Many of you will be familiar with this beautiful hymn, ‘Queen of the May’, traditionally sung on May Day. The month of May is dedicated to devotion to Our Lady. Here in Ireland, we have some lovely traditions surrounding May Day and the month of May itself. Grottoes and shrines to Our Lady were festooned with flowers. These were often decorated with wild flowers, especially primroses which are widely found in our hedgerows at this time of year. Many homes created May altars on a small table or on a windowsill.
The people of Ireland have always had a strong devotion to Our Lady and to the rosary. Here in Knock, those who saw the Apparition in 1879 prayed the rosary among themselves, not because Our Lady asked them to but because it was a prayer close to their hearts; one that they would have prayed each night on their knees in their simple thatched cottages. The rosary was part of the lives of those who saw her, at a time when to carry ones beads, and to pray them, was a part and parcel of everyday life.
As we are spending more time in our homes at the present time, why not take some time this May to pray the rosary daily?
Revive this lovely May altar tradition and set up a prayer space dedicated to Our Lady in your own home. Take some time during your day to sit in this prayer space, light a candle and pray the rosary.