and mentored me, and even disciplined me.
Please bless her, Lord, and comfort her. Help her loving heart to continue to love and give of herself to others. Strengthen her when she is down and give her hope when she is discouraged.
Most of all, Lord, on this Mother's Day, give my mother the graces she most needs and desires today. I ask you this, in the name of Jesus, our Lord and Savior forever and ever.-- “Prayer of Gratitude for my Mother” from Creighton University’s Online Ministries, https://onlineministries.creighton.edu/CollaborativeMinistry/Mothers/#MothersDay.
I am, in our Lord, yours.
Fr. Brian Trueman