Pondicherry Archdiocese

May Devotion: Word God + Sensitiveness + Praise + Thanksgiving + Joy = Mary


Dear Brothers and Sisters,

As we enter the month of May our thoughts immediately go to “May Devotion”.  The month of May begins with the feast of St. Joseph the worker on 1st May, and ends with the feast of visitation on 31st May. It is worth noting that this year the General Secretariat of the Synod in Rome, has requested Episcopal conferences worldwide to arrange for the celebration of a “Moment of Marian Prayer, on 31st May 2023 – The liturgical memorial of the visitation of the Blessed virgin Mary and the conclusion of the Marian month – in preparation for the prayerful expectation of the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops. On the theme “Towards a Synodal Church”.

Regarding the devotion to Mary there are lots of misconceptions among people especially our brothers who belong to different denominations. But the Catholic Church teaches very clearly that Adoration and worship is to God alone and we honour and venerate our Blessed Mother Mary and the Saints.

Why do I have devotion to Mary?

In Jn. 19:25-27 we read that Jesus while dying on the cross, gives his own mother as our mother as a parting gift. Jesus calls each one of us through the Sacrament of Baptism to live his life and to do his mission. During his life here on earth he found his mother Mary was a great help and support to live his life and do the mission according to his Father’s will. Having had that experience:

§ Now, Jesus thinks of us from the cross, we who have to continue his life and mission. And so he gives his mother to accompany us in our life and mission.

§ Secondly she intercedes for us as she did at Cana.

§ Thirdly as first Christian she becomes a model of Christian life for us.

Is Mary truly my mother?

For a woman to become a mother she needs to fulfill two conditions; first she should bring forth child in Pain, secondly should nurture the child she has given birth to. Only then she will be called a true mother. In my case, how did Mary fulfil these conditions?

The most painful and agonizing moment in the life of Mary was at the foot of the cross where her only Son was dying. As prophesied by Simeon this is the moment when her heart is pierced by a sword. When Mary gave birth to Jesus in the stable in Bethlehem, she did not undergo such pain. But here, under the cross while her only son dying and in the place of the Son of God, she is asked to take me a sinful creature as her son and daughter. Thus she, in pain becomes my mother. The second condition is that she has to nurture me and that she is doing it so well that even now at this very moment she accompanies me and intercedes for me. So Mary is truly my own mother more than my earthly mother. My earthly, mother’s love for me is an innate love, natural one because I am her own flesh and blood. Even animals love their young ones whom they give birth to. A true mother is the one who is able to love a child whom she has not given birth physically; as she would love the one she gave birth to. That is my mother Mary.

Thus Mary is truly my mother and I, as her child should be like my mother who is a perfect Christian, a model for all Christians and the Star of Evangelization. And so let us imitate her. God specially chose Mary and kept her immaculate from the beginning of her existence so that she may be a fitting mother for God’s only son. She was born to Joachim and Anne the aged Parents who were humanly speaking not able to have a child. Thus it shows the power of God and his divine intervention. She lives like any other Jewish girl of her time but she was holy and prayerful. Though engaged to Joseph, she finds the will of God in prayer. At the annunciation God reveals his plan to her and when she was told that she will conceive of the Holy Spirit, she accepts God’s will unconditionally saying, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Be it done to me according to your word”. From then her life becomes a Spirit-filled and Sprit-led life which is supposed to be the life of every baptized Christian. The characteristics that we notice in the life of Mary should be found in the life of every baptised Christian. Mary’s life was according to the Word of God;

§ After Annunciation, she enters into a Word of God Relationship.

§ Secondly her life becomes a life of other-oriented, Sensitive and Generous towards others.

§ Thirdly, a life of constant praise and thanking God for everything.

§ Fourthly, a life of complete Joy.

1) Mary’s life was a life according to the Word of God: She tells the Angel, “Be it done unto me according to God’s word. Together with the Psalmist Mary says (Ps. 119:105) “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. By your words I can see where I am going; they throw a beam of light on my dark path”. Living her life totally on the Word of God, she enters into a relationship built on the Word of God. Like Mary, a true Christian is the one who lives a life of Word of God relationship. In today’s society people are divided by the relationship of blood, caste, rite, language, race, colour etc. Mary says no to these relationships. In Mt. 12:48-50 we read when someone tells Jesus that your mother and brothers are waiting to meet you, “He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers? Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brother. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother”. Here Jesus is not denying Mary as his mother. But he is clarifying that Mary is his mother only because she accepted God’s Word. He says no to blood relationship. Mary becomes the mother of Jesus not when she gave birth to him in Bethlehem but when she accepted the Word of God at the Annunciation. Jesus advocates only a Word of God relationship which we enter into through our Baptism. Today we are divided on the basis of caste, creed, language and rites. To live like Mary means to give up all divisive factors and live by the “Word of God relationship”.

2) Mary’s life was other-Oriented: Immediately after the annunciation Mary does not bother about herself but rushes to her kinswoman Elizabeth who is in need, to help her. She remains three months with her and serves her and helps her to accept God’s will. With the annunciation, as she commits herself to live by the Word of God, her life changes. She begins to live a life for others. She becomes sensitive and generous towards others. At the wedding at Cana it is none other than Mary who realizes the need of that family and goes to Jesus to intercede for that family. Similarly every baptized Christian is called to live a life of other-oriented by being sensitive and generous towards others.

3) Mary’s life was a life of praise and thanksgiving for every moment, in all circumstances and for everything. As we read in 1 Thess. 5:16-18, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for that is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”. The moment Mary surrendered herself to God’s will at Annunciation she accepted everything that happened in her life both good and bad;  fortunate and unfortunate as God’s will and thanked God for it. Since she totally belongs to God and God is everything for her, she accepts everything and thanks God for it. Similarly every baptized Christian in baptism, dies to himself and rises to a new life in the Risen Lord. Thus like Mary every Christian’s life should be a life of Praise and thanksgiving.

4) Mary’s life was a life of Joy: In Lk. 1:47, we read Mary saying, “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour”. From the moment Mary accepted the Word of God at the Annunciation, her life was filled with pain and suffering. Simeon prophesies that a sword will pierce your heart. We call Mary, Mother of Sorrows. But we find her joyful in the midst of all sufferings. You can see her at the foot of the cross, she is standing courageously and helping Jesus on the cross to say yes to the Father’s will. Why because Mary’s joy was from within and not from outside. Our happiness is conditioned, depending on the external; When what I think, happens or when my needs are fulfilled, I feel happy and joyful. When others accept me and appreciate me, I feel happy. So our happiness is from without. But Mary’s happiness is from within. Because God, the source of Joy is within her. That is why her joy is eternal and can never be taken away. Every baptized Christian is filled with the Spirit and led by the Spirit. He becomes the dwelling of God. That is why Pope Francis says, “a gloomy Christian is a contradiction”.

Thus Mary being the first Christian, Star of Evangelization, a model of Christian life, we need to imitate her. May our “May devotion” enable us to make our life like that of Mary’s life, 1) a life according to God’s Word, a life of Word of God Relationship; 2) a life of other- orientedness with an attitude of sensitivity and generosity to all; 3) a life of Praise and thanksgiving to God always and; 4) a life of joy.


May our Blessed Mother intercede for all!