“Mondays with Mary” – Our Lady of the Rose

Today, we celebrate one of the feasts, which is not listed in the official calendar and feast days of the Church, but is still attributed to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Today’s title is – Our Lady of the Rose, in Lucca, Italy. On January 30, in the arms of the statue of the Blessed Mother, three roses were found. From this point, this day has been celebrated as the Madonna of the Rose or Our Lady of the Rose.

Madonna of the Rose

Madonna of the Rose

So why is the Rose flower so important when it comes to the Blessed Virgin Mary?

If you think about it – in so many of the Marian apparitions, she is either carrying flowers, particularly the rose, or the rose has played a major part in revealing her message to the world.

When she came to us as Our Lady of La Salette, she was wearing a garland of roses as well as had tiny roses on her slippers. In the apparitions of Pontmain, Bannenexu, and most notably, Lourdes, and others, she brought beautiful roses with her.

The clearest time we see the rose flower is in Mexico on Tepeyac Hill when she appears to as Our Lady of Guadalupe. She tells St. Juan Diego to go to the hill and to collect the roses, placing them in his tilma. He was then was told to bring them to the Archbishop. When he arrived at the Archbishop’s residence to show him the roses, not only were the roses a sign, but also was the beautiful tilma St. Juan Diego was wearing. It was through the power of God and the roses that the world received the tilma. To learn more about Our Lady of Guadalupe, I would suggest reading – Why Nine Million People Suddenly Turned Catholic: Astounding Physical Evidence.

Blessed Cardinal John Newman said the following about Mary,

“Mary is the most beautiful flower ever seen in the spiritual world. It is by the power of God’s grace that from this barren and desolate earth there ever sprung up at all flowers of holiness and glory; and Mary is the Queen of them all. She is the Queen of spiritual flowers; and therefore, is called the Rose, for the rose is called of all flowers the most beautiful. But, moreover, she is the Mystical or Hidden Rose, for mystical means hidden.”

The rose is very beautiful, however, there is also suffering found in the thorns of the rose. For the Blessed Virgin Mary, the rose thorns are the reminder that like Jesus, who wore a crown of thorns, she too would also suffer along with her son. As the Mother of Jesus, she witnessed the terrible suffering and death first hand as she walked with him, stood with him, and watched him die on the Cross.

To learn more about Rose and the other Flowers of the Blessed Virgin Mary, I would encourage you to read my blog post by clicking on the link above.

Our Lady of the Rose…Pray for Us. 

Source:

“Madonna of the Rose.” Roman Catholic Saints. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Jan. 2017.

Madonna of the Rose Garden

Madonna of the Rose Garden

“Mondays with Mary” – Symbols of the Blessed Virgin Mary

A few weeks ago, on the third anniversary of “Mondays with Mary”, I focused on the Blessed Virgin in Sacred Art. For the last May blog post of this year, I would like to draw your attention to some of the symbols most commonly associated with the Blessed Virgin Mary. This is hardly a comprehensive list, but something in order to wet your appetite in the hopes that you will seek out other symbols that have honored and reflected our beautiful and advocating Mother.

In the past, I have spoken about some of these before, so I suggest you click on the links provided in this blog post to learn more about the symbols in previous writings of mine. A common aspect of my blogging is that I try to link previous posts of mine to the current posts.

The first symbol is the Tower of David –

Tower of David

One of the titles the Church applies to Mary is the Tower of David. Just as David’s Tower once provided security and fortification against his enemies, so too does Mary stand against Satan and his followers, who seek to rout out the Church. As our Queen Mother, she keeps us safe and far away from the attacks of Satan.

The Old Testament book Song of Solomon (also known as Song of Songs) states, “Your neck is like the tower of David, built for an arsenal, whereon hang a thousand bucklers, all of them shields of warriors” (4:4).

The second symbol is the Vine and the Grapes –

Vines and Grapes

One of the earliest symbols given to the Blessed Virgin Mary, by the Early Church Fathers, is that of the fruitful vine with the bountiful of grapes. In the 11th century, one of the newest Doctors of the Church, St. Hildegard of Bingen, explained in her theology that Jesus was the Vine that came forth from the heart of Mary. As He came forth from his Mother’s heart, there also comes the fruit and good works of the followers of Jesus Christ.

The third symbol is the Morning Star.

Shining star

The morning star, usually associated with the first star of the day, brings light to the dawn of the day and gets us ready for the full radiant beauty of the sun. In the book of Revelation, Jesus tells us that he will give us this star to all those continue to follow Him till He returns again (22:16). In relation to Mary, she is the Morning Star leading us close to Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

The fourth symbol is the Fleur-de-lis.

Fleur-de-lis

This very ancient symbol synthesizes the iris (flower of the lily) and the Madonna lily and has long been connected with the Blessed Virgin Mary because the purity she witnessed throughout her entire life. The Fleur-de-Lis, which emphasizes life, light, and perfection, is the definitive symbol of the Holy Trinity and the Blessed Mother. In relation to the Holy Trinity, Mary is a daughter, mother, and spouse.

The fifth symbol is the Rosebush.

Rosebush

For an explanation on the Rose, along with the other flowers associated with the Blessed Virgin, I would encourage you to read the most popular blog post in this series, The Flowers of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

As we close the Month of Mary for this year, I would encourage you to share with your family and friends this post and the many others I have written for the sole purpose to explain to Catholics the importance that Mary plays in Salvation History as the Mother of God.