Prayers for May
Catholic Prayers for the Month of the Blessed Virgin Mary
By Scott P. Richert, About.com Guide
By tradition, the Catholic Church dedicates each month of the year to a certain devotion. In May, it is the Blessed Virgin Mary. This devotion arose among Jesuits in Rome in the late 18th century and quickly spread throughout the Western Church. By the time of Pope Pius IX's declaration of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception in 1854, it had become universal. May crownings and other special May events in honor of Mary, such as public recitation of the rosary, stem from this time.
Some or all of the following prayers to the Blessed Virgin can be incorporated into our daily prayers during this month.
The Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary
In the Western Church, the rosary is the preeminent form of prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Once a daily feature of Catholic life, it is now seeing a revival after decades of disuse. May is a very good month to begin praying the rosary daily.
Hail Holy Queen
The Hail Holy Queen (also commonly known by its Latin name, the Salve Regina) is one of four special anthems to the Mother of God that have traditionally been part of the Liturgy of the Hours, and which vary depending on the season. This prayer is also commonly said at the end of the rosary and in morning prayers.
Prayer of Saint Augustine to the Blessed Virgin
In this prayer, Saint Augustine of Hippo (354-430) illustrates both Christian reverence for the Mother of God and the proper understanding of intercessory prayer. We pray to the Blessed Virgin so that she might present our prayers to God and obtain forgiveness from Him for our sins.
Petition to Mary by Saint Alphonsus Liguori
St. Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787), one of the 33 Doctors of the Church, wrote this beautiful prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary, in which we hear echoes of both the Hail Mary and the Hail Holy Queen. Just as our mothers were the first to teach us to love Christ, the Mother of God continues to present her Son to us, and to present us to Him.
To Mary, Refuge of Sinners
This prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary sounds a familiar theme: Mary as the font of mercy and forgiveness, through whom we obtain forgiveness of our sins and protection from temptation.
For the Grace of Love
This prayer was written by Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val (1865-1930), the secretary of state for Pope Saint Pius X. It reminds us that Mary is the perfect example of the Christian life, who in her own actions shows us true love for Christ.
To the Blessed Virgin Mary for May
In this beautiful prayer, we ask the Blessed Virgin Mary for her protection and for the grace to imitate her in her love of Christ, and Christ in His love of her. As the Mother of Christ, she is our mother, too, and we look to her for guidance as we look to our mothers on earth.
Act of Reparation to the Blessed Virgin Mary
Since the Protestant Reformation, many Christians have not simply downplayed devotion to Mary but have attacked Marian doctrines (such as her perpetual virginity) that are attested from the earliest days of the Church. In this prayer, we offer praise to the Blessed Virgin Mary and to the Holy Trinity in reparation for offenses against the Mother of God.