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.