Bishop Leads May Procession and Crowning

On the first Saturday of May, I joined Bishop Frank Dewane, of the diocese of Venice, Florida, who led a procession and crowning of Our Lady. It was a 7 mile penitential Rosary Procession in 85° heat through the city of Venice to Our Lady of Perpetual Help Retreat Center where he led a crowning of her statute.


The procession began from Our Lady of Lourdes church. Our Lady of Lourdes told St. Bernadette in France that the people should come here in procession“. So we heeded her request and processed to crown her with flowers. The procession was for the intention of peace and a  Culture of Life. It included people and children of all ages who sang hymns and prayed all of the mysteries of the Rosary and the chaplet of Mercy.


At the crowning, we prayed in the Rite of Crowning, “By crowning the statue of the mother of your Son, we proclaim him as King of all creation and approach her as our Queen.” Pope Pius XII, proclaimed the "Queenship of Mary" in  his encyclical, Ad Caeli Reginam. We crowned Our Lady’s statue to signify our recognition of her as the Queen of heaven and earth.


St. Paul VI, in his  Letter on the Occasion of the First of May recognized the tradition of May devotions to Our Lady. He wrote,
It is precisely because the month of May is a powerful incentive to more fervent and trusting prayer, and because during it our petitions find their way more easily to the compassionate heart of Our Blessed Lady, that it has been a custom dear to Our Predecessors to choose this month, dedicated to Mary, for inviting the Christian people to offer up public prayers, whenever the needs of the Church demanded it, or whenever danger hovered menacingly over the world. This year, We too … feel the need of sending out a similar appeal to the whole Catholic world. When We look at the present needs of the Church or at the state of peace in the world, we have compelling reasons for believing that the present hour is especially grave; that it makes a call for united prayer from the whole Christian people more than ever a matter of urgency.
Processions give public witness of our faith that Jesus Christ, through the intercession and mediation of Our Lady, will bring the victory over our Culture of Death and bring us to a Culture of Life and a Civilization of Love, for which St. John Paul II often prayed. 
 
Let us continue to pray, especially during this month of May, for peace in a Culture of Life. Perhaps you could organize May devotions in your parish for next year. Click here to learn how to organize processions.



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