The month of May is usually a month of many festivities. Weddings, First Communions, and Confirmations are all planned long in advance. Even though the terraces and shops in The Hague are slowly starting to re-open again and more people are getting vaccinated, Corona still influences a large part of the way we live. Many weddings are postponed for a second time and other happy celebrations are done with very small numbers.
One of the other festivities for this month is the crowning of Our Lady on Mother’s Day. The devotion to Mary when spring is in full bloom has been a custom in the Church for many years. The tradition dates back to the ancient Greeks who dedicated the month of May to Artemis, the goddess of fecundity. The Romans also claimed May to honor Flora, the goddess of bloom or blossoms. The month itself was named after the Greek Goddess of fertility, Maia.
Apart from the above reasons to enjoy life in May, we have other good reasons to celebrate, starting on the 1st of May, the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker. We honor all labourers on that day and support them in their right to fair pay and working conditions. On the 4th and 5th, we give thanks to those who died and worked for our freedom in The Netherlands. We are also happy that the Bishop will confirm our youth on Ascension Thursday, the 13th, and 9 days later we celebrate Pentecost on the 23rd. In other words, life is good in May!
Looking back at the end of April, we had another remarkable event on Sunday the 25th. The statue, The Hollow Men, was inaugurated in our church garden. It was erected to honour the many unidentified refugees who died during their flight to safety, but were never mourned. To do justice to their lives and their families, this statue helps us raise awareness. Its placement in the church gardens alongside the road between the Dutch Parliament and the Royal Palace, shows that in God’s eyes, every human being has equal value. We hope that this monument will be the catalyst for a national monument and day of memorial.
More information and photos are available on our website, including the speeches of the artist and special guests, which also included the Director of Cordaid (Donor), Mr. Kees Zevenbergen, and the Papal Nuncio, Mgr. Aldo Cavalli, who blessed the monument.
Finally, a big thanks to all our volunteers and donors of talents and gifts who continue to help us through this crisis. Without your help, the month of May would not be a month of blossom and bloom…