“…Is Mary the rose then? Mary the tree?
But the blossom, the blossom there, who can it be?
Who can her rose be? It could be but one:
Christ Jesus our Lord, her God and her son.
In the gardens of God, in the daylight divine
Shew me thy son, mother, mother of mine….”
-Excerpt from “Rosa Mystica” by Gerard Manley Hopkins
Perhaps it is Our Lady’s title of Rosa Mystica, under which we invoke her in the Litany of Loretto, that flora such powerful connection to devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary—particularly during her month of May, when flowers are abundant (especially here in Santa Rosa!). Devotions such as May Crowning, wherein Our Mother is decorated with a corona of blossoms, are endearing displays of devotion—but they are also much more when one takes into account the symbolism behind such an action:
As the Sisters take their turns crowning our Queen and our Mother throughout the month of May, we take to her our intentions, our hopes, our cares, and ask her to weave from the bouquet of our lives (entwined as it is with thorns and untamed brambles) into a beautiful crown for Our Spouse, Christ the King. May she also cultivate in all our souls the virtues Our Lord would like best to see growing therein, and undoing the knotted vines in our lives, bring forth the fruit of holiness: the fullness of the Life of Christ.
Mary, Queen of the May… Pray for us!
by Gerard Manley Hopkins