By Robin Gomes
The over 70 parishes of the Diocese of Antipolo, just east of the Philippine capital Manila, kicked off the Marian month of May with the daily recitation of the rosary amid the Covid-19 restrictions.
Dubbed as #RosariumAntipolensis, the daily rosary on Facebook is a collaboration among the Social Communications ministries of some local parishes of the diocese. Each day of the month, a parish takes up the initiative of leading the rosary, which is streamed live at 8:00 pm on the official Facebook page of the diocese.
During the Marian month, Catholics worldwide offer a fervent and loving homage of prayer and veneration to the Blessed Mother. The daily rosary is the most popular of Marian devotions among Catholics worldwide.
“Flores de Mayo”
In the Philippines, there is the tradition of what is called the “Flores de Mayo” (Spanish for “May flowers”), when on each day of the month of May the faithful offer flowers to the Virgin Mary.
The tradition concludes on the last day with a ritual pageant called the “Santacruzan” (Spanish “Santa Cruz” or "Holy Cross"). It honours the finding of the True Cross by Saint Helena, the mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great.
This year, the “Santacruzan” is suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Despite the restrictions, the Catholics of Antipolo Diocese continue to venerate the Blessed Mother and are rediscovering the beauty of praying the rosary as a family or individually.
Homage to #FaithFrontliners
The Social Communications Ministry of Antipolo Diocese and its parish counterparts have been greatly responsible for making the Holy Mass available online. For over a month since the closure of churches, the diocesan Facebook page has been offering the faithful the hourly Masses and other devotions.
Among them is also includes the daily morning Mass of Pope Francis from the Casa Santa Marta in the Vatican.
What’s more, the Social Communications Ministry has made a video to thank the so-called #FaithFrontliners or volunteers of the parish units who with their humble setup are helping to keep alive the faith of the people amid the lockdown.
The Cathedral of Antipolo is a popular Marian shrine of the Philippines. In 1954, the Philippine Catholic bishops’ conference designated the cathedral, then a church, as the National Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage. The cathedral enshrines the 17th-century Marian image of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage.
The cathedral attracts millions of pilgrims annually, especially during the pilgrimage season which starts with the Alay Lakad (literally, “Walk Offering”), from Quiapo Church on April 30 until the end of May.