May Day, celebration of Spring and the coming Summer, International Day for Workers, and the first day of the Month of Mary, is finally here.
The ancient Gaels called the first day of May Beltane. Falling between the spring equinox and the summer solstice. it marked a time of renewal for the earth, a time of rebirth in nature, and a very important time of year for pastoral peoples. It was celebrated with rites of fire, which have been revived across the modern Celtic world. In Edinburgh, the Beltane Fire Festival, humbly begun in 1988, has become a cast of thousands. beltane.org/about/about-beltane/
Similarly, the ancient Greeks and Romans dedicated the month of May to the goddess of the earth, fertility, and flora.
For Catholics, the entire month of May is devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God. Today marks the beginning of a month of beautiful devotions and traditions, both private and public. In Lebanon, the shrine at Harissa receives over one million visitors in May, both Christian and Muslim.
Certainly, Marian shrines around the world will receive many visitors during the next few weeks.
I’ll be taking a look at some May devotions, celebrations, observations throughout the month.
For today, Happy May.
Surely, the past, present, and future connect in this miraculous state we call life. In this light, history and all human experience are ever-present. Wouldn't it be nice, then, if we could enjoy each other, if we could appreciate and celebrate our differences? Let us love! Let us have fun. Let us toast each other and wish each other well. Now, in our awareness, is the time to be happy, to do our best, to live fully to our purest, highest standards.