The following comes from a May 19 Angelus article by Clara Fox:
On May 14, the Filipino Catholic community of Los Angeles gathered at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels for two traditional celebrations of the Virgin Mary: the Santacruzan and the Flowers of May.
Girls dressed in tiaras and fancy attire presented flowers to Our Lady and took part in a Santacruzan procession that included dancers, canopies of flowers and children dressed as angels.
The month of May is dedicated in a special way to Mary, the mother of Jesus, and the Filipino culture is full of festive events in her honor.
The Santacruzan celebration — an event that began as a commemoration of St. Helena’s discovery of the Holy Cross — was preceded by the Flowers of May, a Marian crowning and flower offering to the Blessed Virgin Mary that was held following an afternoon Mass.
More than 800 gathered at the cathedral in Downtown Los Angeles for the 12th annual archdiocesan Filipino Marian Celebration, which was sponsored by the Filipino Ministry of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
In the Philippines during the month of May, children pray the rosary and offer flowers to the Virgin Mary at their parish, and then on the last Sunday of the month they hold a festival to offer flowers to the Virgin Mother and have a Marian crowning, followed by a feast.
According to Sister Maria Corazon Tawatao, MCHS, chairperson of the liturgy committee for the Santacruzan, the May 14 celebration honored “a piece of history that became a Filipino cultural treasure.”
The Filipino people in particular, Santiago adds, “are so in love with Mary, and that is why we are called the ‘people who love Mary’ — [the tradition] is ingrained in our heritage. Even though we are here in the United States, we want to continue the tradition we had in the Philippines.”