Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta

Photo by Natalia Duron
Owen Adams and Alyssa Quick were the eighth graders selected to crown Mary at St. Jude the Apostle School in a longtime school tradition.


St. Jude students have May Crowning, last for principal Patty Childs 

By NATALIA DURON, Staff Writer | Published May 21, 2024

SANDY SPRINGS—St. Jude the Apostle School held its annual May Crowning event on May 1. Students from each grade participated in honoring Mary with flowers and prayer.  

The May Crowning is a tradition honored in Catholic schools and parishes, in which flowers are set around the statue of Mary because the floral symbolizes her life, love and ethereal beauty.  

In schools, students gather for Mass and lay their colorful offerings at her statue. One or two students are chosen to place a flower crown on Mary, and to crown her is seen as a privilege. These students are chosen by their teachers.  

St. Jude staff selected eighth-grade students Owen Adams and Alyssa Quick to lay the flower crown on Mary. Dressed in shades of blue for Mary, the two walked around the school holding a bouquet and Mary’s crown. As they trekked the halls and passed by classrooms, students would join and walk behind Quick and Adams.  

As the students all looped inside St. Jude, they prayed the rosary. Their journey took them outside the school and into the church, where family and friends waited for their arrival. Quick and Adams sat in the first pew with their parents and continued praying as their classmates entered.  

“We’ve been to so many May Crownings here, so seeing Owen be given this opportunity is absolutely wonderful.” said Cathleen Adams, mother of Adams.  

St. Jude’s student choir sang “Immaculate Mary” as several preschoolers, middle schoolers and high schoolers showered Mary’s statue with flowers. The hymn “Queen of the May” played as Quick and Adams crowned Mary.  

This May Crowning at St. Jude marks the last one for principal Patty Childs, as she is leaving to become the Superintendent of Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Atlanta. For 23 years, Childs witnessed her students grow their devotion to the faith through school events, and May Crowning was one she cherished each year, she said.  

“These students really center themselves and pay tribute to Mary,” Childs said. “Each flower is a representation of our devotion to Mary, but it is also a representation of the student’s expression of our faith.”  

It was a bittersweet moment to watch one of her favorite events be the last one, Childs said. She said she hopes that the students will always remember May Crowning far after they graduate, just as she will remember.