31 May – San Fabian. The month of May is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. May is considered the season of the beginning of new life. Already in Greek culture, May was dedicated to Artemis, the goddess of fecundity. In Roman culture, May was dedicated to Flora, the goddess of bloom, of blossoms. The Romans celebrated ludi florales (literally: floral games) at the end of April, asking the intercession of Flora for all that blooms.
May, dedicated to Mary
This Christian custom of dedicating the month of May to the Blessed Virgin arose at the end of the 13th century. In this way, the Church was able to Christianize the secular feasts which were wont to take place at that time. In the 16th century, books appeared and fostered this devotion.
The practice became especially popular among the members of the Jesuit Order — by 1700 it took hold among their students at the Roman College and a bit later it was publicly practiced in Rome. From there it spread to the whole Church.
Flores de Mayo, daily offering of flowers
A daily offering of flowers was done by the parishioners every after mass. The flowers are offered at the foot of the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary while the song “Tierna Madre” is being sung. The “Salve Regina” is then sung by the community. At the end of the offering, the Pangasinan song “Adios O Reyna’y Tawen” is sung.
The parish usually celebrates the Mayflower and the Santacruzan during the last Sunday of May. Santacruzan is a festivity to commemorate Queen Helena’s search of the Holy Cross. The legend tells us that Queen Helena at the old age of 75 and around 300 years after Christ had died on the cross had come in search of the Holy Cross at Calvary. She was able to discover three crosses and so she instructed one of her sick servants to lay on all three crosses and the one where the servant was miraculously healed was believed to be the Holy Cross. The anniversary of Queen Helena’s discovery of the cross is on May 3.
CWL sponsors the Mayflower and Santacruzan
The Catholic Women’s League of the Parish of St. Fabian, Pope and Marty, is the yearly sponsor of the celebration of the Mayflower and Santacruzan. It is one of their association’s fund raising activities for the projects of the parish. The construction of the covered walkway connecting the Church, the Parish Center and the Mt. Carmel Chapel is the main project being funded.
The Reyna Elena 2009 is Kristine Joy P. Narvarte, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Danny Narvarte. Emperador Constantino is Rovic Jay N. Quirimit, son of Mr. and Mrs. Rex Quirimit. The sagalas of the Santacruzan and their consorts are the following: Reyna Ester (Marie Antonette Rivera), Prince of Faith (Rench A. Santos), Reyna Flora (Nicole F. Romero), Prince of Hope (Leandro R. Zafra), Reyna Estralla (Hazel Jhed de Guzman Rosario), Rosa Mistica (Retchie Vienna C. Pantas), Prince of Charity (Jose Neil P. Castronuevo), Queen of Virgins (Justine Ivy P. Bautista), Prince of Loyalty (Joel Ivan P. Bautista).
Sis. Alicia Z. Gubatan is the present President of the CWL – San Fabian unit.
To see more pictures of the Santacruzan 2009, please click HERE.