The Catholic Church has a long-standing tradition of honoring Mary throughout the month of May. It is fitting that, during the most beautiful month of the year, we turn with gratitude and petition to God’s most beautiful creature—Our Heavenly Mother—by entrusting to Her our prayers and petitions, honoring Her with our devotion, and offering ourselves to Her service.
During this month, I would like to invite you to read Pope Paul VI’s encyclical letter Mense Maio (The Month of May): https://bit.ly/37aPJ0u. Although he wrote this letter in 1965, the message is just as relevant today, when our world finds itself, yet again, on the brink of war. Especially poignant are the words: “Peace comes from heaven. It will truly reign among men when we have finally proved ourselves worthy to receive this gift from Almighty God. Just as the happiness and destiny of nations are in His power, so also are the hearts of men. And so we shall obtain this lofty benefit by praying to God; by praying with constancy and watchfulness, as the Church has been wont to do from her very beginning; by praying, in particular, for the intercession and protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who is the Queen of peace. So, Venerable Brothers, throughout this month of May, let us offer our pleas to the Mother of God with greater devotion and confidence, so that we may obtain her favor and her blessings. Even if the grave sins of men provoke God’s justice and merit His just punishments, we must not forget the he is “the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort,” and that He has appointed Mary most holy as the generous steward of His merciful gifts. May she who experienced the cares and hardships of earthly life, the weariness of daily toil, the hardships and trials of poverty, and the sorrows of Calvary, come to aid the needs of the Church and the human race. May she graciously lend an ear to the devout pleas of those all over the world who beg her for peace. May she enlighten the minds of those who rule nations. And finally, may she prevail on God, who rules the winds and storms, to calm the tempests in men’s warring hearts and grant us peace in our day.”
Here in our parish, we have the great privilege to be under the special patronage and protection of the Blessed Mother under the title of Our Lady of the Wayside. This title refers to an image known as Madonna della Strada (Our Lady of the Way), which is housed in the Church of Gesu in Rome. This image serves as a reminder that this life and earth are not our final destination. We are all on a pilgrimage to Heaven, and if we entrust ourselves to the Blessed Mother, She will ensure that we arrive there safely and most securely in Her loving arms.
Yours in Christ,
Readings for the Fourth Sunday of Easter: Lectionary 51
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