Filipino “Flores de Mayo” Celebration Concludes Marian Month of May At Holy Rosary Cathedral

By Deacon Eric Gurash

Holy Rosary Cathedral was honoured on the last Sunday in May to play host to the Filipino community’s traditional, wrap-up celebration of Flores de Mayo.  The festival, whose name means “Flowers of May”, is held each year in the Philippines and is said to have been introduced by the Spanish.

As May begins with the Feast of Mary, Queen of Heaven and ends with the Feast of the Visitation, the festival of Flores de Mayo grew to encompass the days of May between the two feasts turning May into a month-long celebration of the Mother of God. 

Throughout the month of May organizers gather with families and friends in their homes to pray a variety of traditional Marian-themed devotions including the Angelus, the Litany of Loretto and the Rosary.

This is the sixth year that members of Holy Rosary Cathedral Parish and the Filipino community in Regina gathered at Holy Rosary Cathedral on the final Sunday of May to conclude their festival.  An outdoor procession was held in the Cathedral neighbourhood as the rosary was recited.

Returning to the Cathedral, the faithful gathered for a Marian hymn and the placing of flowers before the image of the Virgin Mary as a symbol of love, affection and veneration, in commemoration of the Lady of Fatima apparition which first took place on the 13th of May 1917. Participants remained for the Cathedral’s 7pm Mass to conclude the celebration.

Jessica Hernando, who shares the task of organizing the month-long home prayers and final celebration with Nenita Anonas and Avelina Juma,  remembers the Flores de Mayo celebrations of her childhood with fondness, “Ever since I was a little girl, I always look forward to Flores de Mayo to offer Mama Mary flowers and sing songs at church. We (would) go out and pick flowers at my aunt’s flower trees, put them in our little baskets and bring them to church during mass. It was always a joyous month.”

Flores de Mayo is important to us Filipinos because of our deep devotion and love to Our Mother Mary,” offered Hernando, sharing that there is great joy within Regina’s Filipino community to be able to share their Catholic, devotional traditions with their Canadian Catholic family.

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