The Month of Mary

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The Month of Mary: Practical Meditations for Every Day - Abbé Berlioux

In May we run with excitement to endow Mary’s altars with boughs of flowers that vie with nature’s splendor, and spiritual offerings as well as good works to pay homage to the most generous of queens. To more fully live the spirit of the season, we must enter into the very spirit of the Mother of God. As the preface states: “She is a spiritual universe.” There is nothing in our path toward heaven, which she cannot supply, if we but study her soul and apply her works in our lives.

The subjects, containing two short points each day, range from Our Blessed Mother’s Immaculate Conception, her holy name, her motherhood, each of her shining virtues, her devotion to Holy Communion, and other subjects.

It was originally written in the 19th century by the Abbé Berlioux, who was a priest in the diocese of Grenoble in 1872 and was the Curé, or parish priest, of the church of St. Bruno.  The devotional enjoyed ten editions of popularity in the French language before being translated and printed in English in 1884. Each chapter contains the whole day’s reading, prayer, and a fitting example for the reading, usually taken from the author’s personal knowledge or some other historical example. This is what gives the book a unique atmosphere. As each of the thirty-one days of May progresses, the subjects cover every possible facet of the known life of Mary, historical tradition, apparitions and the life of the Church surrounding this ancient devotion, solidifying for the devotee a rich theological truth and piety.

The author uses literary tools in his writings so as to awaken his reader from a spiritual slumber. Particular emphasis in this book is derived from the daily repetition of the phrase “Children of Mary”, addressing the reader affectionately and with a personal effect that cannot be ignored. It is as though the very voice of our heavenly mother is calling out to the reader, as a mother calls her children to her, and should we all not come running? Come, Children of Mary, come to the safety of your mother’s mantle.