Mary, Month of May Celebrations16 June, 2021
In his 1965 encyclical, “Mense Maio,” Pope Paul VI designated the month of May, with its traditional May devotions, as a time for special prayers for peace.
Through the years, the observance of Mary Month of May varies in different countries and cultures. The devotion includes singing of Marian hymns, readings from the scriptures, a short reflection, and the recitation of the Holy Rosary. Pilgrimages and visits to churches dedicated to Mary are organised by the communities. Children are encouraged to participate in praying and paying homage to the Blessed Mother by offering flowers to her image.
The last day of devotion is often followed by a solemn procession, during which a statue or portrait of the Blessed Virgin Mary is carried by devotees within and in the vicinity of the Church, as they sing Marian Hymns.
Devotees of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Rockhampton continue to observe these traditions. However, at the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic in 2020, families organised themselves into Prayer groups and recited the Holy Rosary in their various homes.
Early this year, Pope Francis has encouraged Catholics all over the world to pray the Rosary for the whole month of May, to intercede for the cure of COVID 19.
Mary Month of May was celebrated at St Joseph’s Cathedral on 30th May 2021, presided by Bishop Michael. He invited the community to celebrate and honour Mary during the month of May. The celebration started with a nine-day Rosary Novena from Saturday, 22nd May, at St Joseph’s Cathedral, after which, the Novena culminated in various homes of participating members of the community.
A procession in honour of the Blessed Mother, followed right after the 9.30 a.m. Mass at St Joseph’s Cathedral on Sunday 30th May 2021. The Vietnamese community carried the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary around the Cathedral precinct, followed by the offering of flowers and religious incense to the statue of the Blessed Mother, led by children from the various migrant communities in Rockhampton, accompanied by Marian Hymns in Malayalam, Tamil, Vietnamese, Philipino and English.
Migrant communities attended in their colourful traditional costumes.