During the season of spring nature is dressed in gala, and it offers to its Author and to the person who contemplates it dressed like a bride for the wedding day, beautiful, charming, cheerful, happy, pure; the greater the outburst of its leaves and flowers the more virgin it is.
Our gardens speak to the person in silent but eloquent voice telling “put in order your heart, sow in it, plant in it, take care and nourish the virtue.”
The rose-bush, the lilies, the carnations, the wallflowers, the jasmines and all other flowering and aromatic plants fertilized by the fountains and the streams flowing at her feet, all of these announce to the human heart a day of glory, of joy and of happiness.
What is virtue?
This is the first question that asks for explanation. Practice it, love it, search for it, and it will be revealed and unveiled to you by the same love: love it and you will recognize it; and if you don’t love it, all the definitions and so many explanations about it will be unfruitful, and you will not understand whatever may be said. It is a disposition or quality of the soul that makes good the one who possesses it as well as all his works.
There are virtues given by God as Author of the natural order and they grow in us without much care on our part; other virtues in the supernatural order are infused by the Author, which we call infused virtues. All the others are acquired through our work and cultivation.
The given, the acquired and the infused virtues are divided into human and divine; the human are the intellectual and moral virtues and these in turn are divided and subdivided into many species; the divine virtues are all those that gaze and behold God as its aim. Through the virtues our soul is transformed into paradise. “You are an enclosed garden, a sealed fountain and the fragrance you emit is like the perfume of paradise.”
The virtues in Mary
No one better than Mary could take care of the garden of our soul; she would be our gardener. Predestined by the fullness of grace and gifts of the Holy Spirit, Mary possessed all the virtues in a very extraordinary degree, superior to that of all the angels and all men together; and for this reason she was chosen Mother of God. Surrender today to this Lady the keys of your heart; give her the garden of your soul, and entrust it to her maternal solicitude and care.
The formation of a great crown of flowers to Mary
God has formed a great circle with his finger: it is the crown of our glory. Let us adorn this circle with flowers that symbolize our virtues. We have already resolved: we would place in this sacred circle all the flowers of the month of May, that is, all the virtues, one or more each day, a bouquet each day until we complete our work.
DEDICATION OF THE MONTH OF MARY
Dear Lady, prostrated at your feet, we dedicate this month to the formation of the great crown that fills you with immense glory in heaven and on earth. We would put on this holy circle, flowers and clothe them on these days with virtues that we promise to practice. It is the greatest offering that you ask of us your children and which we are going to give.
Mother to whom we can come with full confidence,
Holy Mary, pray for us.
Mother who never deny your children any grace,
Mother to whom Jesus Christ grants everything she asks,
Mother of mercy who takes as yours the needs of your children,
Mother of virtues whom we follow as students at your school,
Mother who has been entrusted with the restoration of the earth,
Mother to whose care we entrust the garden of our soul,
Mother to whom we give the keys of our heart,
Mother to whose love the world owes its salvation,
Mother who gave us, lost because of original sin, a Savior,
Mother assisted by grace and the gifts of the Holy Spirit,
Mother who, at the foot of the Cross, offered yourself in voluntary sacrifice together with your Son,
Mother to whose faith, hope and charity we owe our salvation,
Mother who gave proof of fortitude throughout the course of your life,
Mother you suffered a spirit a spiritual martyrdom with great spirit,
Mother who always said the truth and were faithful and loyal,
Mother always sweet and treatable, most amiable and affable,
Virgin Mother who had your heart for God alone,
Mother all pure and without blemish, free from original sin,
Mother full of grace and adorned with gifts, full of all the virtues,
Mother who ordered your life for the common good of all,
Mother who were always a continuous thanksgiving,
Perfect Mother in the love of God and in constant growth,
Mother exalted who, for your obedience to God, were worthy of praise,
Mother exalted over men and angels for your extreme charity,
Mother Virgin without stain or wrinkle, perfect type of the Church.