Basilica Shrine Celebrates Its Annual May Procession

Basilica Shrine Celebrates Its Annual May Procession

Fr. John Maher, CM, posed an interesting rhetorical question as schoolchildren and adult pilgrims gathered on May 20, 2024, for the Basilica Shrine of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal’s annual May Procession and the celebration of the Feast of Mary, Mother of the Church: Do we assign too many titles and honors to Mary? Would she even want them?
“Mary may not need the honors we offer her,” Fr. Maher explained, replying to the question, “but we need to honor her by offering our prayers and petitions. In the words of Pope St. John Paul II, our Blessed Mother is, ‘the most authentic form of a perfect way to imitate Christ.’”

That is why Catholics venerate Mary throughout the year, and especially during the month of May.

Recent First Holy Communicants from St. Francis de Sales School in West Philadelphia and St. Athanasius School in the city’s West Oak Lane section joined Fr. Abel Osario, CM, in leading the Procession along St. Vincent’s Rosary Walk outside the Basilica Shrine.

“We want to make sure that the children realize that they can go to Mary with anything and [they can] maybe be a little catalyst in their own homes for those who need to come back to her,” said Sr. Mary McNulty, principal at St. Francis.

Sunshine and a warm temperature accentuated the Rosary Walk’s vibrant Shrine to Our Lady of Knock, along with its many Marian statues and colorful flower gardens.
“I come out here in the warm weather [and] I’ll do my Rosary on Mondays,” said Jim McHugh of Deptford, New Jersey. “It’s always nice to see so many people out here. It is beautiful.”

After completing the Rosary prayer, Fr. Osario led the procession into the Basilica Shrine, where the children placed flowers at Mary’s Altar and the congregation sang Mary’s praises through hymns.

Deacon James Mahoney led the praying of the Perpetual Novena to Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal. Fr. Maher presided over the celebration of Holy Mass.

“So, as you pray here today,” he told the worshippers, “Remember that Mary is the Mother of the Church, and we are that Church. So together let us entrust to her our dreams, hopes, worries, and joys. Mary, Mother of the Church, please pray for us!”