May, the Month of Mary

“And Mary said: My soul doth magnify the Lord. And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. Because He hath regarded the lowliness of His handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For He that is mighty hath done great things to me; and holy is His name. And His mercy is from generation to generations unto them that fear Him. He hath shewed strength in His arm: He hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart. He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich He hath sent empty away. He hath helped Israel His servant, being mindful of His mercy: As He spoke unto our fathers, to Abraham and his seed for ever.” [Luke 1, 46-55]

We begin May, the month of Mary with a brief meditation on the Magnificat. For those who do not recite the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary, it is a good practice to add the Magnificat to their devotions during Our Lady’s month of May.

Blessed art thou among women! And blessed is the fruit of thy womb!
Blessed art thou among women!
And blessed is the fruit of thy womb!


Considering Mary’s Magnificat, her beautiful hymn of praise to God, gives us insight into the Visitation, the second Joyful Mystery of the Rosary. Luke’s Gospel tells us that “when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she cried out with a loud voice, and said: Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed art thou that hast believed, because those things shall be accomplished that were spoken to thee by the Lord.” [Luke 1, 41-45]

Note that Elizabeth “was filled with the Holy Ghost” when she said, “Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.” This means that Elizabeth’s praise of Mary was inspired by the Holy Ghost, the same Holy Ghost, referred to earlier in Luke 1, 35, “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee.” Thus, Mary is the most  holy and pure Spouse of the Holy Ghost, a truth sadly overlooked by protestants and modernists.

To understand the Magnificat, consider that even as Elizabeth praised Mary, Mary responded with a hymn of praise to God. Mary, as the creature most perfect, most beloved of God, acknowledges that she is nothing without God. This perfect humility in Mary, this perfect obedience to God’s will in all things is what makes our devotion to Mary so beneficial. Mary is our quickest, surest way to the Heart of her beloved Son.

“My soul doth magnify the Lord.” How can a mere mortal “magnify” the Divine Lord? In the pure, clear soul of the Immaculata, God’s glory is reflected back as a mirror reflects back the brightness of the blazing sun. While this reflection cannot add one iota to the infinite glory of God, it can and must increase within us the glory of God. Mary is our perfect model in all things, and here she exemplifies magnifying God in her Immaculate Heart, and through her thoughts, words and actions, especially her lovingly offered humiliations and sufferings. This image alone is such a rich source of contemplation, it would take volumes to begin to express properly.

Mary then proclaims, “my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. Because He hath regarded the lowliness of His handmaid.” In this, she confirms that she is only the servant of God, her Saviour. When, in the Magnificat Mary refers to herself as “His handmaid”, it is the second time she has done so. The first was when she said at the Annunciation, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word.” By this repetition, Mary is emphasizing the importance of her humble obedience. Mary’s entire role in the salvation of mankind is based on humility and obedience.

The Saints assure us that Mary’s joy arose from the Divine Infant within her and as such was the greatest joy that ever has been or ever could be, And her rejoicing in the Magnificat is in anticipation of the immense throng of her children which will rejoice with her forever in heaven, placed as flowers about God’s throne.

The following verse, “behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed”, must be overlooked by those who reject devotion to Mary, such as our Modernists prelates and the poor protestants who know not Mary. Our Blessed Mother quickly adds to that verse, “Because He that is mighty, hath done great things unto me; and holy is His name”. Thus, we see that Mary always keeps the divine order, and never fails to attribute her every blessing to God alone. It is impossible to be truly devoted to Mary and not at the same time adore the most Holy Trinity; Mary is the most beloved Daughter of God the Father, the most pure Mother of God the Son and the most glorious Spouse of God the Holy Spirit. Thus, Mary has no existence nor worth without God, but in the Holy Trinity she exalted above all measure.

Mary’s hymn reflects also her adoration of God’s most sacred name, “holy is His name.” This, of course is our first duty and Mary’s hymn exemplifies this exquisitely. The Magnificat is a salutary prayer to remedy the all-pervasive blasphemy of these times.

When Mary proclaims, “His mercy is from generation to generations, unto them that fear Him”, she is stating that God’s mercy is inextricably united with fearing Him. How long has it been since you heard a sermon on “fear of the Lord”? Unless you are as old as I am, or attend an SSPX Chapel, it is unlikely that you have ever heard any priest speak of this important virtue. Yet the Bible teaches, “Come, children, hearken to me: I will teach you fear of the Lord.” [Psalm 33, 12] Father Gabriel tells us that “this is the first lesson the Divine Paraclete teaches the soul” who is seeking closer union with God. (Divine Intimacy, TAN Publishers)

Fear of the Lord is such a tremendous love for God, such intimacy with Our Saviour, that we live in a holy fear of wounding Him in any way. If we truly love God as Mary teaches us, then we will always fear the loss of His love. Father Gabriel then says, “Captured by love for such a good father, the soul has but one desire, to return Him love for love, to give Him pleasure and to be united with Him forever.”

Mary goes on to proclaim God’s justice, which has, “scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart …  put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich He hath sent empty away”. This reminder of God’s justice, following as it does the promise of His mercy “from generation to generations”, helps us understand the divine order. Our Blessed Mother, from Quito to Fatima has spoken of God’s mercy while warning of His justice. We must be mindful of the coming justice of God, even as the great mass of humanity continue to spurn God’s mercy.

When we meditate on the Passion of Our Lord, we are always struck by the blind disdain of God’s chosen people for the meek and humble Suffering Servant. But their disdain is easily exceeded by those in the Church’s hierarchy, given the fullness of Holy Orders, who disdain Our Lord today, indifferent to the Prisoner of Love suffering in silence within the tabernacle. Those who seek to pervert the mercy of Jesus will be scattered in the conceit of their hearts! Let’s pray for them in this month of Mary.

The closing verses return to the mercy of God, “He hath helped His servant Israel, being mindful of His mercy:  As He spoke unto our fathers, to Abraham and his seed for ever.” Israel refers to the Church, founded by Christ to fulfill the law, enduring until He comes again. And so we return to our Rosaries, renewed in our faith, encouraged by the promise of God’s mercy and justice, and inspired by our Most Blessed Mother to pray for the liberty and exaltation of our holy Mother the Church, seeking always the restoration of all things in Christ Jesus Our Lord.

  Remember, Pray the Rosary and confound the devil!

  Our Lady of Fatima, Immaculate Queen of the Holy Rosary, crush the head of satan and restore the Faith!

  Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!

  Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against thy enemies!


~ evensong, for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin, give me strength against thy enemies!

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8 thoughts on “May, the Month of Mary

  1. Alysia says:

    Thank you so much for your additions and for the recommendation of the book. I love the foreshadowings of the Blessed Virgin Mary so much. I collect them like gems. Especially because this is were I came from (born jewish, so I “came” from the “old testament”) and it was through Mary that I started to know her son. I was just baptised last Easter in the catholic church. God bless you.

    • Alysia, so wonderful to hear that you were just received into the faith!

      You may be interested in a Kindle book I found. Here is an excerpt:
      “As the aurora shining brightly,” says St. Bernard, “thou didst enter into the world, O Mary, when thou didst precede the splendors of the true Sun, with so great a brightness of holiness, that we may truly say that thy charity was worthy to inaugurate the day of salvation, the day of reconciliation, the day which the Lord hath made. Happy aurora, thou wast the messenger of a happy day. It was becoming such a day, to be preceded by such a morning; and thou hast rightly filled the office of aurora. The Sun of justice, Who was to proceed from thee, announcing His coming as by a morning light, cast on thee the abundance of His resplendent rays; and thus illumined, thou didst drive away the gloom of darkness caused by Eve; and thou didst bring into the world the Sun desired by all nations” (Ad gloriosam Virg. Deprecatio by St. Bernard).
      This is a beautiful reference to Our Lady, who receives all her brilliance from Our Lord, the Sun of Justice, just as the Dawn (Aurora) is the light of the rising Sun.

      The Kindle Book is “Mary Foreshadowed: Considerations on the Types and Figures of Our Blessed Lady in the Old Testament” by Rev. Thaddeus, (p. 163). KIC. Kindle Edition.

      Its chapters on foreshadowings of the Blessed Virgin Mary include: Sara, Rebecca, Rachel, Judith, Esther as well as the burning bush, Gideon’s Fleece and the Tower of David, among others.

      As soon as I am able, I hope to post on the foreshadowings,and also a post on Holzhauser’s ages of the Church. But that depends on many things outside my control at present. All is in Our Lady’s hands where I am content for it to rest.

  2. Alysia says:

    Thank you.
    “Israel his servent” reminds me of “I am the haindmaid of the Lord” and I though about few parallels between Mary’s situation and Jacob/ Israel in this chapter. both just had an encounter with God in a most intimate way, flesh & soul, which changed them forever and gave them special blessings and promises for all generations. Mary said: “as he spoke unto our fathers etc.” So I wondered if it might be related.. Maybe I am wrong… just sharing a though.
    God bless you.

    • That is lovely, Alysia. Thank you.
      Yes, the Old Testament is filled with the foreshadowings of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Ark of the Covenant, the Burning Bush, Gideon’s Fleece, Jacob’s Ladder are all fruitful sources of insight into the Blessed Virgin Mary.
      You mentioned that both Jacob and the Blessed Virgin referred to themselves as servants; that is possibly the most overlooked aspect of the faith in these times of arrogance. Satan is the personification of pride and disobedience and Mary is the personification of humility and obedience.
      Jacob’s Ladder prefigures Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces. It is through Mary that God chose to enter the world in order to save us; she provided the Sacred Body and Blood with which Our Lord Jesus Christ wrought our salvation. Indeed, we could easily spend all our remaining days contemplating the glorious mystery of the Holy Ghost, Who is the Love of the Father and the Son, uniting perfectly with the Immaculate Virgin Mary, infusing her Immaculate Heart, by which Our Lord wills to purify His Church, and all His children, to bring us to eternal blessedness with Him.
      For a perfect exposition of this and much, much more! – I recommend Father Karl Stehlin’s excellent book, “Who Are You, O Immaculata?”

  3. Alysia says:

    So beautiful. Thank you. God bless you.
    A thought: maybe in – “He hath helped Israel his servant, being mindful of His mercy” – Mary is making a reference to Genesis 32:27-30 ?

    • evensong says:

      Thank you for your comment.
      The passage in Genesis you refer to is:
      ” [27] And he said: What is thy name? He answered: Jacob. [28] But he said: Thy name shall not be called Jacob, but Israel: for if thou hast been strong against God, how much more shalt thou prevail against men? [29] Jacob asked him, Tell me by what name art thou called? He answered: Why dost thou ask my name? And he blessed him in the same place. [30] And Jacob called the name of the place Phanuel, saying: I have seen God face to face, and my soul has been saved.”
      Alysia, why you think she is referring to that passage?

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