SAN ANTONIO – The Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and Queen of Peace... these are all names by which Mary is known.
Just driving around San Antonio you will find several murals or art depicting her.
One of the most famous in the city is “La Veladora of our lady of Guadalupe” by the late Jesse Trevino.
The Arch Diocese of San Antonio said that there are over 800,000 residents that identify as Catholic.
During the month of May, Catholics celebrate the crowning of Mary, where a crown is placed on Mary’s head with flowers.
In the Northern Hemisphere, May is known for spring flowers, which can symbolize rebirth.
Dr. Robert Fastiggi is the Chair of Dogmatic Theology at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Chicago.
Fastiggi said dating back to the Middle Ages Christians began honoring Mary through various month long celebrations during May.
Fastiggi said in the Catholic Church, the reality of Easter and it’s promise of new life is often symbolized by flowers, as spring itself represents the season of growth.
He said since flowers represent new life and Catholics believe Mary’s motherhood of Jesus plays a major role in the new life brought by Easter, she is honored with flowers.
So why flowers and a crown?
Fastiggi explained how the tradition of the May crowning helps Catholics appreciate Mary as the Queen Mother who they believe reigns in heaven with Jesus Christ, their King. You may also see Mary statues with rosaries.
Catholics use rosaries not to pray to Mary, but as a tool to ask Mary for her prayers because of the Catholic belief of her closeness with her son Jesus.
You can find a mural of Mary in the 700 block of San Pedro, in the 900 block of E. Elmira Street and in the 1300 block of Guadalupe Street.
Inside San Fernando Cathedral, located at 115 Main Plaza, has a shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe and other beautiful statues honoring Mary.
And on the University of Incarnate Word main campus, there is an Our Lady of Lourdes grotto.