May is so beautiful:
Orchards are fair;
Branches of fruit trees
Make gardens of air.

Flowers of fragrance
Bloom in the light;
Fall like the snowflakes
Showering white.

Orchards of heaven
Grow with a grace,
And like a blessing
Perfume the place.

Each tree in blossom,
Each lovely spray,
In this month of Our Lady,
Bring glory to May.

Helen Maring
The Magnificat. Volume LXVIII. Number 1. May 1941.

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All early in the morning
I rose to greet the day,
And underneath my window
I saw a Child at play.

The robins were not fearful
Of one so mild and meek;
They lighted on His shoulder
And nested at His cheek.

He picked the clustering roses,
The lily in its sheath,
The long-stemmed purple violets,
And wove them in a wreath.

And then I saw a Lady
Come walking in the dew;
Her robe was white as starshine,
Her mantle was deep blue.

And as the Child approached her,
All sweetly she knelt down
And bent her head, receiving
His fragrant, flowery crown.

Helen Connolly
The Magnificat. Volume LXVI. Number 1. May 1940.

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Now that the sun is shining again, and at night
the sky can be seen in the moonshine
Knowing that May is Mary's month is easy.
But what of the days of heavy skies, of biting
North East wind and rain lashing the halyards -
Have you ever seen a brand new flag not only torn
into ribbons but literally braided by the wind -
Is Mary, then, part of this elemental fury?

Perhaps, yes, in the sense that we know she is there,
always the place of calm, right in the center of
the storminess of life. We know she is waiting,
ready to comfort, to lead us on to her Son
when hearts are heavy, when sorrow confuses us.
We even know she understands how hard it is to say
"Hail, Holy Queen" when you are soaked to the skin
and tired and cross. How easy on a day
when the air is clear and bright, when the grass is green
and those laggard daffodils decide at last to show
their true color.!
Indeed in our hearts we know that never was it known
that anyone was turned away unaided by
this Springtime girl.
And how much more does that total love and forgivingness
flow from the Father, Son, and Spirit to all
who seek.

Naomi Burton
The Church World. May 5, 1980.

The Virgin and the Child
Carlo Crivelli (1430-1500)

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Hail, sweet month of May!
Hail, bright month of May!
Bring sunshine with thee,
Chasing clouds away.
March has left us sighing
In cold and chilly blast,
April's tears have fallen,
May has come at last!

I will wander in the meadows,
I will search in sunny bowers,
I will cut sweet-scented posies,
I will twine a wreath of flowers.
The lily and the rosebud
With May I will entwine,
And lay them for an offering
Upon Our Lady's shrine.

And there is another offering
Which at Mary's feet I'll lay,
I know that she will prize it more
Than all the flowers of May,
I will pray to her to keep it
And never from it part,
And my Queen will deign to take it -
My poor, yet loving heart.

I will pray to her to guide it,
In truth and wisdom's way,
And make it pure and balmy
As the flowers which spring in May;
I will pray to her to warm it
With the sunshine of her love,
And make it fit to deck a crown
One day in heaven above.

The Catholic Record
Volume 9. May 1875

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Blooming flowers and singing birds
Hail the month of May;
The springing leaves and sunshine
Fairest tributes pay.

Every little bright-winged bird
Its sweet story sings;
Every flower and blossom
Richest perfume flings.

And every leaf upon the trees,
Every dewdrop fair,
Every whisper, hushed, and still,
Of sweet summer air,

Tells the same soft pleading story
To Mary, full of grace -
How her children so far from her,
Long to see her face.

The Catholic Record. Volume 5. May 1873.

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It's Maying tide all over the earth,
And Maying is thine, Mary, thy very own,
Thine is the rose and the phlox, the tulip and pansy,
Thine is the iris that blooms near dark ponds,
Thine is the cornflower in fields of wheat,
Thine the morning glory that decks the hedges,
Thine the violet that scents the woods,
Thine the anemone under the bushes,
Thine the honeysuckle courted by bees,
Thine the daisies, thy earth-grown stars,
Thine the campanula, blue like thy mantle,
Thine the shy nenuphar on silent lakes,
Thine the forget-me-nots in cloistered gardens,
Thine the edelweiss on Alpine crags,
Thine the sunflowers of bright Andalusia,
Thine the chrysanthemum on Nippon's shore,
Thine the lotus on the banks of the Ganges;
Narcissus whispers thy sacred name,
Carnations recall thy Son's deep love.

The Christian Family. May 1950

The Madonna with the Carnation
Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519)

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The birch is thy sister, thy brother the oak,
The palm tree stands as thy royal symbol,
The beech, the olive, the yew and the fir
Remember the days when thou walkedst beneath them.

For thee sounds the meadow lark's joyous song,
The song of the robin, the throstle and finch,
The plaintive song of queen nightingale,
The bells of all lands ring out for thee.

The ocean reflects thy image, the moon,
Lakes mirror the blue of thine eyes,
The wave of white fountains symbolize
The sacred waters of thy fair graces.

Thou art the white Madonna of France,
Thou art the brown Madonna of Spain,
Thou art the black Madonna of Poland,
That maidens love and mothers revere,
That kindles love in the hearts of men.

The Christian Family. May 1950.

The Virgin and Child with
Angels by a Fountain

Bernaert Van Orley (1492-1541)

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To greet thee is greeting all human hearts
To whom thou hast opened God's treasure troves
Of joy and salvation, of hope and peace.

Thou art more fair than Eve in her beauty,
More beautiful than star-like Esther,
More valiant then Judith, the brave,
For thou wert with God in the beginning
of His ways,
Before he made the mountains and the sea,
Delight of the Triune ever plating before Him,
First-born of all His beloved creatures,
Sweet like the dawn and mild like the dusk;
Thy name is written into the sky
A sign that shall nevermore be erased.

The Christian Family and Our Missions. May 1950.

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Grace was poured out over thy lips
When thou cam'st forth like the
morning rising
Like the rainbow smiling over the

The daughters of Sion saw thee
And called thee blessed, eternal
Whose eyes are pools of mystery
and mercy,

Whose mouth only utters words of wisdom,
Whose mother hands spread only blessing.

Blessed is thy womb that bore God's Son,
Who came leaping from the hills of heaven,
Fleet like a young roe to kiss thy brow
And call thee mother, and winter ceased on the earth;
Forever the Spirit's bride and the Father's
Beloved daughter unlike all others,
God's turtledove, God's white swan,
Woman clothed with the sun and the moon at thy feet,
And a crown of twelve stars upon thy head
Sparkling like gold and the hue of the crocus.

The Christian Family and Our Missions. May 1950.

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Every tree, every flower is a poem for thee,
Every landscape is richer when thy shrines grace it;
Dost thou watch the lamps that burn at thy grottoes?
Dost thou hark to the chorus that swells through the ages?
Dost thou hear the canticles that rise from thy children,
Virgin of virgins and Mother of mothers,
Royal priestess descended from Abraham and David?
Chosen from all eternity queen rose of the world?

Remember, O Mary, despite all thy mildness,
Thou art terrible like an army in battle array;
Arise from thy bridal chambers in heaven,
Chase away the dark clouds that shut out the sun,
The mists that hover over the rivers and brooks,
Send a new spring full of shining flowers,
Spring in the hearts of youths and maidens,
Spring in the souls of men and women,
Spring in the darkened minds of the rulers,
That thy prophecy be not made in vain,
That this generation, too, will call thee blessed.

The Christian Family and Our Missions. May 1950.

The Virgin and Child with the
Young St. John the Baptist

Antonio Allegri Correggio (1494-1534)

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Hail, Queen of May,
Hail, Queen of May,
Let children's eyes again brighten with hope,
Let mothers fondle their babes in joy,
Let roses bloom again on the Moldava,
Let lilies sprout on the shores of the Volga,
But, oh, I hear the mocking laugh from the mouth of hell,

The dragon of old, thy archenemy Satan,
Has cast a blight on the greening earth,
Has muted thy praise in a thousand places,
Has caused the redeemed to rebel against God
And His Anointed, thy own divine Son.

Crush his head with thy virgin foot,
All powerful Virgin, Mother of Christ,
We remember thy past deeds of grace,
Thy eyes were red with tears at La Salette,
Thy lips spoke words of warning at Lourdes,
And asked for prayer and penance at Fatima's cave.

All powerful Virgin Mother of Christ,
Silence the hiss of the ugly serpent.
Pray for us all, bless us all,
Queen of May! Queen of May!

The Christian Family and Our Missions. May 1950.

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