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MAY CROWNING…

 

As are all flowers, the month of May is dedicated to the Mary, whom we celebrate as Queen of Heaven on the last day of this month. Early in May, a statue of the Virgin at church is crowned with a wreath of roses, and the same are laid at her feet. Little girls and boys dress up in their best, often in blue; one child carries the crown on a cushion to the statue and another child is chosen to crown the statue. The selection process varies — sometimes a boy is chosen to bear the wreath, but always a girl is chosen to crown the statue (usually the oldest girl).The flowers remain throughout the month. Hymns are sung, too, and especially favored is the Victorian “Bring Flowers of the Rarest,” lyrics below. Click here to listen to the melody.

Catholics honor Mary at home, too, crowning the true “May Queen’s” statue with flowers at their family altars, and leaving roses (especially red and/or white) at her feet, for the entire month of May. If you don’t have a statue of Our Lady, you can place flowers around a picture of her. 1

And here is a beautiful astronomical coincidence for this time of year. If you go outside early in May, face East, and look directly up overhead, you will see a relatively faint “L” in the sky (assuming the sky is clear enough). This is the constellation Coma Berenices 2 — a constellation, whether mythically or not, that was named after a Queen (actually, a Queen’s hair, but that’s another story). Anyway, the second brightest star in this constellation is called “Diadem” — crown of royalty. So take your children outside, point out the star Diadem to them, and think of Our Lady, crowned in Heaven — our Queen Mother who wants nothing more than for us to love her Son…

FOR MORE BEAUTIFUL STORIES ON THE VIRGIN MARY VISIT OUR INSPIRATIONAL RAYS OF SUNSHINE PAGES.

May:

The Month of the Blessed Virgin Mary

By Scott P. Richert, About.com GuideMay 3, 2011

Statue of Mary, Queen of May, at the May Crowning at Saint Mary's Oratory, Rockford, Illinois, on May 18, 2008. (Photo © Scott P. Richert)

The Catholic practice of assigning a special devotion to each month goes back to the early 16th century. Since the best known of those devotions is probably the dedication of May as the month of the Blessed Virgin Mary, it might come as a surprise that it wasn’t until the late 18th century that this devotion arose among Jesuits in Rome. In the early years of the 19th century, it quickly spread throughout the Western Church, and, by the time of Pope Pius IX’s declaration of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception in 1854, it had become universal.

May crownings and other special May events in honor of Mary, such as public recitation of the rosary, stem from this time. Sadly, such communal events are more rare today, but we can take the month of May as an opportunity to renew our own devotion to the Mother of God by dusting off our rosaries and adding a few more Marian prayers to our daily routine.

Parents, in particular, should encourage Marian devotion in their children, since the non-Catholic Christians they encounters today often downplay (if not denigrate) the role that the Blessed Virgin played in our salvation through her fiat–her joyous “Yes” to the will of God.

(Statue of Mary, Queen of May, at the May Crowning at Saint Mary’s Oratory, Rockford, Illinois, on May 18, 2008. Photo © Scott P. Richert)

Prayers to the Blessed Virgin Mary:

 

MAY IS…MOTHER’S DAY!

Mother’s Day History

Mother's Day History

Origin of Mother’s Day goes back to the era of ancient Greek and Romans. But the roots of Mother’s Day history can also be traced in UK where a Mothering Sunday was celebrated much before the festival saw the light of the day in US. However, the celebration of the festival as it is seen today is a recent phenomenon and not even a hundred years old. Thanks to the hard work of the pioneering women of their times, Julia Ward Howe and Anna Jarvis that the day came into existence. Today the festival of Mothers day is celebrated across 46 countries (though on different dates) and is a hugely popular affair. Millions of people across the globe take the day as an opportunity to honor their mothers, thank them for their efforts in giving them life, raising them and being their constant support and well wisher.

Earliest History of Mothers Day
The earliest history of Mothers Day dates back to the ancient annual spring festival the Greeks dedicated to maternal goddesses. The Greeks used the occasion to honor Rhea, wife of Cronus and the mother of many deities of Greek mythology.

Ancient Romans, too, celebrated a spring festival, called Hilaria dedicated to Cybele, a mother goddess. It may be noted that ceremonies in honour of Cybele began some 250 years before Christ was born. The celebration made on the Ides of March by making offerings in the temple of Cybele lasted for three days and included parades, games and masquerades. The celebrations were notorious enough that followers of Cybele were banished from Rome.

Early Christians celebrated a Mother’s Day of sorts during the festival on the fourth Sunday of Lent in honor of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of Christ. In England the holiday was expanded to include all mothers. It was then called Mothering Sunday.

History of Mother’s Day: Mothering Sunday
The more recent history of Mothers Day dates back to 1600s in England. Here a Mothering Sunday was celebrated annually on the fourth Sunday of Lent (the 40 day period leading up to Easter) to honor mothers. After a prayer service in church to honor Virgin Mary, children brought gifts and flowers to pay tribute to their own mothers.

On the occasion, servants, apprentices and other employees staying away from their homes were encouraged by their employers to visit their mothers and honor them. Traditionally children brought with them gifts and a special fruit cake or fruit-filled pastry called a simnel. Yugoslavs and people in other nations have observed similar days.

Custom of celebrating Mothering Sunday died out almost completely by the 19th century. However, the day came to be celebrated again after World War II, when American servicemen brought the custom and commercial enterprises used it as an occasion for sales.

History of Mother’s Day: Julia Ward Howe
The idea of official celebration of Mothers day in US was first suggested by Julia Ward Howe in 1872. An activist, writer and poet Julia shot to fame with her famous Civil War song, “Battle Hymn of the Republic”. Julia Ward Howe suggested that June 2 be annually celebrated as Mothers Day and should be dedicated to peace. She wrote a passionate appeal to women and urged them to rise against war in her famous Mothers Day Proclamation, written in Boston in 1870. She also initiated a Mothers’ Peace Day observance on the second Sunday in June in Boston and held the meeting for a number of years. Julia tirelessly championed the cause of official celebration of Mothers Day and declaration of official holiday on the day. Her idea spread but was later replaced by the Mothers’ Day holiday now celebrated in May.

History of Mother’s Day: Anna Jarvis
Mothers Day OriginAnna Jarvis is recognised as the Founder of Mothers Day in US. Though Anna Jarvisnever married and never had kids, she is also known as the Mother of Mothers Day, an apt title for the lady who worked hard to bestow honor on all mothers.

Anna Jarvis got the inspiration of celebrating Mothers Day from her own mother Mrs Anna Marie Reeves Jarvis in her childhood. An activist and social worker, Mrs Jarvis used to express her desire that someday someone must honor all mothers, living and dead, and pay tribute to the contributions made by them.

A loving daughter, Anna never forgot her mothers word and when her mother died in 1905, she resolved to fulfill her mothers desire of having a mothers day. Growing negligent attitude of adult Americans towards their mothers and a desire to honor her mothers soared her ambitions.

To begin with Anna, send Carnations in the church service in Grafton, West Virginia to honor her mother. Carnations were her mothers favorite flower and Anna felt that they symbolised a mothers pure love. Later Anna along with her supporters wrote letters to people in positions of power lobbying for the official declaration of Mothers Day holiday. The hard work paid off. By 1911, Mother’s Day was celebrated in almost every state in the Union and on May 8, 1914 President Woodrow Wilson signed a Joint Resolution designating the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.

History of Mother’s Day: Present Day Celebrations
Today Mothers Day is celebrated in several countries including US, UK, India, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Turkey, Australia, Mexico, Canada, China, Japan and Belgium. People take the day as an opportunity to pay tribute to their mothers and thank them for all their love and support. The day has become hugely popular and in several countries phone lines witness maximum traffic. There is also a tradition of gifting flowers, cards and others gift to mothers on the Mothers Day. The festival has become commercialised to a great extent. Florists, card manufacturers and gift sellers see huge business potential in the day and make good money through a rigorous advertising campaign.

It is unfortunate to note that Ms Anna Jarvis, who devoted her life for the declaration of Mothers Day holiday was deeply hurt to note the huge commercialisation of the day.
READ MORE>>

MAY DAY…

May Day, the first of May is celebrated around the world. It has a number of meanings. In many other countries it is a celebration of spring and the coming of summer. It is celebrated with many spring flowers. To communist and socialist countries, it is a celebration for the workers.

In many countries it is celebrated as part of a one to three day holiday. Of particular note, it is not a national holiday in the United States, except in Hawaii where it is known as “Lei Day”.

 

A DOZEN WAYS TO SUPPORT OUR MILITARY & VETERANS!

 #1  Submit a NMAM 2012 Proclamation to your state government  representative via mail or email.

#2 FLY THE FLAG ON YOUR HOUSE, CAR, or BUSINESS DURING MAY
#3 SEND A CARE PACKAGE TO A SOLDIER THROUGH USOCARES
#4 ORGANIZE AN EVENT IN YOUR OWN COMMUNITY, AND AT YOUR WORKPLACE
#5 ASK YOUR ELECTED OFFICIALS AT ALL LEVELS TO RECOGNIZE OUR MILITARY
#6 SEND AN EMAIL OR LETTER OF THANKS THROUGH A Million Thanks
#7 ADOPT A HERO AT SOLDIERS’ ANGELS!
#8 ASK LIBRARIES, SCHOOLS, ORGANIZATIONS TO PARTICIPATE IN RECOGNIZING OUR ARMED FORCES
#9 ASK LOCAL MEDIA  (TV, RADIO, NEWSPAPER)  TO FEATURE
#10 WHEN YOU SEE A PERSON IN A MILITARY UNIFORM, SHAKE THEIR HAND AND SAY, “THANK YOU FOR SERVING OUR COUNTRY”
#11 INVITE A VETERAN TO YOUR MEMORIAL DAY BBQ
#12 HIRE A VETERAN – VISITHIRE A VET FIRST FOR MORE INFORMATION

May is

National Military Appreciation Month

From 

 US Military Ads

By Gene Harper, American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON — Both chambers of the U.S. Congress have adopted a resolution calling for Americans to recognize and honor U.S. service members during May’s National Military Appreciation Month.

Virginia Rep. Tom Davis, along with 16 cosponsors, introduced Concurrent Resolution No. 328 in the House in November. The Senate agreed to it without amendment and by unanimous consent April 26.

The resolution states that the House, with the Senate concurring, “supports the goals and objectives of a National Military Appreciation Month.” It also “urges the president to issue a proclamation calling on the people of the United States, localities, organizations and media to annually observe” the month “with appropriate ceremonies and activities. Finally, the resolution urges the White House Commission on Remembrance to “work to support the goals and objectives” of the month.

The Senate first passed a resolution in 1999 designating National Military Appreciation Month. That declaration summoned U.S. citizens to observe the month “in a symbol of unity, … to honor the current and former members of the armed forces, including those who have died in the pursuit of freedom and peace.”

Traditionally, May has focused on the military in many ways. For example, Public Service Recognition Week, celebrated the first full Monday through Sunday in May since 1985, recognizes the roles of public servants, including the military, at local, state, regional and federal levels. As a part of PSRW, communities across America showcase military equipment and service members from U.S. installations. The largest PSRW event takes place on Washington’s National Mall, where more than 100 federal agencies, including the military services, put their activities, people and equipment on public display. This year’s mall event is May 6-9. READ MORE>>

MAY IS…

Stroke Awareness Resource Center

May is National Stroke Awareness Month

Introducing the
Stroke Awareness Resource Center

Welcome! Learn how to raise stroke awareness during National Stroke Awareness Month in May and throughout the year. Public knowledge of stroke is low. It is time for stroke champions to band together and elevate stroke in the mindset of everyone in the U.S. Simple prevention and treatment education can help reduce stroke incidence. Influence loved ones to adopt healthier lifestyles and  decision-makers to advocate for stroke by sharing personal stories. Explore the Resource Center and make stroke your cause today. READ MORE>>

Stroke 101 Fact Sheet

  •   Stroke is an emergency and a brain attack, cutting off vital blood flow and oxygen to the brain.
  •   In the United States, stroke is the fourth leading cause of death, killing over 133,000 people each year, and a leading cause of serious, long-term adult disability.
  •   There are an estimated 7,000,000 stroke survivors in the U.S. over age 20.
  •   Approximately 795,000 strokes will occur this year, one occurring every 40seconds, and taking a life approximately every four minutes.
  •   Stroke can happen to anyone at any time, regardless of race, sex or age.
  •   From 1998 to 2008, the annual stroke death rate fell approximately 35percent, and the actual number of deaths fell by 19 percent.
  •   Approximately 55,000 more women than men have a stroke each year.
  •   African Americans have almost twice the risk of first-ever stroke comparedwith whites.
  •   Types of Stroke:
    •   Ischemic stroke occurs when arteries are blocked by blood clots or by the gradual build-up of plaque and other fatty deposits. About 87 percent of all strokes are ischemic.
    •   Hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain breaks leaking blood into the brain. Hemorrhagic strokes account for thirteen percent of all strokes, yet are responsible for more than thirty percent of all stroke deaths.
  •   Two million brain cells die every minute during stroke, increasing risk of permanent brain damage, disability or death. Recognizing symptoms and acting FAST to get medical attention can save a life and limit disabilities.
  •   The prevalence of transient ischemic attacks (TIA – “mini strokes”) increases with age. Up to 40 percent of all people who suffer a TIA will go on to experience a stroke.
  •   Women are twice as likely to die from stroke than breast cancer annually.
  •   The estimated direct and indirect cost of stroke in the United States in 2010 is$73.7 billion.

Stroke is an Emergency.

Act FAST and Call 9-1-1

Few in the U.S. know the warning signs of stroke. Learning them – and acting FAST when they occur – could save your life or the life of a loved one.

Use the FAST test to remember warning signs of stroke:

Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?

Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Does the speech sound
slurred or strange?

If you observe any of these signs (independently or together),
call 9-1-1immediately.

Reducing Stroke Risk

Many risk factors are beyond your control, including being over age 55, being a male, being African-American, having diabetes, and having a family history of stroke. If you have one or more of these risk factors, it is even more important that you learn about the lifestyle and medical changes you can make to prevent a stroke. However, everyone should do what they can to reduce their risk for stroke – learn more by reading and following the Stroke Prevention Guidelines below.

Medical stroke risk factors include:

Previous stroke, previous episode of TIA (or mini stroke), high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, atrial fibrillation and carotid artery disease. These risk factors can be controlled and managed with the help of a healthcare professional.

Lifestyle stroke risk factors include:

Smoking, being overweight and drinking too much alcohol. You can control these risk factors by quitting smoking, exercising regularly, watching what and how much you eat and limiting alcohol consumption.

Stroke Prevention Guidelines

  1. Know blood pressure (hypertension)High blood pressure is a major stroke risk factor if left untreated. Have blood pressure checked yearly by a doctor or at health fairs, a local pharmacy or supermarket or with an automatic blood pressure machine.
  2. Identify atrial fibrillation (Afib)Afib is an abnormal heartbeat that can increase stroke risk by 500 percent. Afib can cause blood to pool in the heart and may form a clot and cause a stroke. A doctor must diagnose and treat Afib.
  3. Stop smokingSmoking doubles the risk of stroke. It damages blood vessel walls, speeds up artery clogging, raises blood pressure and makes the heart work harder. Stopping smoking today will immediately begin to decrease risk.
  4. Control alcohol useAlcohol use has been linked to stroke in many studies. Most doctors recommend not drinking or drinking only in moderation – no more than two drinks each day. Remember that alcohol can negatively interact with other drugs you are taking.
  5. Know cholesterol levelsCholesterol is a fatty substance in blood that is made by the body. It also comes in food. High cholesterol levels can clog arteries and cause a stroke. See a doctor if your total cholesterol level is more than 200.
  6. Control diabetesMany people with diabetes have health problems that are also stroke risk factors. Your doctor can prescribe a nutrition program, lifestyle changes and medicine to help control your diabetes.
  7. Manage exercise and diet

Excess weight strains the circulatory system. Exercise five times a week. Maintain a diet low in calories, salt, saturated and trans fats and cholesterol. Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables daily.

8. Treat circulation problems

Fatty deposits can block arteries carrying blood to the brain and lead to a stroke. Other problems such as sickle cell disease or severe anemia should be treated.

9. Act FAST at the first warning sign of stroke

If you have any stroke symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.

Stroke 101 Fact Sheet

  •   Stroke is an emergency and a brain attack, cutting off vital blood flow and oxygen to the brain.
  •   In the United States, stroke is the fourth leading cause of death, killing over 133,000 people each year, and a leading cause of serious, long-term adult disability.
  •   There are an estimated 7,000,000 stroke survivors in the U.S. over age 20.
  •   Approximately 795,000 strokes will occur this year, one occurring every 40seconds, and taking a life approximately every four minutes.
  •   Stroke can happen to anyone at any time, regardless of race, sex or age.
  •   From 1998 to 2008, the annual stroke death rate fell approximately 35percent, and the actual number of deaths fell by 19 percent.
  •   Approximately 55,000 more women than men have a stroke each year.
  •   African Americans have almost twice the risk of first-ever stroke comparedwith whites.
  •   Types of Stroke:
    •   Ischemic stroke occurs when arteries are blocked by blood clots or by the gradual build-up of plaque and other fatty deposits. About 87 percent of all strokes are ischemic.
    •   Hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain breaks leaking blood into the brain. Hemorrhagic strokes account for thirteen percent of all strokes, yet are responsible for more than thirty percent of all stroke deaths.
  •   Two million brain cells die every minute during stroke, increasing risk of permanent brain damage, disability or death. Recognizing symptoms and acting FAST to get medical attention can save a life and limit disabilities.
  •   The prevalence of transient ischemic attacks (TIA – “mini strokes”) increases with age. Up to 40 percent of all people who suffer a TIA will go on to experience a stroke.
  •   Women are twice as likely to die from stroke than breast cancer annually.
  •   The estimated direct and indirect cost of stroke in the United States in 2010 is$73.7 billion.

Stroke is an Emergency. Act FAST and Call 9-1-1

Few in the U.S. know the warning signs of stroke. Learning them – and acting FAST when they occur – could save your life or the life of a loved one.

Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Does the speech sound

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Get Moving America:

May is Fitness Month

Join the Presidential Fitness Partners in May

Mark the month of May on your calendar and join us in celebration.

Since 1983, May has been observed as National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. Individuals and organizations everywhere have joined in the fun to promote awareness of the value of physical activity in the pursuit of happier, healthier, more productive lives. To further this vital mission, the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports reached out in 1994 to both public and private organizations to form the Presidential Fitness Partners in May. By working together in this partnership, our individual health and fitness messages will achieve increased public resonance.

Let’s move Americans to move themselves in a healthier way this month (and throughout the year). Here are some tips for reaching out during National Physical Fitness and Sports Month.

HOW TO GET STARTED…READ MORE>>

MAY IS…

NATIONAL BIKE MONTH! 

READ MORE>>

 

National Bike Month is an opportunity to celebrate the unique power of the bicycle and the many reasons we ride. Whether you bike to work or school; to save money or time; to preserve your health or the environment; to explore your community or get to your destination, get involved in Bike Month in your city or state — and help get more people in your community out riding too!

When is Bike to Work Week and Day?

The League of American Bicyclists is the national sponsor of Bike Month, and this year Bike to Work Week is May 14-18 and Bike to Work Day is Friday, May 18.

When is Bike to School Day?

The inaugural Bike to School Day is May 9, 2012. Learn more, register or find an event in your area here.

Bike Month Guide

Need some ideas? Use the League’s Bike Month Guide to learn how to get started promoting your event.

Bike Month Promotion

Help promote bicycling this May and every month! The League has free Bike Month promo tools like logos, posters and banners to place on your Web site this May. Printer files can also be requested atcommunications@bikeleague.org.

Bike Month Events

Check the Bike Month events section often to see what Bike Month and Bike to Work Week events are going on in your community. Also, post your area, club, business or school’s Bike Month events on our Web site for free! Post or find Bike Month events today.

U.S. Bike Commuter Data

Do you want to know how many people ride bikes in America, who’s riding, and how many miles of bike lanes there are? The Census Bureau collects American Community Survey (ACS) data from a sample of the population in the United States and gives us this insight. Find out who’s riding bikes in the largest 244 cities in the U.S.

Ride Better

Are you planning on riding this Bike Month but need to freshen up on your bike safety and riding skills? The League has several bike education resources to help you ride confidently and safely this May. The League’s Ride Betterpage has detailed the Rules of the Road and commuting tips to making riding fun and safe for all new and returning riders. Simple bike maintenance and fix-it info is also located located on the Ride Better page.


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