Devotional Art @ The Mayflower Inn

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Some of you
may think that
there are too many
religious images and icons
at The Mayflower Inn.

Could this be idolatry?

You must wonder…
Spanish colonization
brought Catholicism
to our shores
by means of Magellan in 1521
and the Philippines was ruled by Spain
from 1565 to 1898
(where there was a union of church and state).

Thus, for 333 years,
Philippine life was dictated
by Catholic traditions.

Fast forward to 2012,
there are now 97 million Filipinos,
and 81 % are Catholics.
Thus, Catholic practices
especially popular or devotional piety
continue to be intricately woven
into Philippine culture.

What is a Roman Catholic devotion?
It is a gift of oneself,
or one’s activities to God.
It is a willingness to dedicate oneself
to serve God either through prayer,
or pious acts,
or the veneration of saints.

The most common devotional practices
in the Philippines are the ff:
wearing of scapulars and medals,
praying the rosary, way of the cross,
veneration of saintly images and shrines,
pilgrimages to holy sites,
novena (9 day prayer)
to particular saints (a.k.a.patron saints)
for specific petitions;
for example:
St. Anthony (for finding lost items),
St. Joseph -husband of Mary
(for women seeking a good husband),
devotion to Mary -Mother of Jesus,
Marian horticultural gardens,
grottos and shrines
and devotions to the Blessed Sacrament.

The most common devotion in Cebu
is to the Sto. Nino (Holy Child Jesus).

Honoring saints
began with the first generation of Catholics.
They honored the Catholic martyrs
by erecting altars on top of their tombs.
In time,
chapels, churches, basilicas
were built in their honor.
Then, they were remembered
in their own towns and villages
where they had lived and died.
Later,
their relics were borrowed
by other churches
and the devotion to these saints
spread widely,
especially that of well known saints
who had universal appeal.

Overtime,
more forms of devotion
came into practice.
Carrying an image,
a medal
or a holy card
of the saint
became a common practice
to remind oneself
to pray
and emulate the saint’s life.

The pieces in this Devotional Art gallery
were collected through four generations,
and are here for the purpose of giving our guests
a chance
to have an intimate glimpse
of our cultural heritage.

For our Catholic guests,
this is an opportunity for you
to understand the history
and rationale behind our faith traditions.

For our non-Catholic
and non-believing guests,
this gallery may seem silly and fanatical,
but this is who we are.
And just as we respect you,
please respect us as well.

You are now in the Philippines,
and the Catholic faith
is in the heart of our heritage.

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