MANILA, May 26, 2011?Hundreds of devotees are expected to gather at Pope Pius XII Catholic Center on May 30 for the traditional Flores de Mayo Mediatrix gathering from 7:30 am to 6:30 pm.
The whole day activity will jump start the devoteesâ€™ pilgrimage to Lipa Carmel in Batangas province on May 31.
The activities are under the auspices of the Confraternity of Mary Mediatrix of All Grace with Fr. Melvin Castro as Moderator, Bishop Jose Colin M. Bagaforo, Auxiliary Bishop of Cotabato and co-convenor of the Flores de Mayo Mediatrix Gather and San Fernando (de Pampanga) Archbishop Paciano B. Aniceto, Chairman of the CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Family and Life.
CBCP Pastoral Letter on Mary
â€œAng Mahal na Birhenâ€ is the title by which Filipinos often address Mary. Reverence is paid to Mary as Mother of God â€œand all the children trust with which we can all her our own Mother,â€ the organizers said.
The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, in its pastoral letter entitled Ang Mahal na Birhen issued on February 2, 1975 said â€œThe loyalty of our people to Christ has been closely bound with our devotion to Mary who is His Mother and ours.â€
The same pastoral letter cautioned the faithful against turning the Santacruzan into fashion shows that take away their spiritual meaning â€œwith the danger of converting Marian devotions into beauty parades rather than religious manifestations of faith.â€
The bishops said traditional forms of devotion â€œmust never be an ostentatious show to be displayed for guests and visitors,â€ because â€œthe real spirit of these devotions should be emphasized, and not merely the external practice.â€
Archbishop Aniceto said Pope Benedict XVI called on Catholics to strengthen their resolve and not to give up the fight against any attack to Life and the Family.
â€œIn the face of the international network of anti-life NGOs and huge government to government grants for contraceptives and abortifacients it is imperative that we persevere in our resolution to protect innocent human life and on our determination to defend the Filipino family,â€ he said.
Cotabato Auxiliary Bishop Bagaforo said many pilgrims from his place were touched by their visit to Carmel of Lipa that it became a â€œhigh pointâ€ in their Marian pilgrimage of Marian shrines in Luzon.
â€œIt is with filial sentiments of gratitude for the favors received by our pilgrimage group that I make this call for participation for the Flores de Mayo Mediatrix Gathering from May 30-31, 2011,â€ he added.
Activities and Pilgrimage
After the enthronement of Mary Mediatrix at the Pius XII Catholic center Auditorium on Monday, a representative from the City of Manila will deliver the welcome remarks followed by the opening remarks of Cotabato Auxiliary Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo.
The Story of Lipa will be discussed, followed by testimonies of several key persons.
The dayâ€™s activities will be capped by a Holy Mass followed by Floral Offering and consecration of the family and commissioning of lay promoters from 5:30 pm onwards.
The Marian devotees will leave for their pilgrimage to Lipa at 9:30 am on May 31. (CBCPNews)