In south Louisiana residents love their seasons along with their seasonings! There is the Christmas season, Mardi Gras season, Lenten season and Easter season, not to mention our sports and hunting seasons. And in our rich Catholic tradition there are even more areas to show our devotion, beyond king cakes and Joe Burrow jerseys –monthly devotions.

According to the website, each month of the year is dedicated to a specific devotion. The dedication of each month is based on either historical events or the liturgical calendar and sometimes it includes both. Some countries have developed monthly dedications to devotions more specific to their area.

According to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), devotional practices help foster “ceaseless prayer.” The USCCB states on its website, “The faithful have always used a variety of practices as a means of permeating everyday life with prayer to God. Examples include pilgrimages, novenas, processions and celebrations in honor of Mary and the other saints, the rosary, the Angelus, the Stations of the Cross, the veneration of relics and the use of sacramentals. Properly used, popular devotional practices do not replace the liturgical life of the church; rather, they extend it into daily life.” 

Traditional monthly devotions are: January, the Holy Name of Jesus; February, the Holy Family; March, St. Joseph; April, the Holy Eucharist; May, Our Lady; June, the Sacred Heart; July, the Most Precious Blood; August, the Immaculate Heart of Mary; September, Our Lady of Sorrows; October, the Rosary; November, Holy Souls; December, the Divine Infancy, according to “Encyclopedia of Catholic Devotions and Practices.”

Meanwhile, the USCCB noted Pope Francis annually asks for our prayers for a specific intention each month. For 2020, the prayer intentions are: January, World Peace; February, Listen to the Migrants’ Cries; March, Catholics in China; April, Freedom from Addiction; May, For Deacons; June, The Way of the Heart; July, Our Families; August, The Maritime World; September, Respect for the Planet’s Resources; October, the Laity’s Mission in the Church; November, Artificial Intelligence; December, For a Life of Prayer.