Several traditions link the month of May to Mary Alfonso XI, King of Castille, Spain wrote in the 13th century “Cantigas de Santa Maria” which deals with specific dates in May to honor Mary. Eventually, the entire month of May was filled with observances and devotions to honor Mary.
Frederick Holweck wrote that May devotions in its present form originated in Rome around the end of the 18th century when Fr. Latomia of the Roman College of the Society of Jesus initiated this May devotion to counteract the infidelity and immorality among the students. From Rome May devotions spread to other Jesuit Colleges in several countries. By 1813 May devotions were held in as many as twenty churches in Rome. (Wikipedia.org)
Flores de Mayo in the Philippines
This devotion originated in the Tagalog region after the proclamation of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception in 1854 and after the publication of Mariano Sevilla’s translation of the devotional “Flores de Mayo” in Tagalog.
Santacruzan is a popular activity during May. The procession to honor the Holy Cross is a popular feature in the May celebration. Instead of commemorating the finding of the true cross, c. 326, by St. Helena, Mother of Emperor Constantine, the Santacruzan has become a fashion show with movie personalities as “Zagalas”, richly attired. So, the CBCP in 2012 reminded us that the procession “Santacruzan” is to honor the Holy Cross and to honor Mary with her virtues such as purity, love, justice, power, peace, truth, etc.