Bring flow’rs of the fairest, bring flow’rs of the rarest,
From garden and woodland and hillside and vale;
Our full hearts are swelling our glad voices telling
The praise of the loveliest Rose of the vale.
O Mary! we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May,
O Mary we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May.
This week we celebrated the annual May Procession in our parish school, an always joyous occasion made even more so with the involvement of the children from our primary school. It is always a particularly beautiful moment when the children bring forward flowers for Our Lady, which they place around the statue after the procession.
We were also privileged to attend the annual May Procession of the parish of San Saba, Rome, where our Generalate is located. Both of these processions were wonderful opportunities to show our love and devotion for our Blessed Lady, and to remind the world that she has been given to us as our Mother also.
As well as the devotion to our Blessed Mother shown by the universal Church, our Order has always been deeply devoted to her, with particular traditions surrounding the feasts of her Assumption and Immaculate Conception. Before the friars began their interminable debates over the Immaculate Conception of our Blessed Mother St Norbert had, with great prescience, imparted to the Canons Regular of Prémontré a great devotion to our Immaculate Mother. Our Immaculate Mother gave us the great blessing of imparting to St Norbert our white habit in honour of her purity, and as Mediatrix of All Graces she continues to dispense to our Order many graces from her Son our Lord Jesus Christ.
Not only this but the English Norbertines held special honour in spreading devotion to Our Lady of Prémontré. Before the dissolution of the monasteries in 1537 the Abbey of Cockersands in Lancashire was entrusted with the shrine to Our Lady of Prémontré. More information can be found here.
As May comes to a close let not our devotions. We should be inspired by the lives of the saints in their devotion to our Blessed Mother, and also of our Holy Father Pope Francis whose first official act as Pope was to visit the Basilica of Mary Major and honour her.