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Mary the Queen of May is a mother for all

The devotion probably came to them through the Portuguese or Italian Jesuits who landed in the southern coast of India in the 17th century because the May devotion has a Jesuit origin in Father Latomia of the Roman College of the Society of Jesus.

Mary the Queen of May is a mother for all

By Joe Palathunkal
Mary the Queen of May has become a devotion throughout the Catholic Church today, not only in the Latin rite but also in the oriental rites.

The devotion probably came to them through the Portuguese or Italian Jesuits who landed in the southern coast of India in the 17th century because the May devotion has a Jesuit origin in Father Latomia of the Roman College of the Society of Jesus.

Later it spread to the whole Church. Mother Mary emerges as a powerful icon of mother’s love, women’s assertion and the refuge of sinners. The cover of this issue is a glass painting of Mary in the Église Notre-Dame la Grande, church at Poitiers, France.

The church, originally known as “Sancta Maria Maior”, was inaugurated in 1086 by the future Pope Urban II which also has a statue of Our Lady holding the keys of the town. The face in the painting shows love and concern as well as the assertion you will find in the Magnificat.

Indeed it is the Mary in Magnificat that has endeared her to liberation theologians and the modern mariologists. But in May devotion the Mary who overthrew the proud from their thrones and sent the rich empty handed becomes a gentle and sober mother who cares for her children and intervenes when they are in dire situations.

When daily May devotions come to a conclusion with special celebrations in the churches and homes, Mary who is the mother of the helpless and the forsaken is the one who dominates the devotional space of a Roman Catholic.

(Joe Palathunkal is Associate Editor, Living in Faith)

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