Mary, a Role Model of Perseverance for Wives and Mothers

07 May 2024

Appears in: Archdiocesan News

“Let us run to Mary, and, as her little children, cast ourselves into her arms with a perfect confidence.” – St. Francis de Sales[1]

The month of May is considered to be a month dedicated to our Blessed Mother Mary.

“In Ancient Rome, May was dedicated to Flora, the goddess of blooms, or blossoms. They celebrated ludi florals, or floral games, at the end of April and asked the intercession of Flora for all that blooms … The idea of a month dedicated specifically to Mary can be traced back to baroque times. Although it wasn’t always held during May, Mary Month included thirty daily spiritual exercises honoring Mary.”[2]

Melissa Guzik

Some traditions that occur during the month of May are to recite the rosary daily (or even pray a single Hail Mary or one decade of the rosary depending on your life circumstances), to do a consecration to Jesus through Mary, and to crown a statue of Mary, called “May Crowning”, which is frequently made “of beautiful blossoms representing Mary’s beauty and virtue.”[3] During this month dedicated to Mary, it can be an opportunity for you to reflect on how our Blessed Mother Mary can serve as a role model for you or your wife in your marriage and family life, particularly in the roles of wives and mothers.

Given Mary’s Immaculate Conception, it may seem as if her example of faith is unattainable to you. However, you can see her life as a source of inspiration and not as a source of comparison.

On the feast of the Assumption in 2010, Pope Benedict XVI shared after the Angelus that “[Mary’s] example of faithful perseverance in doing the will of God and her heavenly reward are a source of courage and hope for all of us.”[4] Every wife and mother struggles at different times with demands of living out her vocation, with the struggles of parenting and those that arise within one’s marriage and family. These struggles are abundant: Dealing with physical or mental health challenges in one’s own life or the lives of family members, struggling with infertility, caring for aging parents, parenting children with special needs, experiencing financial struggles, juggling the demands of work and family life, immigrating to a new country, having a challenging pregnancy, and the list goes on.

And yet, Pope Benedict XVI reminds us that Mary can provide us with a sense of hope and courage through her “example of faithful perseverance in doing the will of God.”[5] After all, Mary’s life was not void of struggles. She experienced isolation and judgment

Jean MacKenzie

after conceiving Jesus through the Holy Spirit (see Luke 1: 26-38 and Matthew 1: 18-25). Mary also was away from family when she delivered Jesus in Bethlehem as she went with St. Joseph for the census (see Luke 2: 1-7).

Furthermore, she dealt with instability and the struggles that come with traveling and moving as she fled to Egypt for the safety of her son along with the move to Nazareth once Herod died (see Matthew 2: 13-23). Mary also understood the deep anguish that would pierce her soul that Simeon foretold (see Luke 2: 34-35) with the pain of the loss of her Son from his crucifixion and death (see John 19: 17-30). Yet, in all these situations and circumstances, Mary was faithful to God and followed His will for her life.

As you experience struggles in your life, particularly related to your vocation as a wife and a mother, may you be reminded of the example of our Blessed Mother Mary’s perseverance and how you are not alone. When it feels hard to do the will of God or you are lacking understanding of His will, seek the intercession of Mary. She can offer prayers for you or your wife as you face challenges, especially during this month of May.

As this article concludes, let us end with a prayer written by Pope Benedict XVI to entrust yourself, all mothers and wives into the loving arms of our Blessed Mother Mary:

“Holy Mary, Mother of God, you have given the world its true light, Jesus, your Son – the Son of God. You abandoned yourself completely to God’s call and thus became a wellspring of the goodness which flows forth from him. Show us Jesus. Lead us to him. Teach us to know and love him, so that we too can become capable of true love and be fountains of living water in the midst of a thirsting world.”[6] Amen.

– Written by Melissa Guzik and edited by Jean MacKenzie. They are both registered psychologists who work in private practice in Edmonton.  They are co-authors of the Catholic marriage enrichment book and workbook To Know, Love and Serve: A Path to Marital Fulfilment. For more information, see:

[1] (n.d.). Mary, mother of God quotes.
[2] Fenelon, M. (2020, May 1). Why is May the month of Mary? National Catholic Register.
[3] Ibid.
[4] Benedict XVI (2010, August 15). Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary: Benedict XVI: Angelus. Libreria Editrice Vaticana.
[5] Ibid.
[6] Benedict XVI (2005). Deus caritas est. Libreria Editrice Vaticana.