Phitsanulok, Thailand. October 31,2014 - What started out as a plan for a Halloween Costume Party turned out into a more significant and symbolic Rosary Month culmination as Saint Nicholas Church Foreign Community (SNCFC) members - children and adults alike, showed up in their saintly garments.
"This is our own little way to respond to the call of the Vatican to reverse the culture of Halloween and promote the lives of the saints which is really the essence of the celebration. We hope that through this little but sincere effort we can inspire others especially the next generation to follow suit and opt to celebrate this event meaningfully" Letty Comeros, President of Saint Nicholas Church Foreign Community (SNCFC), said.
|SNCFC. The angels and the saints of Phitsanulok, Thailand|
Family of Saints
John Patrick and Mary Joy Benliro with their two year old daughter Louresse, who succesfully completed the 31-day rosary, dressed themselves as Saint John - the Baptist, St. Dorothy Cesaria - the martyr of Deocletianic Persecution and Saint Agnes - the patron saint of chastity, gardeners, girls, engaged couples, rape victims, and virgins, respectively.
"I feel happy and accomplished for having completed the entire rosary month which was really our goal from the very start and to end it with this kind of activity is even more rewarding because Louresse, as early as now, starts to get acquainted with the lives of saints instead of scary creatures such as vampires, zombies and others. We look forward to joining another activity like this in the future." said Joy Benliro, also one of the prayer leaders in the nightly rosary.
The month of October is dedicated as the month of Holy Rosary and as has been a tradition in the Philippines, the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary was welcomed in every household of the SNCFC members in Phitsanulok and has reached as far as Uttaradit which is 2 hours away from the city, for the whole month.
The daily evening prayer gathering was also a chance for the community members to share prayers, news bits, and Filipino dishes.
Aside from Louresse, there were also three other little version of saints. Therese Angelie Canete was Little Saint Therese, her brother Louie Mari Paulinos Canete was Little Pedro Calungsod while Samantha Canete was dressed up as Little Philomena.
|Little Saints. Angel, Louresse, Louie and Sam.|
|The Author. Saint Lorenzo Ruiz with the little saints|
Meanwhile, the adults were also in for the "holyween party". Belle Canuos was Saint Joan of Arc, Josie Canete was Saint Monica, Fe Doysabas - Saint Faith, Bambie Dalida - Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, Venus Bulay-og - Saint Valentine, Christian Camo - Saint Joseph, Danilo Ocapan - Saint Andrew, Cenes Camporedondo - Saint Magdalene and Beverly Como was Saint Claire of Asisi. Both Cheryl Siapoc and Cherrilyn Mahipos personified Saint Maria Goretti, Lunaria couple - Art and Maricel were Saint Isidore Labrador and Saint Cecilia while James and Maris Canete were Saint Jude and Saint Veronica.
|Best Dressed. The best dressed saints of the night.|
|Happy. The happy smiles of the saints on parade.|
"It was a refreshing activity about the martyrs and confessors we don't normally talk about. It gave us a chance to know about them and be amazed at how great their love for God is. It was also a great opportunity for the community members to have fun and develop closer relationship with others while showcasing their creativity through their costumes. We learned more about other saints as well," said Ms. Leah Doysabas, one of the community leaders who also dressed up as Saint Rosalia, the Patron Saint of Palermo.