Sunday, May 5, 2013

Wednesday, May 1, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog: Community, Psalms 122, Acts 15:1-6 , John 15:1-8, Pope Francis Daily Homily - A Community of Love, St Peregrine Laziosi, Queen of May, Catholic Catechism Part Two: THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS OF THE CHURCH - Chapter 2 Sacraments of Healing Penance and Reconciliation Article 4:7 The Acts of the Penitent

Wednesday,  May 1, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog:

Community, Psalms 122, Acts 15:1-6 , John 15:1-8, Pope Francis Daily Homily - A Community of Love, St Peregrine Laziosi, Queen of May, Catholic Catechism Part Two: THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS OF THE CHURCH - Chapter 2 Sacraments of Healing Penance and Reconciliation Article 4:7 The Acts of the Penitent

Year of Faith - October 11, 2012 - November 24, 2013

P.U.S.H. (Pray Until Serenity Happens). It has a remarkable way of producing solace, peace, patience and tranquility and of course resolution...God's always available 24/7.

The world begins and ends everyday for someone.  We are all human. We all experience birth, life and death. We all have flaws but we also all have the gift of knowledge and free will, make the most of these gifts. Life on earth is a stepping stone to our eternal home in Heaven. The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, wonder and awe (fear of the Lord) , counsel, knowledge, fortitude, and piety (reverence) and shun the seven Deadly sins: wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony...Its your choice whether to embrace the Gifts of the Holy Spirit rising towards eternal light or succumb to the Seven deadly sins and lost to eternal darkness. Material items, though needed for sustenance and survival on earth are of earthly value only. The only thing that passes from this earth to the Darkness, Purgatory or Heaven is our's God's perpetual gift to us...Embrace it, treasure it, nurture it, protect it...~ Zarya Parx 2013

"Raise not a hand to another unless it is to offer in peace and goodwill." ~ Zarya Parx 2012


Prayers for Today: Wednesday in Easter


 Papam Franciscus
(Pope Francis)

Pope Francis May 1 General Audience Address :

A Community of Love

(2013-05-01 Vatican Radio)
Vatican Radio) When we don't allow the Holy Spirit to work, divisions in the Church grow. This was the message at the heart of Pope Francis’ homily Thursday morning concelebrated with Cardinal Albert Malcolm Ranjith Patabendige, the Archbishop of Colombo Sri Lanka, and staff from the Vatican Museums.

Pope Francis focused on the first reading from Acts which recounts the first steps of the Church which, after Pentecost, went out to the "outskirts of faith" to proclaim the Gospel. The Pope noted that the Holy Spirit did two things: "first it pushed" and created "problems" and then "fostered harmony within the Church." In Jerusalem, there were many opinions among the first disciples on whether to welcome Gentiles into the Church. There were those who said "no" to any agreement, and instead those who were open:

"There was a ‘No’ Church that said, 'you cannot; no, no, you must not' and a ‘Yes’ Church that said, ‘but ... let’s think about it, let’s be open to this, the Spirit is opening the door to us '. The Holy Spirit had yet to perform his second task: to foster harmony among these positions, the harmony of the Church, among them in Jerusalem, and between them and the pagans. He always does a nice job, the Holy Spirit, throughout history. And when we do not let Him work, the divisions in the Church begin, the sects, all of these things ... because we are closed to the truth of the Spirit. "

But what then is the key word in this dispute in the early Church? Pope Francis recalled the inspired words of James, Bishop of Jerusalem, who emphasized that we should not impose a yoke on the neck of the disciples that the same fathers were not able to carry:

"When the service of the Lord becomes so a heavy yoke, the doors of the Christian communities are closed: no one wants to come to the Lord. Instead, we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus we are saved. First this joy of the charism of proclaiming the grace, then let us see what we can do. This word, yoke, comes to my heart, comes to mind”.

The Pope then reflected on what it means to carry a yoke today in the Church. Jesus asks all of us to remain in his love. It is from this very love that the observance of his commandments is born. This, he reiterated, is "the Christian community that says yes". This love, said the Pope, leads us to be faithful to the Lord" ... "I will not do this or that because I love the Lord”:

"A community of' yes' and 'no' are a result of this' yes'. We ask the Lord that the Holy Spirit help us always to become a community of love, of love for Jesus who loved us so much. A community of this 'yes'. And from this 'yes' the commandments are fulfilled. A community of open doors. And it defends us from the temptation to become perhaps Puritans, in the etymological sense of the word, to seek a para-evangelical purity, from being a community of 'no'. Because Jesus ask us first for love, love for Him, and to remain in His love. "

Pope Francis concluded: this is "when a Christian community lives in love, confesses its sins, worships the Lord, forgives offenses, is charitable towards others and manifests love" and thus "feels the obligation of fidelity to the Lord to observe the commandments."


Liturgical Celebrations to be presided over by Pope:  May

Vatican City, 3 April 2013 (VIS)
Following is the calendar of celebrations scheduled to be presided over by the Holy Father in the months of April and May, 2013:

4 May, Saturday: 6:00pm, Recitation of the Rosary in the Basilica of St. Mary Major.

5 May, Sunday: 10:00am, Mass for Confraternities in St. Peter's Square.

12 May, Sunday: 9:30am, Mass and canonizations of Blesseds Antonio Primaldo and Companions; Laura di Santa Caterina da Siena Montoya y Upegui; and Maria Guadalupe Garcia Zavala.

18 May, Saturday: 6:00pm, Pentecost Vigil in St. Peter's Square with the participation of ecclesial movements.

19 May, Pentecost Sunday: 10:00am, Mass in St. Peter's Square with the participation of ecclesial movements.


  • Vatican News. From the Pope. © Copyright 2013 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Accessed 05/01/2013.


April 25, 2013 Our Lady of Medjugorje Message to the World:: "Dear children! Pray, pray, keep praying until your heart opens in faith as a flower opens to the warm rays of the sun. This is a time of grace which God gives you through my presence but you are far from my heart, therefore, I call you to personal conversion and to family prayer. May Sacred Scripture always be an incentive for you. I bless you all with my motherly blessing. Thank you for having responded to my call."

April 2, 2013 Our Lady of Medjugorje Message to the World: "Dear children, I am calling you to be one with my Son in spirit. I am calling you, through prayer, and the Holy Mass when my Son unites Himself with you in a special way, to try to be like Him; that, like Him, you may always be ready to carry out God's will and not seek the fulfillment of your own. Because, my children, it is according to God's will that you are and that you exist, and without God's will you are nothing. As a mother I am asking you to speak about the glory of God with your life because, in that way, you will also glorify yourself in accordance to His will. Show humility and love for your neighbour to everyone. Through such humility and love, my Son saved you and opened the way for you to the Heavenly Father. I implore you to keep opening the way to the Heavenly Father for all those who have not come to know Him and have not opened their hearts to His love. By your life, open the way to all those who still wander in search of the truth. My children, be my apostles who have not lived in vain. Do not forget that you will come before the Heavenly Father and tell Him about yourself. Be ready! Again I am warning you, pray for those whom my Son called, whose hands He blessed and whom He gave as a gift to you. Pray, pray, pray for your shepherds. Thank you." 

March 25, 2013 Our Lady of Medjugorje Message to the World:
“Dear children! In this time of grace I call you to take the cross of my beloved Son Jesus in your hands and to meditate on His passion and death. May your suffering be united in His suffering and love will win, because He who is love gave Himself out of love to save each of you. Pray, pray, pray until love and peace begin to reign in your hearts. Thank you for having responded to my call.”


Today's Word:  Community  com·mu·ni·ty  [kuh-myoo-ni-tee]  

Origin: 1325–75;  < Latin commūnitās,  equivalent to commūni ( s ) common + -tās -ty2 ; replacing Middle English comunete  < Middle French  < Latin  as above

noun, plural com·mu·ni·ties.
1.  a social group of any size whose members reside in a specific locality, share government, and often have a common cultural and historical heritage.
2.  a locality inhabited by such a group.
3.  a social, religious, occupational, or other group sharing common characteristics or interests and perceived or perceiving itself as distinct in some respect from the larger society within which it exists (usually preceded by the  ): the business community; the community of scholars.
4.  a group of associated nations sharing common interests or a common heritage: the community of Western Europe.
5.  Ecclesiastical . a group of men or women leading a common life according to a rule.



Today's Old Testament Reading -   Psalms 122:1-5

1 [Song of Ascents Of David] I rejoiced that they said to me, 'Let us go to the house of Yahweh.'
2 At last our feet are standing at your gates, Jerusalem!
3 Jerusalem, built as a city, in one united whole,
4 there the tribes go up, the tribes of Yahweh, a sign for Israel to give thanks to the name of Yahweh.
5 For there are set the thrones of judgement, the thrones of the house of David.


Today's Epistle -  Acts 15:1-6

1 Then some men came down from Judaea and taught the brothers, 'Unless you have yourselves circumcised in the tradition of Moses you cannot be saved.'
2 This led to disagreement, and after Paul and Barnabas had had a long argument with these men it was decided that Paul and Barnabas and others of the church should go up to Jerusalem and discuss the question with the apostles and elders.
3 The members of the church saw them off, and as they passed through Phoenicia and Samaria they told how the gentiles had been converted, and this news was received with the greatest satisfaction by all the brothers.
4 When they arrived in Jerusalem they were welcomed by the church and by the apostles and elders, and gave an account of all that God had done through them.
5 But certain members of the Pharisees' party who had become believers objected, insisting that gentiles should be circumcised and instructed to keep the Law of Moses.
6 The apostles and elders met to look into the matter,


Today's Gospel Reading - John 15:1-8

Jesus said to his disciples: "I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that bears no fruit he cuts away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes to make it bear even more. You are clean already, by means of the word that I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I in you. As a branch cannot bear fruit all by itself, unless it remains part of the vine, neither can you unless you remain in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me, with me in him, bears fruit in plenty; for cut off from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a branch -- and withers; these branches are collected and thrown on the fire and are burnt. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for whatever you please and you will get it. It is to the glory of my Father that you should bear much fruit and be my disciples.

• Chapters 15 to 17 of the Gospel of John present to us the diverse teachings of Jesus which the Evangelist has put together and placed in the friendly and fraternal context of the last encounter of Jesus with his disciples:
Jn 15, 1-17: Reflections around the parable of the vine.
Jn 15, 18 to 16, 4a: Advice of how to behave if we are persecuted.
Jn 16, 4b-15: Promise of the coming of the Holy Spirit.
Jn 16, 16-33: Reflections on the farewell and the return of Jesus.
Jn 17, 1-26: The Testament of Jesus in the form of a prayer.

• The Gospels of today and of tomorrow present part of the reflection of Jesus around the parable of the vine. To understand well all the significance of this parable, it is important to study well the words used by Jesus. And it is also important to observe closely a vine or any other plant to see how it grows and how it becomes united to the trunk and the branches, and how the fruit springs from the trunk and the branches.

• John 15, 1-2: Jesus presents the comparison of the vine. In the Old Testament the image of the vine indicated the People of Israel (Is 5, 1-2). The people were like a vine that God planted with great tenderness on the hills of Palestine (Ps 80, 9-12). But the vine does not correspond to that which God expected. Instead of producing good grapes it produces sour fruit which is good for nothing (Is 5, 3-4). Jesus is the new vine, the true vine. In one phrase alone he gives us the comparison. He says: “I am the true vine and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that bears no fruit he cuts away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes to make it bear even more.” Pruning is painful, but it is necessary. It purifies the vine, and thus it grows and bears more fruit.

• John 15, 3-6: Jesus explains and applies the parable. The disciples are already purified. They have already been pruned by the word that they heard from Jesus. Up until today, God does the pruning in us through his Word which comes to us from the Bible and from many other means. Jesus extends the parable and says: “I am the vine, you are the branches!” It is not a question of two different things: on one side the vine and on the other the branches. No! The vine does not exist without the branches. We are part of Jesus. Jesus is the whole. In order that a branch can produce fruit, it has to be united to the vine. It is only in this way that it can receive the sap. “Without me you can do nothing!” The branch that does not bear fruit will be cut down. It dries up and it is ready to be burnt. It is good for nothing, not even for wood!

• John 15, 7-8: Remain in my love. Our model is that which Jesus himself lives in his relationship with the Father. He says: “As the Father has loved me, I have loved you. Remain in my love!” He insists in saying that we must remain in him and that his words should remain in us. And he even says: “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for whatever you please and you will get it!” Because what the Father wants the most is that we become disciples of Jesus and, thus, that we bear much fruit.

Personal questions
• Which has been the different pruning or the difficult moments in my life which have helped me to grow? Which has been the pruning or the difficult moments that we have had in our community and which have helped us to grow?
• What keeps the life united and alive, capable of bearing fruit, is the sap which goes through it. Which is the sap which goes through our community and which keeps it alive, capable of bearing fruit?

Reference: Courtesy of Order of Carmelites,


Featured Item of the Day from Litany Lane


Saint of the Day:  Saint  Peregrine

Feast Day:  May  1

Patron Saint:  Cancer Patients
Attributesone leg covered in a cancerous sore, a staff

Statue in the Peregrine Chapel of the Serra Chapel in Mission San Juan Capistrano
Saint Peregrine (Pellegrino) Laziosi (Latiosi) (1260 – 1 May 1345) is an Italian saint of the Servite Order (Friar Order Servants of Mary). He is the patron saint for persons suffering from cancer, AIDS, or other illness.


Peregrine Laziosi was born around 1260, the only son of an affluent family in Forli, in northern Italy. At that time Forli was part of the Papal States. Peregrine's family supported the anti-papal faction. In 1283 the residents of Forli were under interdict.[1] St. Philip Benizi, Prior General of the Friar Servants of Saint Mary, was sent to try to reconcile the divided community. While trying to preach in Forli, Philip was heckled and struck by the eighteen year old Peregrine. Philip was driven from the city with insults and violence. Peregrine repented and asked Philip for forgiveness. St. Philip received him with kindness. The moment had a profound effect on Peregrine. Filled with remorse, he began pray more and to channel his energies into good works. A few years later, he joined the Servites in Siena and went on to be ordained a priest.[2]

After some years he was sent back to Forli, where he founded a new Servite house there and became well known for his preaching and holiness as well as his devotion to the sick and poor. It is said that he miraculously multiplied grain and wine during a severe shortage in his area.[1] People took to calling him the "Angel of Good Counsel," so grateful were they for his wise advice so freely given.[3]

One of the special penances he imposed on himself was to stand whenever it was not necessary to sit. When tired he would support himself on a choir stall. As a result of this type of life, at the age of sixty he developed varicose veins which degenerated into cancer of the right leg. His condition deteriorated to the point that the physician decided to amputate his leg.[2]

The night before the operation Peregrine spent time praying before a fresco of the Crucifixion in the chapter room. He fell into a deep trance-like sleep and seemed to see Jesus descend from the cross to touch his leg.[2]

The following day, the doctor arrived to perform the amputation and finding no sign of the cancer, spread news of the miraculous cure throughout the town. This only increased the people’s regard for Peregrine. The saint died of a fever about 1345 when he was almost eighty years old. An extraordinary number of people from the town and countryside honored him in death. Some of the sick who came were healed through his intercession.[1]


His body rests in the Servite church of Forlì, the Basilica of Saint Pellegrino Laziosi.[4]Pope Paul V declared him blessed in 1609 and Pope Benedict XIII canonized him in 1726.[1] The liturgical feast of Saint Pellegrino/Peregrine is on May 1.
Peregrine is considered the patron saint of those suffering from cancer. The National Shrine of Saint Peregrine is located at Our Lady of Sorrows Basilica in Chicago, Illinois, as a ministry of the Friar Servants of Mary.[5] There is also a St. Peregrine Shrine at The Grotto, at The National Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother, in Portland, Oregon.[6]


The lesson of Peregrine’s life is not that God worked a miracle, but that a faithful servant placed himself, unconditionally, in the hands of God. Peregrine’s trust in God therefore serves as a model for those dealing with sickness.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d Biography of St. Peregrine, The Order of Friar Servants of Mary
  2. ^ a b c Foley OFM, Leonard. Saint of the Day: Lives, Lessons, and Feast (revised by Pat McCloskey OFM), Franciscan Media, ISBN 978-0-86716-887-7
  3. ^ "The Story of St. Peregrine", Franciscan Mission Associates
  4. ^ Basilica of Saint Pellegrino Laziosi
  5. ^ National Shrine of St. Peregrine, Friar Servants of Mary
  6. ^ a b The Grotto, The National Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother

        Featured Items Panel from Litany Lane


        Today's Snippet I:  The Queen of May

        May Devotions to the Blessed Virgin Mary refers to special Marian devotions held in the Catholic Church during the month of May honoring the Virgin Mary as "the Queen of May". These services may take place inside or outside. May devotions have been a regular feature of Catholic life.[1]


        The origin of the conventional May devotion is still relatively unknown. Herbert Thurston identifies the seventeenth century as the earliest instance of the adoption of the custom of consecrating the month of May to the Blessed Virgin by special observances.[2] It is certain that this form of Marian devotion began in Italy. Around 1739, witnesses speak of a particular form of Marian devotion in May in Grezzano near Verona. In 1747 the Archbishop of Genoa recommended the May devotion as a devotion for the home.[3] Specific prayers for them were promulgated in Rome in 1838.[4]

        According to Frederick Holweck, the May devotion in its present form originated at Rome where Father Latomia of the Roman College of the Society of Jesus, to counteract infidelity and immorality among the students, made a vow at the end of the eighteenth century to devote the month of May to Mary. From Rome the practice spread to the other Jesuit colleges and thence to nearly every Catholic church of the Latin rite.MLA citation.[5] In Rome by 1813, May devotions were held in as many as twenty churches. From Italy, May devotions soon spread to France. In Belgium the May devotions, at least as a private devotion, were already known by 1803.

        May devotions

        Some of the devotions are accompanied by pilgrimages. The last devotion on May 31 is often followed by a solemn procession, during which a statue of the Virgin Mary or a portrait is carried back into the church. Some May devotions may take place outside in a forest or a dedicated special place. Before Vatican II, May devotions were more popular.

        There is no firm structure as to the content of a May devotion. It includes usually the singing of Marian anthems, readings from scriptures, a sermon, and or presentation by local choirs. The whole rosary is prayed separately and is usually not a part of a Marian devotion, although Hail Mary's are included. The devotion, was promoted by Jesuits and spread to Jesuit Colleges and to the entire Latin church and since that time it has been a regular feature of Catholic life.[6]

        In his 1965 encyclical, Mense Maio, Pope Paul VI identified the month of May as an opportune time to incorporate special prayers for peace into traditional May devotions.[7]

        Family devotions

        One particular practice characteristic of May devotions is the May altar, whether in a church or as a "house altar" in the home. The custom of the May altar stems from southern European countries. With the development of May altars in churches, the custom spread to set up this type of "altar" also in the home.[8]

        Marian devotions may take place within the family, around a "May Altar" consisting of a table with a Marian picture decorated with many May flowers. The family would pray together the rosary. This specific devotion has been supported be several popes including Pope Pius XII in his encyclical Ingruentium Malorum:

        • The custom of the family recitation of the Holy Rosary is a most efficacious means. What a sweet sight - most pleasing to God - when, at eventide, the Christian home resounds with the frequent repetition of praises in honor of the High Queen of Heaven! Then the Rosary, recited in the family, assembled before the image of the Virgin, in an admirable union of hearts, the parents and their children, who come back from their daily work. It unites them piously with those absent and those dead. It links all more tightly in a sweet bond of love, with the most Holy Virgin, who, like a loving mother, in the circle of her children, will be there bestowing upon them an abundance of the gifts of concord and family peace. [9]

        Mary, Queen of May

        By his encyclical Ad Caeli Reginam, Pope Pius XII, recognizing traditional precedents, proclaimed the "Queenship of Mary".[10]

        While May devotions may differ in various countries, the Marian title Queen of May exists identically in several countries as manifested in Marian songs. In English speaking countries such as England, Ireland and the USA, a Marian hymn uses the following text: Hail Virgin, dearest Mary! Our lovely Queen of May! O spotless, blessed Lady, Our lovely Queen of May. Your children, humbly bending, Surround your shrine ...[11]

        Another well-known Marian "Queen of May" song ends with the words:
        • O Mary we crown thee with blossoms today!
        • Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May.
        • O Mary we crown thee with blossoms today,
        • Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May.[12]

        In German-speaking countries, the equivalent word is Maienkönigin: Mary, Queen of May, we come to greet you.You see us at your feet. (Maria Maienkönigin,. wir kommen dich zu grüßen. O holde Freudenspenderin,. sieh uns zu deinen Füßen.) [13] Another similar song greets Mary, the queen of May, who is greeted by the month of May.[14]

        May Crownings

        May crowning is a traditional Roman Catholic ritual that occurs in the month of May of every year. In some countries, it takes place on or about May 1, however, in many United States Catholic parishes, it takes place on Mother's Day. An image or likeness of the Blessed Virgin Mary is ceremonially crowned to signify her as Queen of Heaven and the Mother of God. The practice is also maintained in the same fashion by some Anglo Catholic Anglicans.

        A number of traditions link the month of May to Mary. The Coronation of the Virgin became a popular subject in art. Alfonso X, king of Castile wrote in his "Cantigas de Santa Maria" about the special honoring of Mary during specific dates in May. Eventually, the entire month was filled with special observances and devotions to Mary. The tradition of honoring Mary in a month-long May devotion is believed to have originated in Italy, but spread eventually around the Roman Catholic world in the 19th century together with a month-long devotion to Jesus in June and the Rosary in October.

        Crowning the icon

        In Eastern churches, crowning Mary was associated with adding ornamentation to an icon of Mary, sometimes as simple as adding additional gold trim. Perhaps in homage to this, Pope Clement VIII added two crowns to the icon of Mary with the Infant Jesus in the Saint Mary Major Basilica in Rome. The crowns were eventually lost, but were replaced by Gregory XVI in 1837 in a rite that was to become the standard practice for crowning.

        Today, May crownings occur in many Roman Catholic parishes and homes with the crowning of a statue of Mary. The ceremony traditionally takes place with young girls dressed in dresses carrying flowers (traditionally hawthorn) to adorn the statue. One of the girls (often the youngest) carries a crown of flowers or an actual golden crown on a cushion for placement by the May Queen (often the oldest girl) on the statue. The flowers are replaced throughout the month to keep them fresh.

        "Flores de Mayo" (Flowers of May)

        In the Philippines and other countries, Mary is greeted with the Flores de Mayo (Flowers of May). The Faithful collect colorful flowers to decorate the Parish Church altars and aisles.[15] "Flores De Mayo" is celebrated in many towns. The communities congregate in the afternoons to pray the rosary, offer flowers to the Virgin Mary, and share homemade delicacies and snacks. Children and adults wearing their Sunday best, sing and dance to welcome the rains that will water the new crops.[15]

        In the Philippines, the celebration is marked with a parade called the Santacruzan, where young ladies are chosen to represent certain historical (such as St. Helena) and traditional figures, called "reynas" (examples of these titles are "Reyna Elena" and "Reyna Emperatriz"). They parade through the town, escorted by young men or boys (for example, St. Helena is escorted by a young Constantine), under mobile arches heavily decorated with local flowers or other decorations meant to denote bounty.

        Mary Gardens

        Lourdes Grotto
        A Mary Garden [16] is a small sacred garden enclosing a statue or shrine of the Virgin Mary, who is known to many Christians as the Blessed Virgin, Our Lady, or the Mother of God. In Christian tradition, Mary is the mother of Jesus of Nazareth. Mary gardens are most common to those Christian denominations which hold the Virgin Mary in special esteem, particularly Roman Catholics and Anglicans.

        The practice originated among monasteries and convents in medieval Europe. During the Middle Ages, people saw reminders of Mary in the flowers and herbs growing around them.The Venerable Bede (673-735), Benedictine monk, historian, and scholar, wrote of the white lily as the emblem of the Blessed Virgin; the white petals symbolized the purity of her body and the golden anthers the beauty of her soul. Later, St. Bernard praised the Virgin Mary as "the violet of humility, the lily of chastity, the rose of charity, the Balm of Gilead, and the golden gillyflower of heaven."  The first reference to an actual garden dedicated to Mary is from the life of St. Fiacre, Irish patron saint of gardening, who planted and tended a garden around the oratory to Our Lady he built at his famous hospice for the poor and infirm in France in the 7th Century. The first record of a flower actually named for Mary is that of "seint mary gouldes" (St. Mary's Gold or Marygold) for the Pot Marigold or Calendula, in a 1373 English recipe for a potion to ward off the plague.

        Modern revival

        The first such garden open to the public in the United States was founded in 1932 at St. Joseph's Church, Woods Hole, Cape Cod, Massachusetts. This garden was founded Mrs. Frances Crane Lillie of Chicago, and a summer resident of Woods Hole. It was Mrs. Lillie's recollection of the symbolic herbs and flowers that she had encountered in England that prompted her to conceive and donate a Mary Garden to St. Joseph's Church.

        Inspired by the St. Joseph's Mary Garden in Woods Hole, Edward A. G. McTague and John S. Stokes, Jr. founded "Mary's Gardens" of Philadelphia in 1951 as a project to research flowers identified with Mary, and make available seeds and plant source information for starting Mary Gardens. They also initiated a series of articles in religious publications to encourage the planting of Mary gardens.


        A Mary garden may be a single indoor pot, a large plot outdoors, or anything in between. They can be found at parishes, schools, homes, shrines, convents and other institutions.

        The statue of Mary, sometimes holding the Infant Christ, is central to the garden. Select flowers, shrubs, and trees associated with the legends around Mary are planted in the garden. Such plants may include laurel trees, strawberries, ladyslippers, lilies of the valley, peonies, violets, irises and roses, all of which are identified as symbolic and significant in the story of Mary as recounted in the Bible and other Christian stories. Gardens may have benches and a facility for lighting votive candles.

        It demonstrates devotional commitment through the spiritual practice of designing, building and maintaining the garden and for the attendance, contemplation, and prayers of visitors. Mary gardens are similar to the Zen meditation gardens found in the Buddhist tradition, with the exception that a Mary Garden pays homage to a person, the Virgin Mary, whereas a meditation garden in the East Asian traditions does not focus on a person.

        Flowers associated with Mary

        More than 30 flowers and herbs are connected to legends about Mary’s life. Mary was associated with this passage from the Song of Songs: "I am the Rose of Sharon, the lily of the valleys." (2:1) A legend from the second century says that when Mary's tomb was opened to show Thomas that her body had been assumed into heaven, it was filled with roses and lilies.
        • Columbine: also known as "Our Lady's Shoes", is said to have sprung up wherever Mary’s foot touched the ground on her way to visit her cousin Elizabeth.
        • Lavender: “Mary’s Drying Plant” was said to have received its scent after Mary laid Jesus’ clothes on it to dry.
        • Madonna Lily: The angel Gabriel is said to have been holding a lily, representing purity, when he appeared to Mary to announce she would bear a child; lilies are often included in artistic renditions of the annunciation.
        • The marigold was called "Mary's Gold" by early Christians who placed the flowers around statues of Mary, offering the blossoms in place of coins. A legend says that during the flight into Egypt the Holy Family was accosted by a band of thieves. They took Mary's purse and when they opened it, marigolds fell out.
        • The violet is associated with humility and became known as "Our Lady's Modesty". It was said to have blossomed when Mary replied to the Angel Gabriel, "I am the handmaid of the Lord."


        1. ^ -
        2. ^ Thurston, Herbert. "Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 15. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. 1 May 2013
        3. ^ Küppers, Kurt. Marienlexikon, Vol 4, p. 244-246, Augsburg
        4. ^ Maiden and Mother: Prayers, Hymns, Devotions by Margaret Miles 2001 ISBN 0-86012-305-7 page 87
        5. ^ Holweck, Frederick. "Special Devotions for Months." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 10. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. 1 May 2013
        6. ^
        7. ^ Pope Paul VI, Mense Maio, Encyclical Of Pope Paul VI On Prayers During May For Preservation Of Peace, April 29, 1965
        8. ^ Küppers, p. 243-244
        9. ^ Ingruentium Marlorum 13
        10. ^ Pope Pius XII, Ad Caeli Reginam, Encyclical Of Pope Pius XII On Proclaiming The Queenship Of Mary
        11. ^
        12. ^
        13. ^
        14. ^ "Maria, Maienkönigin, dich will der Mai begrüßen. O segne ihn mit holdem Sinn ..." - 23k
        15. ^
        16. ^ Stokes, Jr., John. "Mary's Gardens"


        Catechism of the Catholic Church

        Part Two: The Celebration of the Christian Mystery, 

        Section Two: The Seven Sacraments of the Church 





        Article 4

        VII. The Acts of the Penitent
        1450 "Penance requires . . . the sinner to endure all things willingly, be contrite of heart, confess with the lips, and practice complete humility and fruitful satisfaction."Roman Catechism II, V, 21; cf. Council of Trent (1551): DS 1673

        1451 Among the penitent's acts contrition occupies first place. Contrition is "sorrow of the soul and detestation for the sin committed, together with the resolution not to sin again."Council of Trent (1551): DS 1676

        1452 When it arises from a love by which God is loved above all else, contrition is called "perfect" (contrition of charity). Such contrition remits venial sins; it also obtains forgiveness of mortal sins if it includes the firm resolution to have recourse to sacramental confession as soon as possible.Cf. Council of Trent (1551): DS 1677

        1453 The contrition called "imperfect" (or "attrition") is also a gift of God, a prompting of the Holy Spirit. It is born of the consideration of sin's ugliness or the fear of eternal damnation and the other penalties threatening the sinner (contrition of fear). Such a stirring of conscience can initiate an interior process which, under the prompting of grace, will be brought to completion by sacramental absolution. By itself however, imperfect contrition cannot obtain the forgiveness of grave sins, but it disposes one to obtain forgiveness in the sacrament of Penance.Cf. Council of Trent (1551): DS 1678; 1705

        1454 The reception of this sacrament ought to be prepared for by an examination of conscience made in the light of the Word of God. the passages best suited to this can be found in the moral catechesis of the Gospels and the apostolic Letters, such as the Sermon on the Mount and the apostolic teachings.Mt 5-7

        The confession of sins
        1455 The confession (or disclosure) of sins, even from a simply human point of view, frees us and facilitates our reconciliation with others. Through such an admission man looks squarely at the sins he is guilty of, takes responsibility for them, and thereby opens himself again to God and to the communion of the Church in order to make a new future possible.

        1456 Confession to a priest is an essential part of the sacrament of Penance: "All mortal sins of which penitents after a diligent self-examination are conscious must be recounted by them in confession, even if they are most secret and have been committed against the last two precepts of the Decalogue; for these sins sometimes wound the soul more grievously and are more dangerous than those which are committed openly."Council of Trent (1551): DS 1680 (ND 1626); cf. Ex 20:17; Mt 5:28

        When Christ's faithful strive to confess all the sins that they can remember, they undoubtedly place all of them before the divine mercy for pardon. But those who fail to do so and knowingly withhold some, place nothing before the divine goodness for remission through the mediation of the priest, "for if the sick person is too ashamed to show his wound to the doctor, the medicine cannot heal what it does not know."Council of Trent (1551): DS 1680 (ND 1626); cf. St. Jerome, In Eccl. 10, 11: PL 23:1096

        1457 According to the Church's command, "after having attained the age of discretion, each of the faithful is bound by an obligation faithfully to confess serious sins at least once a year."CIC, Can. 989; Council of Trent (1551): DS 1683; DS 1708 Anyone who is aware of having committed a mortal sin must not receive Holy Communion, even if he experiences deep contrition, without having first received sacramental absolution, unless he has a grave reason for receiving Communion and there is no possibility of going to confession.Council of Trent (1551): DS 1647; 1661; CIC, can. 916; CCEO, can. 711 Children must go to the sacrament of Penance before receiving Holy Communion for the first time.CIC, can. 914

        1458 Without being strictly necessary, confession of everyday faults (venial sins) is nevertheless strongly recommended by the Church.Council of Trent: DS 1680; CIC, can. 988 # 2 Indeed the regular confession of our venial sins helps us form our conscience, fight against evil tendencies, let ourselves be healed by Christ and progress in the life of the Spirit. By receiving more frequently through this sacrament the gift of the Father's mercy, we are spurred to be merciful as he is merciful:Lk 6:36

        Whoever confesses his sins . . . is already working with God. God indicts your sins; if you also indict them, you are joined with God. Man and sinner are, so to speak, two realities: when you hear "man" - this is what God has made; when you hear "sinner" - this is what man himself has made. Destroy what you have made, so that God may save what he has made .... When you begin to abhor what you have made, it is then that your good works are beginning, since you are accusing yourself of your evil works. the beginning of good works is the confession of evil works. You do the truth and come to the light.St. Augustine, In Jo. ev. 12, 13: PL 35, 1491

        1459 Many sins wrong our neighbor. One must do what is possible in order to repair the harm (e.g., return stolen goods, restore the reputation of someone slandered, pay compensation for injuries). Simple justice requires as much. But sin also injures and weakens the sinner himself, as well as his relationships with God and neighbor. Absolution takes away sin, but it does not remedy all the disorders sin has caused.Council of Trent (1551): DS 1712 Raised up from sin, the sinner must still recover his full spiritual health by doing something more to make amends for the sin: he must "make satisfaction for" or "expiate" his sins. This satisfaction is also called "penance."

        1460 The penance the confessor imposes must take into account the penitent's personal situation and must seek his spiritual good. It must correspond as far as possible with the gravity and nature of the sins committed. It can consist of prayer, an offering, works of mercy, service of neighbor, voluntary self-denial, sacrifices, and above all the patient acceptance of the cross we must bear. Such penances help configure us to Christ, who alone expiated our sins once for all. They allow us to become co-heirs with the risen Christ, "provided we suffer with him."Rom 8:17

        The satisfaction that we make for our sins, however, is not so much ours as though it were not done through Jesus Christ. We who can do nothing ourselves, as if just by ourselves, can do all things with the cooperation of "him who strengthens" us. Thus man has nothing of which to boast, but all our boasting is in Christ . . . in whom we make satisfaction by bringing forth "fruits that befit repentance." These fruits have their efficacy from him, by him they are offered to the Father, and through him they are accepted by the Father.Council of Trent (1551): DS 1691; cf. Phil 4:131 Cor 1:31; 2 Cor 10:17; Gal 6:14; Lk 3:8