During the month of May each year, to profess and celebrate the Queenship of our most Blessed Mother, the parishioners of the San Jose area come together at la plaza de Cesar E. Chavez park near the San Jose Cathedral to assist at Holy Mass and to participate in the rosary procession. This year about 150 parishioners came to take part in this public display of devotion.
Month of May: Month of Mary
For centuries, the month of May has been held by Catholics to be a month of special honors and devotions to our Blessed Mother. Why? In ancient Greece May, the first full month of spring, was dedicated to Artemis, goddess of fecundity. The birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary over 2,000 years ago similarly marks the end of a winter which gripped the world in sin and darkness, and ushers in a new light and warmth to us in bringing a new summertime to the world: the New Covenant between God and man. The Church, as was her custom, took this pagan dedication from the ancients and, sanctifying it, passes it to her children in honor of the Queen of Heaven, through whom God deigned to bring us the fecundity of grace. Thus, the Church rightly crowns the end of this holy month with the feast celebrating the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary on May 31st.
The Rosary March
It is a common custom and practice of the Church to hold great public manifestations of the faith since the early church. These were primarily to let the faith find expression in the lives of the faithful. St. James says in His Epistle (Jm. 1:22): "Be ye doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves." He warns that for the man who is only a hearer of the word of God: his religion is vain. For no man can be a true disciple of Jesus Christ who claims Him in private and yet denounces Him to others in society by his personal preference to this or that error or sinful way of life contrary to His will. Sadly, this is one of the predominant snares for Catholics today: to be a “Sunday Catholic” by believing in the truths of the Catholic Church (and maybe to even cherish them), but when the moment comes where we ought to profess our faith in Christ by taking a stance against this or that error or sin, we convince ourselves that our Faith is private and has no bearing on public life. This is a mistake. So, the parishioners of San Jose host this annual procession for their own sanctification as well as to beg God’s graces upon the state of California in reparation for the many errors it propagates, and for the just governance and protection of our country.
The World Needs Her Intercession
We understand and believe that our Blessed Mother holds the highest place among the elect of God’s heavenly court, but do we let her hold the highest place in our hearts and minds before all other mortal men? She is our mother, and it has been given to her to crush the head of the ancient serpent, who works so subtly, yet whose deeds are growing more daring and bolder by the day. Hence, we must profess our faith in her power with God to intercede for us, her children in this valley of tears, and also ask her with great confidence to grant us the grace to be found faithful amid these trials and hardships of this world as we journey to our eternal home.