It's no coincidence that May is Mary's month -- and the month we celebrate Mother's Day!
How did May become the month dedicated to the Blessed Mother?
May is the month our Greek and Roman forebears associated with birth and new life. In Northern Europe, especially Rhineland Germany, a series of poor harvests in the early 18th century prompted Catholics to offer special prayers in May for good weather, and to protect blossoms so they might bear fruit. A connection between Mary and fruitful new life — with floral decorations — would be quite natural.
In mid-18th-century Italy, private Marian devotions became public springtime services when bishops promoted them to distract the faithful from boisterous university student revels. These devotions became a fixture in France, where Jesuit Pierre Dore popularized them. The dogma of the Immaculate Conception was defined in 1854, but we read it was not announced in many dioceses until the following year — during Marian May celebrations. This helped cement May as Mary’s month.
Discover lots of customs for Mary's month -- including May crowns, May baskets, and dancing around the Maypole -- here.
Did you know that Mother's Day is celebrated in different ways and on different days around the world? In the U.S., Mother’s Day was created by Anna Jarvis in 1908 and became an official U.S. holiday in 1914. We celebrate on the second Sunday in May. But the clearest modern precedent for Mother’s Day is the early Catholic festival known as “Mothering Sunday,” which took place on the fourth Sunday in Lent. Find out more about the history and celebration of Mother's Day here.
This month on Teaching Catholic Kids, we celebrate Mary and our moms!
May at a Glance: Download PDF
Saint of the Month: St. Philip Neri (Download PDF)
K through 5 activity
Make a Mother’s Day Banner (Download PDF)
Grades 6 and up activity
May is Mary’s Month (Download PDF)
Stewardship for kids
A May Crowning (Download PDF)
Lifelong Catechesis Corner
How do you keep yourself connected to Jesus in your daily life: Find the question of the week here.