The month of May is the “month especially dedicated to Our Blessed Lady.” During this month we can honor Mary by offering up to Mary from our hearts an especially fervent and loving homage of prayer and veneration.
Mary is the Daughter of God the Father, the Mother of God the Son and the Mystical Spouse of the Holy Spirit, the Queen of the angels, saints, of heaven and earth. And Saint. Louis de Montfort acclaims her as the Queen of all hearts and God’s masterpiece of creation. The saints acclaim in powerful, inspired and often poetic terms the glories of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
We can manifest our love and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary in her month by saying the Rosary daily.
On May 13, 1917 in the small village of Fatima in Portugal, Our Lady appeared to threes shepherd children—Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco. She appeared six times between May 13, 1917 and October 13, 1917. In each and every apparition Our Lady insisted upon the praying of the most Holy Rosary.
On July 13, she said “Pray the Rosary every day in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary to obtain peace in the world . . . for she alone can save it.”
St. John Paul II, in his Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae, told us that the Rosary is by its nature a prayer for peace, since it consists in the contemplation of Christ, the Prince of Peace, the one who is “our peace” (Eph 2:14). Anyone who assimilates the mystery of Christ – and this is clearly the goal of the Rosary – learns the secret of peace and makes it his life’s project. Moreover, by virtue of its meditative character, with the tranquil succession of Hail Marys, the Rosary has a peaceful effect on those who pray it, disposing them to receive and experience in their innermost depths, and to spread around them, that true peace which is the special gift of the Risen Lord.
The Rosary is also a prayer for peace because of the fruits of charity which it produces. When prayed well in a truly meditative way, the Rosary leads to an encounter with Christ in his mysteries and so cannot fail to draw attention to the face of Christ in others, especially in the most afflicted. How could one possibly contemplate the mystery of the Child of Bethlehem, in the joyful mysteries, without experiencing the desire to welcome, defend and promote life, and to shoulder the burdens of suffering children all over the world? How could one possibly follow in the footsteps of Christ the Revealer, in the mysteries of light, without resolving to bear witness to his “Beatitudes” in daily life? And how could one contemplate Christ carrying the Cross and Christ Crucified, without feeling the need to act as a “Simon of Cyrene” for our brothers and sisters weighed down by grief or crushed by despair? Finally, how could one possibly gaze upon the glory of the Risen Christ or of Mary Queen of Heaven, without yearning to make this world more beautiful, more just, more closely conformed to God’s plan?
In a word, by focusing our eyes on Christ, the Rosary also makes us peacemakers in the world. By its nature as an insistent choral petition in harmony with Christ’s invitation to “pray ceaselessly” (Lk 18:1), the Rosary allows us to hope that, even today, the difficult “battle” for peace can be won. Far from offering an escape from the problems of the world, the Rosary obliges us to see them with responsible and generous eyes, and obtains for us the strength to face them with the certainty of God’s help and the firm intention of bearing witness in every situation to “love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony” (Col 3:14).
During her apparition on June 13, 1917, said, “When you pray the Rosary, say this prayer after each mystery. We refer to this as the Fatima Prayer.
O Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell,
lead all souls to Heaven, especially those
who have most need of your mercy.