Home > of love, philosophy > Memory of May: The Case of Mary

Memory of May: The Case of Mary



It has been an annual tradition in the Parish of St. Antonio de Padua to celebrate Santa Cruzan and the culmination of Flores de Mayo on May 31. This was the time when the streets were lined by beautiful floral canopies to beautify the yearly procession for the Lady of Flowers. Reyna Helena (some calls her Elena) led the procession along with pretty muses and adorable tykes that acted as little angels in the jam packed street of Barotac Nuevo. Despite the drizzle and the strong wind that occasionally blew the skirts of these charming ladies, the procession proceeded with solemnity. And as parcaticed, people obligingly gathered around to either take a glimpse of the passing beautiful ladies or say their intercessions to the Blessed Virgin. This religious activity was very relevant to the faithful especially the devotees of various Marian organizations. This was the time when Mary was adorned and venerated by Barotacnons. Yet, regardless how this created impact to the followers, the question of faith was always present. This was one of the particular times when our belief for Blessed Mother was most vulnerable to various attacks from other denominations.  And yes, this was also the time that being catholic, you were confronted to defend your faith much more the practices that supported it.

I chose to take shelter in a small carinderia instead of following the pacts of faithful. I was taken aback when a lady sitting near the window spat outside and uttered a ribald remark on certain catholic practices. I faced to look at her furiously but calmed down instantly as I was taught to respect other beliefs. Yet her cursing grew violent making her remarks very annoying. I confronted the lady amiably and asked what was wrong with this practice. The lady mockingly replied that it was such a blunder to believe in the “virginity of Mary.”  She challenged me to explain, with biblical text supports as assumed, the virginity of Mary. Honestly, I am not adept in Bible as our brothers and sisters of different faith are very particular to. What I am after is the meaning of the scriptures that have impact in my life.  So I ignored her for the last time and focused back to the fading procession.

All the while, I was sure that Catholics were not crazy to come up with such dogma regarding Mary as Virgin. It was after all about honoring the Mother of God. Will Jesus get angry if we love His mother?  Or will He feel jealous when we venerate His mother? I guess not. If you ponder on how a human father wants a best house or even a best job for his son how much more our Father in Heaven wants His only Son to be reared by the purest of human race. I guess doubting Blessed Virgin Mary is like believing that Jesus married Magdalene. But whoever was right, the respect to one’s faith stood as the most important thing. Hence, I chose to remain silent.


P. S. 1. I am aware that some of our brothers and sisters really hate Mama Mary to the point of smashing and breaking her innocuous images and statues. I am just curious what would Jesus feel to see His mother being ridiculed and humiliated all for the sake of one’s belief.

2. I believe that faith is private. It means that something might have meaning to me but might appear completely ridiculous to you. The best way to settle it is to have respect for the variety of faiths. And if there is way of correcting the mistakes, it should be done by peaceful confrontation.

  1. June 8, 2009 at 8:02 am

    “I believe that faith is private. It means that something might have meaning to me but might appear completely ridiculous to you. The best way to settle it is to have respect for the variety of faiths. And if there is way of correcting the mistakes, it should be done by peaceful confrontation.”

    –> Exactly what I think, Omel! 🙂 It’s like the saying that your rights end where mine begin. We all have the right to choose our own beliefs. Insulting the beliefs of others (ESPECIALLY when the attack is unprovoked!!) actually speaks more about the level of spirituality of the one giving the insult, instead of the faith in question.

  2. totomel
    June 8, 2009 at 8:14 am

    “It’s like the saying that your rights end where mine begin.”

    how true gabi. kung pinatulan ko pa sya, nagliyab na siguro yung carinderia.hehehe. but i guess my silence vexed her a lot…and still i respected her.

  3. AC
    June 8, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    hmmm.. mejo off yata yung remark nung si ate ah. hehe. anyway, respeto lang sana. of course, every person has his own belief.. sometimes conforms with the majority’s faith, but sometimes doesn’t. nevertheless, respect for other’s principle i think is a MUST. even if she doesn’t look up to Mama Mary, she could’ve been tactful about it.

    i was born a Catholic, but i am not religious. i don’t attend masses.. i don’t listen to homily (kase sometimes nahahaluan ng pulitika).. but i have my own way of talking to the Lord. i sometimes go to the church after my work just to pray and thank Him and ask for guidance. alam ko nandun sya. mapa-Hesus man sya, o si Yahweh, o si Allah.. it’s not really important to me.. what matters is that I believe that there’s a powerful being up there who created us and guide us everyday.

    i believe in Christianity (the faith in God and the act of doing good to others) but i don’t believe in the church. like when i watched Angels & Demons.. you know, minsan maiisip mo din if in real life nangyayari ang ganon sa simbahang katoliko.. pero ewan ko, di na lang ako nagsasalita ng masama about it, hehehe. madami akong mga kaibigan na mga deboto sa totoo lang. kanya-kanya lang ng paniniwala. respeto. 🙂

    basta ang panuntunan ko lang sa buhay: basta alam ko na wala akong tinatapakang tao, gumagawa ako ng mabuti sa kapwa ko at naniniwala ako sa Panginoon.. alam ko isa akong mabuting tao. 🙂

    at higit sa lahat, paulit-ulitin kong sabihin: RESPETO. 🙂

  4. AC
    June 8, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    nakow, sori napahaba pala comment ko. hahahaha!

    • totomel
      June 9, 2009 at 2:11 am

      ok lang…mas mahaba mas ok.hehehe

  5. totomel
    June 9, 2009 at 2:09 am

    very well said AC… faith is such a complex subject to tackle thus i prefer to it as “private” – something that is possessed by a person and finding meaning in it regardless whether looks ridiculous to others. when we start to compare, we lose the essence of it because one is tempted to assert his own as superior. this is where religion comes in. although it is very pragmatic in our life, it is nonetheless dangerous if considered as the prime driver defining what or how we should live and reducing the universal moral ways into misconceptions. hence, the start of religious fanaticism. look at what happened in in medieval times: it was not about a political war but a religious war. gets mo?hehehe

    anyway, i’m glad you have that level of spirituality to respect other’s AC. Respeto, tama yan 🙂

    • AC
      June 9, 2009 at 5:31 am

      ang dami.. ang dami ko napapansin at ang daming butas ng iba’t ibang relihiyon. katulad na lang ng…. toots.. hahahaha! joooke lang! id rather keep mum about it.

      so ano bang tamang term for me? di naman ako atheist kase naniniwala ako sa Panginoon.. pero can you consider me an agnostic? mejo naguguluhan kase ako. hahaha! 😆

      • totomel
        June 9, 2009 at 6:41 am

        Normal ang tawag ko sa yo..hahaha. natural lang yan. pero dapat inurture mo yung faith mo kay Lord and the only way to do it is to reach out for others.

        • AC
          June 9, 2009 at 7:30 am

          buti ka pa Normal ang tawag mo sakin. Mga kaibigan ko kase tawag sa kin tumataginting na ABNORMAL eh. wahahahah! 😆

          • totomel
            June 9, 2009 at 8:54 am

            hmmm…sa bagay…may punto sila.hahaha joke!

  6. June 9, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    that lady should learn how to respect the beliefs of others. purya gaba.

    • totomel
      June 10, 2009 at 2:30 am

      yes Pre..pero dapat respetohon ta man sya ah. 🙂

  7. June 10, 2009 at 8:45 am

    Very nice points here Totomel… I also believe that faith is private and personal… I believe that true Catholic faith is lived out, and it’s what I am trying to do everyday. I had a colleague who had lambasted the Catholic Church while we were having lunch… Since we are commanded “to give reason to the things which give us hope”, I asked him to mellow down since I feel that he is trampling on my faith – something very personal to me, otherwise I’ll be forced to defend my faith. Eventually, we ended up debating. Moral of the story: do not discuss religion during lunch… I was not able to enjoy it… 😀

    I have always imbibed the spirit of ecumenism, however there are times when you have to stand for the faith which defines you.

    • totomel
      June 10, 2009 at 9:17 am

      that’s very true sir…by the way, how was your escapade in Ilocos? 🙂 pasalubong ko diin na?hehehe

      • June 10, 2009 at 12:30 pm

        Hehehe… May biscocho pa ko di from Pasuquin… galing pila na lang ni katimo… 😀

        Hulata na lang ang pics ko ah for my upcoming posts… 😀

  8. June 26, 2009 at 3:15 am

    Only to some people, we can have a decent,more civilized discussion on faith hehe, one that is not driven by callused ideology but by mutual respect…Your writing reveals the intelligent keen observer of things in you…

  9. totomel
    June 26, 2009 at 4:16 am

    thank you brother. your posts are highly valuable to me as well. it made me joyful to find a faithful catholic in you. 🙂

    • June 26, 2009 at 5:39 am

      May FB ka ba Bro? Add kita…

  10. totomel
    June 26, 2009 at 8:09 am

    sure. just search Omel.hehehe

  11. Nancysuresh
    June 21, 2010 at 8:47 am

    HI “It’s like the saying that your rights end where mine begin.”

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