It’s the merry month of May, a month celebrating mothers. Most of all, it’s the month we honor the patron saint of all mothers, Mama Mary.
How timely also, that we celebrate the centennial of the apparition of Our Lady of Fatima on May 13.
While we often try to make a Marian activity during this month, it is this event that made me more intentional about planning activities geared towards getting to know the Mother of our Lord more intimately.
Read-alouds and Praying the Rosary
Read-alouds are a staple in our home. When the Energizer Bunny was younger, we met Mama Mary in the story of Jesus’ birth.
These days, we’re getting to know Mary through her apparitions. St. Bernadette in Lourdes and Francisco, Lucia, and Jacinta in Fatima serve as inspiration to the Energizer Bunny.
A fellow homeschooler shared the link to this beautiful ebook called Fatima! Through the Eyes of a Child. After printing and having it bound, I gave it to the Energizer Bunny who could not get enough of the book! It’s a wonderful resource and a jumping point to interesting questions – such as “What happened first – the apparition in Lourdes or the one in Fatima?” and “Why didn’t Francisco hear Mary’s voice?” – all of which helped us both get to know our Mother a little bit more.
I also previously wrote how we started praying the rosary as a family. Admittedly, this habit has slid through the cracks of everyday life. It is something that we are planning to do again, especially after reading about Our Lady of Fatima’s call to the children to pray the rosary daily.
The rosary is a wonderful prayer that makes us reflect on the life of Jesus while basking in the peace that Mary offers to all of us. The practice of praying it daily is a wonderful legacy that I want to leave my daughter.
Studying hymns is part of our morning routine now that we are applying Charlotte Mason’s educational philosophy in our homeschool.
We started with familiar Marian hymns that I knew from school such as Mary Immaculate, Star of the Morning and Immaculate Mother. We challenged ourselves this past week to learn something we both do not know by learning this Lady of Fatima devotional hymn. It helps that my daughter is so eager to practice her new skill of reading musical notes; she sometimes plays along on her glockenspiel as we sing the hymn.
We are big on crafts in our home and so I try to incorporate a lot of creative and productive work in our homeschool activities. This is true also as we learn about our faith. We made pipe cleaner rosaries as gifts to grandparents and this beautiful Mary diorama that still stands in our altar.
This year, we were inspired to make a Mary dish garden using our beautiful Our Lady of Lourdes wooden doll from Everything is Grace.
We are so in love with these special hand-painted wooden dolls, which are lovingly created by a fellow homeschooling mom! Our nature study trips have made us more attuned to nature and a dish garden honoring Mary seemed very fitting.
The Energizer Bunny, with the help of her best friend, did everything in this project – from filling the dish with soil, planning where the plants should go, putting the plants in, and finally putting in the moss and small pebbles as finishing touches.
Of course, nothing beats being able to hear Mass and offering flowers to Mama Mary this month. Being Mary’s month, there are a lot of devotions, pilgrimages and activities in the various parishes that families can join.
We were able to join a “Children’s Adoration” in a nearby parish, a part of their Fatima centennial celebrations. It’s a first for our family!
“To Jesus through Mary” — St. Louis Monfort puts it so beautifully. And somehow, remembering this makes this terrifying vocation of raising saints seem more achievable.