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Honoring Mary, the Mother of God

Traditionally during the month of May, the custom in many homes was to have a May altar honoring Mary. Fresh flowers were often placed there and rosaries may have been prayed in front of it.

Two thirteen year old students gave me a new insight into ways of honoring Mary, the Mother of God. For their eighth grade science project, they had to create, design, and build a project on a topic that was of interest to them. These two students expressed an interest in doing something that would benefit the homeless.

The motivation for each of them was similar. They were both aware of homeless people and felt compassion for them. “I have always had a place in my heart for the homeless. I have always given them a few dollars any time I’ve seen them and have always tried to give a helping hand because I know that they’re struggling. Even though sometimes they are homeless for a good reason, they don’t deserve that life and this sparked an idea for my project.”

“The aim of my project was to help homeless people and get them what they needed, I learned from this project how much they were struggling and how much they needed.”

Both students contacted people who work with the homeless and bounced off their ideas with them. One student designed and created a model of a portable container on wheels that could be rolled into places where homeless people gather. It resembles a chest of drawers with bins attached. There would be places for food, drinks, warm clothes and a first aid kit. The model was about 4 feet by 6 feet. He decided to keep it in his school to collect items for the homeless.

The second child made a prototype of a portable sleeping back pack. Her model was a small box with both wheels and straps, so that it could be carried or wheeled. The box was waterproof. Inside was an air mattress which could be inflated with the pump attached to the outside of the box. Her plan was to give a person sleeping on a sidewalk or on the floor of an abandoned factory a protection from the hardness.

Both ideas have merit and could be developed. It makes one wonder how thirteen year old students are responding creatively and compassionately toward difficult situations which many adults ignore.

These children are bringing flowers of care and kindness, of love and concern for the neediest of Mary’s children. They are living out the Visitation of Mary, a time two thousand years ago when Mary undertook a difficult journey to go to help her cousin and to share the good news of God’s love for all people.

Article first published by the Rhode Island Catholic