Whenever I read the notice in my parish bulletin about the upcoming date for May Crowning, I recall the celebrations of days gone by and start humming those familiar Marian hymns I learned as a child. Many of those hymns I can remember clearly.
Although there have been some changes in these celebrations since my Catholic grade school days in the 1950s, the basics remain the same: A statue that represents our “holy queen enthroned above” is crowned with blossoms while parishioners sing Marian hymns and recite prayers associated with Mary.
Many people mistakenly assume this Christmas classic has been around for years and that it is of European origin. But it was written in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis as a powerful plea for peace by a man who had experienced the horrors of war.