The month of May (Overview - Calendar) is the "month which the piety of the faithful has especially dedicated to Our Blessed Lady," and it is the occasion for a "moving tribute of faith and love which Catholics in every part of the world [pay] to the Queen of Heaven. During this month Christians, both in church and in the privacy of the home, offer up to Mary from their hearts an especially fervent and loving homage of prayer and veneration. In this month, too, the benefits of God's mercy come down to us from her throne in greater abundance" (Paul VI: Encyclical on Month of May, no. 1).
This Christian custom of dedicating the month of
May to the Blessed Virgin arose at the end of the 13th
In this way, the Church was able to Christianize the
which were wont to take place at that time. In the 16th
books appeared and fostered this devotion.
The practice became especially popular among the
members of the Jesuit Order — by 1700 it took hold among
students at the Roman College and a bit later it was
in the Gesu Church in Rome. From there it spread to the
The practice was granted a partial indulgence by
Pius VII in 1815 and a plenary indulgence by Pius IX in
the complete revision of indulgences in 1966 and the
on specific indulgences, it no longer carries an
it certainly falls within the category of the First
of Indulgences. (A partial indulgence is granted
to the faithful
who, in the performance of their duties and in bearing the
of life, raise their mind with humble confidence to God,
— even if only mentally — some pious invocation.
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Find out more about Mary here: About Mary