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For the Preservation of the Deposit of the Faith
For the Kingdom of God to come!
The month of May is especially dedicated to honoring Mary, Mother of God and our Mother. Many scholars attribute this touching devotion to St. Philip Neri, so devoted to the salvation of souls and so zealous in spreading everywhere the devotion to the august Mother of God. This Saint, full of concern for youth, had realized that the month of May was the most dangerous of the year for adolescents. Saddened by his inability to contain the ardor of their passions, he looked at them with tears in his eyes. Finally he had the holy thought to have recourse to the Queen of Virgins, and to put the young age under Her maternal protection during the month of May. For this purpose, he gave the young people a rule of conduct for spending this beautiful month in a saintly manner. He prescribed pious tributes before the paintings, statues or altars of Mary, daily devotional exercises, assiduity at Holy Mass, instructions, frequent prayers combined with acts of virtue and pious deeds, and finally a general or particular communion during or at the end of the month, followed by a consecration to the Blessed Virgin. The happiest results crowned his pious efforts, and the transformation he saw occurring in his young protégés filled him with joy.
The children of the Blessed Virgin rejoice in dedicating an entire month to Her; and because, for an offering to a person whom one esteems and loves, one should always seek the best and most agreeable, they have chosen the beautiful month of May, which, through the renewal of nature and the lovely variety of flowers with which the earth is covered, seems to invite the soul to be reborn to grace, to adorn itself with sublime virtues in order to form a crown for the Queen of the universe.
This tender devotion to Mary is for faithful hearts a pure and abundant source of graces and favors: it sanctifies the pious soul, maintains it in a holy recollection, in the midst of the objects full of dissipation that surround it.
This devotion, encouraged by the Saints, has moreover been accredited by the innumerable fruits of grace and salvation which it has never ceased to produce.