A May Crowning is a traditional devotion in which an image of the Blessed Virgin Mary is crowned, usually with a wreath of flowers. It may be done within a Mass or outside the Mass, in which there might be Scripture readings, a homily, singing of hymns, devotional prayers such as the rosary, and a procession. This act of devotion is done in the springtime, during the month of May to recognize Mary as Queen of Heaven, Queen of Earth, and Queen of Peace.

The origins of the May Crowning are hard to pinpoint, although devotion to our Blessed Mother, Mary originates in the earliest days of the Church. Coronation is one form of reverence frequently shown to images of the Blessed Virgin Mary. At the end of the 16th century, the practice became widespread for the faithful to crown images of the Mary. Popes not only endorsed this devout custom, but on many occasions, either personally or through bishop-delegates, carried out the coronation of Marian images.

Toward the end of the 18th century, the month of May was dedicated to Mary. May probably seemed most appropriate because the liturgical calendar marks several feast days honoring our Blessed Mother: Our Lady, Queen of Apostles (the Saturday following the Ascension); Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament (May 13); Our Lady of Fatima (May 13); Mary, Help of Christians (May 24); Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces (May 31); and the Visitation (May 31).

Today, churches continue on with this tradition crowning of a statue of Mary with flowers and by praying the rosary daily during May. The flowers that make up the crown indicate Mary's virtues. 

This May, let us be sure to honor our Blessed Mother in our hearts and our homes, thorough the recitation of the family rosary each day, by having a special shrine for Mary in our yard or home, and by having our own family May Crowning. These are wonderful ways not only to foster devotion and faith, but also to draw us closer to the heart of Jesus.