Thursday, September 23

Mother’s Day, month of flowers and Mary

The earliest celebrations of Mother’s Day date back to ancient Greece, where Rhea, the mother of the gods Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades was honored. Later the Romans called this celebration Hilaria when they acquired it from the Greeks. It was celebrated on March 15 in the temple of Cibeles and for three days offerings were made. With the arrival of Christianity, these celebrations were transformed to honor the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus. In the Catholic saints on December 8, the feast of the Immaculate Conception is celebrated, a date that, initially, Catholics adopted for the celebration of Mother’s Day.

The idea of ​​a month dedicated specifically to Mary dates back to Baroque times in the 17th century. Although it was not always held in May. This custom spread especially during the 19th century and, on March 15, 1864, the Confraternity of the Immaculate Conception of Torrevieja was approved, by decree of the Bishop of Orihuela, Pedro María Cubero López de Padilla. Each brother was “a participant in all the graces, goods and spiritual advantages that the Mother of God grants to her devotees.” At first, the fee to be paid by each brother was eight reales per admission and four per each year, in order to solemnize the festivities dedicated to her; Its first president was the parish priest of the Immaculate Conception, the parish priest Francisco Sarrió, first butler Manuel Talavera; and secretary José García López.

The indulgences granted to the confreres of the Immaculate Conception were: forty days on the day they were enrolled in the cofradia, if confessed and communed they prayed for the needs of the Church; forty days for the prayer said on the day of its registration; forty days for each time they prayed the crown on their festivals; forty days for each mass they heard on Saturdays, and another forty for each prayer; forty days per house Saturday that they fast in honor of the Virgin as well as the eve of her festivities; and forty days for wearing the crown with the medal of the Virgin.

The church, in its constant renewal, pointed out new guidelines as more convenient. The congregations, domiciliary chapels, novenas and promises, had their moment but they became part of history again. All innovations, naturally, leave their holes. Attributions that had these activities later accused a lack of congregants. In the case of the celebration of the feast of our patron saint the Immaculate Conception, the Congregation Daughters and Servants of Mary, which in other times was in charge of a multitude of details, ended with hardly any collection, highlighting the construction in the temple of the dressing room of the Purísima on December 8, 1928 and that was set on fire on March 3, 1936.

On December 8, 1954, Pope Pius IX declared that on this date Mother’s Day would be celebrated in honor of the Immaculate Conception, strengthening the Congregation of Daughters and Servants of Mary, with sacrificed collections, to raise again a dressing room to the Virgin. , opening in December 1956.

In 1965 it was decided to move the date of the celebration in homage to mothers to the first Sunday of the month of May. Until then, the party in honor of all mothers had a solely religious character, but in the mid-1960s the more commercial party model ended up being imposed. When in Spain, in 1965, it was decided to move the date of Mother’s Day from December 8 to May, it was made for the main reason that the owners of the shops for that day a model of celebration similar to the North American . At that time, the country, under the dictator Francisco Franco, wanted to internationalize and there were many ties that began to unite Spain with the United States. Instead of placing it on the second Sunday (like the Americans) it was placed on the first Sunday in May, claiming that this was the beginning of the “Month of Mary” and therefore that of all mothers.

The flowers that adorned the throne of the Purísima for the procession, with the exception of some time that this or that gentleman gave them away, normally was in charge of the Congregation of the Daughters and Servants of Mary; However, this task had to be a shared and spontaneous offering of the people. To preserve as much as possible the “administrative tradition” of the Purísima funds on its great day, and with the due authorization of the parish priest Patrocinio Villagordo, as of 1971 they were arranged in the houses of the women members of the Board of Daughters de María -Angelita Castell Mínguez, Pacita Solano Ruiz, Concha Celdrán and Paca Castell Sala- some money boxes for those who wish to deposit their small donation. The Congregation of Daughters and Servants of Mary disappeared in 1971, like so many other things due to the influence of new times.

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