Joyful celebrations for Mary month of May
A colourful celebration in the Bridgewater-Brighton Parish in May was an opportunity to treasure the beauty of the Cross of Jesus.
Parish administrator Fr Leodigario Zenarosa MLCC explained that about 150 people gathered for the Flores de Mayo (Flowers of May) celebration, featuring Mass and a procession, to honour the Blessed Virgin Mary and also St Helen. It took place at St Paul’s Catholic Church, Bridgewater, on May 16.
Fr Zenarosa explained: “This devotion was first done in Spain and it was brought to the Philippines in the 19th century. It is very nice to bring it here. People love it and it really counts. There are two vital devotion we do in the parish: We give honour to the Blessed Virgin Mary and also in May we give a second devotion to St Helen, the mother of Constantine the Great, for finding the True Cross in the 4th century. In the Philippines we call it Flores de Mayo.”
It was the first time the devotion had been held at Bridgewater-Brighton, but it was well received by parishioners, with support from the different cultural and prayer groups within the parish, and would take place again next year. St Helen is also known as Helena of Constantinople (circa 250 -330).
“I am a Marian priest,” Fr Zenarosa said. “I love the Blessed Virgin Mary and I want to teach the people, in my little humble way, that the Blessed Virgin Mary plays an important role in making us closer to Jesus crucified.
“In doing so, it is also fitting to remember St Helen because St Helen wants us to reflect on the wisdom of the True Cross of Jesus. So this is a way to show our respect to Mother Mary and St Helen.”
Fr Zenarosa also explained that there was a healing miracle associated with St Helen and that Bridgewater-Brighton was in need of healing.
“People love Flores de Mayo and such devotional events are important,” he added.
“These people [the Blessed Virgin Mary and St Helen] are in Heaven. If we invoke them in prayers, surely they will help us. We have done prayers, we sing the song Immaculate Mother … and when we do the procession, some other people do the Rosary. There is a Hail Mary prayer.
“It not a beauty pageant. It all about God. We wear our best suit for the Lord.”
Bridgewater Brighton Catholic Parish is now planning its next major event, a Festival of St Paul on June 27 with Rosary at 11am, Mass, a procession and then a simple lunch outside the Bridgewater Catholic Church community room.