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  • Devin O'Donnell

May Magnificat

Here is a fitting poem for this week by Gerard Manley Hopkins.


May is Mary’s month, and I

Muse at that and wonder why :

Her feasts follow reason,

Dated due to season—


Candlemas, Lady Day ;

But the Lady Month, May,

Why fasten that upon her,

With a feasting in her honour ?


Is it only its being brighter

Than the most are must delight her ?

Is it opportunist

And flowers finds soonest ?


Ask of her, the mighty mother :

Her reply puts this other

Question : What is Spring?—

Growth in every thing—


Flesh and fleece, fur and feather,

Grass and greenworld all together ;

Star-eyed strawberry-breasted

Throstle above her nested


Cluster of bugle blue eggs thin

Forms and warms the life within ;

And bird and blossom swell

In sod or sheath or shell.


All things rising, all things sizing

Mary sees, sympathizing

With that world of good

Nature’s motherhood.


Their magnifying of each its kind

With delight calls to mind

How she did in her stored

Magnify the Lord.


Well but there was more than this :

Spring’s universal bliss

Much, had much to say

To offering Mary May.


When drop-of-blood-and-foam-dapple

Bloom lights the orchard-apple

And thicket and thorp are merry

With silver-surfèd cherry


And azuring-over greybell makes

Wood banks and brakes wash wet like lakes

And magic cuckoocall

Caps, clears, and clinches all—


This ecstasy all through mothering earth

Tells Mary her mirth till Christ’s birth

To remember and exultation

In God who was her salvation.



Here we find that wonderful and more general correlation of motherhood to spring and the "greenworld" growing. But we also find, as seen in the depiction of the annunciation below, that correlation of "Nature's motherhood" to Mary's motherhood of the Savior, which in turn, restores all things, and as we see below to the left, heals our fallen condition and its effect on the natural world. In light of this, Happy Mother's Day!


Here is the agenda for today.




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