Tag Archives: Blessed Mother

The Significance of Flores de Mayo/Santacruzan

It is during our Catechism classes (particularly for those who have attended one) that we’ve learned about the basics of our Christian faith, specifically about Jesus Christ and the Blessed Mother. The first time I attended a Catechism class was held inside a church and organized by the parish community in a small humble town where I came from. I was about 6  or 7 years old then. It was summer time and the kids were taking their month-long school break, so it was an opportunity for our parish to teach catechism on Saturdays for the entire month of May. Being a pious person, my mother encouraged all of her girls to attend the said catechism class. My older sisters and I were really excited to be included in the said class as we thought there would be a chance for us to play with our friends thereafter.

Apart from learning new things, the said catechism class turned out to be very entertaining and productive particularly during the month of May, as it is also the month dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. After class, the catechist would invite us to the garden side of the church called “Mary’s Garden”, where a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary stands. The said statue was quite different because Our Lady wore a crown of flowers. It was the time when the catechist told us about the association of the Blessed Mother with the month of May, that the “May Flowers” symbolizes the Blessed Mother as the Queen of Heavenly Gardens!

My mother was eagerly excited preparing our white dresses and the home-made flower garlands to be placed around our heads and which we will be used during the last day of May, the main event of the celebration. After the Holy Mass, we would carry small baskets with some cut flowers or petals, sprinkling them while walking to the altar, wearing our simple yet decent white dresses, all for Mama Mary. The parishioners would also bring flowers for offering in honor of the Blessed Mother. This is known as “Alay sa Birhen”. Going home, everyone got small brown paper bags filled with goodies distributed by one of the donors, and just like kids we enjoyed opening the bags of candies and cookies. That was the most exciting part of all!

This is the reason why these memories of a humble celebration of “Flores de Mayo” in our home town are still vivid in my mind. There was also a Santacruzan celebration but the highlight of the event was the beautiful image of the Blessed Mother placed in a decorated carriage accompanied by the family of the Hermana Mayor and other Marian organizations and with the parishioners singing related Marian songs.

Throughout the decades however, the Flores de Mayo/Santacruzan festivity continues to evolve. In these modern times, there have been major transformation in the celebration of Flores de Mayo. Nowadays, the focus appeared to be more geared towards the “Santacruzan” celebration which is the parade of beautiful ladies or the so-called “Sagalas” emulating the real “Queens” of medieval times wearing their elegant expensive costumes and with good-looking men escorting them. Seemingly, the main highlight of the event is no longer the Holy Mass and the flower offering but the parade of good looking men, women or even gay people, as if people are watching a beauty pageant! As a matter of fact, large government and private offices as well as commercial/mall establishments are organizing similar events and would even invite famous celebrities and beauty queens to elicit more crowd for commercial and tourism purposes. It has also been observed that some people would go to church not necessarily to attend related religious activities (Holy Mass, Recitation of the Holy Rosary, etc.) but to watch the parade and take photos of the beautiful participants for their social media accounts, downplaying the real essence of the Flores de Mayo, the main focus of which is the Blessed Mother. In fact, some spectators start to disperse after watching the participants of “Santacruzan”, forgetting that the carroza (or carriage) of the Blessed Mother is usually at the tail end of the procession.

We would understand if there are calls from the Church reminding its parishioners to be mindful of the original intent of the Flores de Mayo festivity and for them to maintain “sacredness and dignity” during the said celebration. We are advised to celebrate the Flores de Mayo/Santacruzan “in a simple manner”, excluding the “worldly considerations”, and “extravagance and style”. The clergy emphasized that “everyone is welcome to participate spiritually, regardless of gender or sexual orientation” and “express their love for the Blessed Mother”.

It was further emphasized that the Flores de Mayo and Santacruzan should serve as an opportunity for priests and other parish communities to teach catechism, particularly on the devotion to the Blessed Mother. As such, said external and worldly gestures that would weaken and negatively affect the true essence of these festivities should as much as possible be avoided.

I share the same observations of some of the clergymen and I would like to echo their call for each and every Catholic including priests and other religious to “reorient” the said events to their primary goal: That these events have religious roots specifically to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary and that the said religious significance should not be influenced by the world of consumerism, modern ideologies, and non-religious subjects.

While there is nothing wrong with having fun and merriment during the May festivities, what is more important is for us to bear in mind that the center of Flores de Mayo and Santacruzan is the Blessed Mother and that should not be taken for granted.

This year, Jacinta (10) and Francisco (11), the kids who witnessed the apparition of the Blessed Mother, known as Our Lady of Fatima will be canonized as saints this year by Pope Francis.

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They will be the youngest saints ever in the history of the Catholic church. Our Lady asked these young kids to recite the Rosary daily and to make sacrifices, offering them for the conversion of sinners. Despite their being young, these children offered some sacrifices to Our Lady such as giving their lunch to beggars and some mortification.

I hope and pray that our fruitful participation in the said celebrations will help develop our spiritual growth, specifically our real interior devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary who is the model of our Catholic faith and charity and enhance our genuine help to poor and disadvantaged neighbors. Amen.

Happy Mary’s month to all!  Let’s take time to pray the Holy Rosary.

 p.s. cto for featured photos

The Living Rosary

 

During the month of October, the School of Saint John Bosco celebrates Marian Month. As Catholic school and a devotee of our Blessed Mother Mary, the school emphasizes the importance of praying the Holy Rosary everyday especially to the young ones.

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Last October 28, 2016, the school celebrated Marian Month with several activities like “ Living Rosary” which were participated by the pupils, parents, faculty and staff . It was done by praying the Holy Rosary, each bead being represented by a pupil holding a balloon to form a human rosary. After reciting the rosary, everyone cheered as balloons (with the students’ written wishes and messages on it) rose swiftly into the sky.

The event showed the love of the Bosconians to our beloved Mama Mary, teaching and reminding everyone to live in holiness like the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Prepared by;

Ms. Rizzi V. Rubian

 

Pieta “Sarsuela” (Zarzuela): The Blessed Mother’s Love To His Son

By:Jason V. Ugat
Grade V, Adviser

The Pieta is a subject of Christian art depicting Virgin Mary cradling the dead body of Jesus Christ, most often found in sculpture, one of which is done by the famous artist Michelangelo which is currently housed in St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City.

The Pieta features the maternal love and reverence of the Blessed Virgin to her Son, grasping the tortured body of Jesus Christ.

In the Philippines, the life and death of Jesus Christ is being commemorated in many ways. At SSJB, the School Administration decided to present a play  via the Pieta Sarsuela, highlighting Jesus body being cradled by His distraught Mother Mary after His death.

The Pieta Sarsuela  emphasizes the importance and the vital role played by the Blessed Virgin Mary in Jesus’ life, from the time the Archangel St. Gabriel announced to her that she will be the mother of the Son of God who will be the Savior of mankind,  up to His death. The Sarsuela at SSJB was participated by both the teachers as well as the students.

The Pieta Sarsuela is a beautiful art fom, a theatrical spectacle with a combination of songs and dances, but pantominical in action.

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PIETA SARSUELA

Distributed by : School of Saint John Bosco
Calumpang, Liliw, Laguna, Philippines
Written & Directed by : Mr. Jayson Vargas Ugat
Produced by : Mr. Jayson V. Ugat & Mr. Ronnel S. Rea
Characters : Mr. Jayson V. Ugat
Ms. Laureen Buendia
Ms. Rizzi Rubian
Ms. Norlyn Brosas
Mrs. Jeneth Barba
Ms. Ana May Agarin

Angels : Elishabelle Orillaza
Kian Robert Sotosanchez
Kyllie Venice Violanata
Daniel Ysabelle Urrea
Sean Michael Evangelista
Joaquin Glorioso
Heather Marie Brosas
Princess Miaca Aklesha de Chavez
Kyller Vince Violanta

Taumbayan/ Angels : Cloyd Marie Solmerano
Matt Belwin Veloso
Leigh Nash soriano
Mary Angela De Guzman

Taumbayan (Crowd) : Carl Eric Asegurado
Joshua Canete
Nicolas Khine Natanauan
Tristan John Abrenica
Albert Zian Laboriante
Hanz Jeremy Remoblas
Kylle Aron Violanta
Merryle Brosas
Reymond Idian
Cedric Angelo Ordoňez
Gian Angelo Ordoňez
Gian Parco
Shine Bless Buenconsejo
Job Deiniel Ramos
Christian Angelo Ordoňez
Anthony Joaquin Sarapat
Gladys Articona
Asha Zhuxien Laboriante

Singer/ Taumbayan : Jackie Mae Veridiano

Soldiers : Hacky Josh Garcia
John Carlos Rubian
Syd Lorenzo Vasallo

Singers : Emjay Milton Tuala – Joseph
Ms. Norlyn Brosas – Elizabeth

Mananayaw (Dancers: Carmela Joya

Maria Cleopas

Krizza Mae Agustin

Mrs. Jeneth Barba – Maria Magdalena

Pariseo (Pharisees) : Steven Juer Gacu
John Kervin Evangelista – Mananayaw
Limuel Gabrielle Montaňa
Three Kings : Pariz Brosas
Charles Voncent Montaňa
Richmond Almario
Mananayaw/ Juan : Howell Suilan
Munting Maria : Percephone Caleiopie Ramos
Mia Ashanti Gonzaga
Samanthe Claire Vasallo
Munting Hesus : Christian Jairo Dava
Dave Zyrus Ortiz
Mark Reinster Montaňa
Bidang Maria : Ms. Rizzi Rubian
Bidang Hesus : Dan Lawrence B. Poon
Sounds/ Lights : Ms. Chrry Rose O. Javier
Choreography/ Props & Costumes/ Singer/St. Anne: Ms. Ana May Agarin
Singer/ Tagapagsalaysay: Mr. Ronnel S. Rea
Singer/ MC/ Floor Manager: Ms. Laureen Buendia
Writer/ Floor Manager/ Gabriel/ Director: Mr. Jayson V. Ugat
Special Thanks : Voice of Renzo Dela Cruz
Musika mula sa Elim Music
Music by : Elim Music
Music Editor : Ms. Cherry Rose O. Javier
Country : Philippines
Language : Tagalog
Release Date : October 28, 2014
Running Time : One Hour
Edited by : Ms. Ofelia C. Agapay