SIDNEY — The month of May in the Catholic Church is traditionally a time to honor Mary, the Mother of God. Students at Lehman Catholic High School celebrated the month of May by honoring Mary at the school’s annual May Crowning on Friday, May 13. The ceremony took place following the weekly 10 a.m. all-school Mass.
Lehman Catholic has been having an annual May Crowning for over 30 years.
Rev. Eric Bowman was on hand to celebrate Mass and preside over the May Crowning.
Senior Diane Gibson was chosen by her classmates to lay a wreath of flowers on the head of the Blessed Virgin statue that stands on the school’s front lawn. Her attendants were seniors Emma Simpson Cassidy Hemm. Gibson is the daughter of Joseph and Sonia Gibson of Tipp City. Simpson is the daughter of Tisha Huth of Troy and Frederick Simpson of Sidney. Hemm is the daughter of Jeff Hemm and Susan Hemm of Piqua.
During the crowning ceremony, Lehman students and staff recited several prayers including the “Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary.”
The custom of crowning the statue of Our Lady or laying flowers at its base began in Italy in the 1750s. The practice quickly spread across Europe and was often done on May 31, the feast day of the Queenship of Mary.
In the United States, May Crownings were especially popular in the 1950s and were often big events on the calendars of Catholic schools and parishes. After the Second Vatican Council of the Catholic Church in the late 1950s, the practice was discouraged for a time because it was thought that too much attention was being given to Mary and that the faithful should be giving their full attention to Jesus.
In the 1970s, under Pope John Paul II, there was a resurgence of Marian devotion in the Catholic Church, allowing May Crowning to again become a popular custom.