On the first Saturday of the month, May 3, the Holy Father Benedict XVI ha presided the recitation of the Holy Rosary in the Papal Basilica of St Mary Major in Rome. On 7 May in the Paul VI Hall in the Vatican the China Philharmonic Orchestra and the Shanghai Opera House Chorus gave a concert on honour of the Pope. On that occasion the Holy Father said: “Music and art in general can be a privileged vehicle for fostering encounter, reciprocal knowledge and esteem among different peoples and cultures”. Addressing the participants at an International Congress on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of Pope Paul VI's encyclical ‘Humanae vitae’ the Holy Father said: “No mechanical tenique can replace the act of love exchanged by man and wife as a sign of a greater mystery in which they are protagonists and co-workers in creation”. On May 12, receiving in audience members of the Pro Life Movement he stressed the need for appropriate legislation to help the family “in its formation and its work of education in the difficult social context of today”, defining the Movement “most praiseworthy”.
On 17 May the Holy Father Benedict XVI received in audience the participants at the Annual General Assembly of the Pontifical Mission Societies whose “ charisma is to foster among Christians a passion for the Kingdom of God, to be established everywhere through the preaching of the Gospel ”. The same day he travelled to Savona and Genoa on a Pastoral Visit. Important stops included a private visit to the Shrine of Our Lady of the Guardia, at Cerànesi-Campomorrone, a visit to the Giannina Gaslini Children's Hospital and a meeting with young people, in Piazza Matteotti, in Genoa, with a mandate. On Thursday 22 May, Feast of Corpus Christi, the Pope presided Mass n front of the Catholic of St John in the Lateran and then led the Procession with the Blessed Sacrament to the Basilica of St Mary Major.
On the occasion of a Day of Prayer for the Church in China the Pope composed a special prayer to Our Lady Help of Christians, venerated at China's national Marian shrine at Sheshan, Shanghai. On 29 May the Holy Father in an address to the general assembly of the Italian Bishops Conference the Pope spoke once again of the educative emergency which must be met with the evangelisation of the new generations. On Saturday 31 May at the end of the recitation of the Rosary in St Peter's Square the Pope encouraged the recitation of the rosary in families and parishes with new impulse so that “learning from Mary the lamp of the faith may shine ever brighter in Christian hearts and homes”.
In the month of May the Holy Father made several appeals for Myanmar devastated by cyclone Nargis (7 May), for an end to violence in Lebanon (11 May), for earthquake victims in China (14 May, 25 May)