The rose is known as the Queen of Flowers. It has a perfume that will raise the mind to the “highest state of spiritual consciousness”. It is no wonder that over the centuries, this flower has become a symbol for Our Blessed Mother, the Queen of Heaven and earth. This symbolism came to fullness with the devotion to Our Lady of the Rosary.
The rose has also been used as a sign by Our Lady to her children. Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to Juan Diego December 9, 1531 and asked that a church be built. The Archbishop of Mexico City asked for a miraculous sign from the Virgin. Diego was instructed by the Virgin to gather flowers from the top of Tepeyac Hill. Although it was December and the hill was barren, Diego found Castilian roses, which are not native to the area, and arranged them in his tilman cloak. Later when Diego opened the cloak in front of the Archbishop, instead of flowers, there was a miraculous image of the Virgin Mary. This image is still on Diego’s cloak which is enshrined in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
On July 13, 1947, Our Lady Rosa Mystical (Mystical Rose) appeared to Pierina Gilli in Montichiari, in Nothern Italy. She asked that everyone pray the rosary and do penance. She appeared with a white rose which symbolized prayer; a red rose, symbolizing sacrifice; and a yellow rose for the spirit of penance and conversion. Our Lady of Mystical Rose asked that every December 8th at noon, we celebrate an Hour of Grace for the Whole World.
I have a rose story of my own. A few years ago, my father was suffering with a disease affecting his balance. My mother and I prayed a novena (nine day prayer) that he be healed or come to terms with his disability. It is often the case that novenas are answered with a rose. After the nine days, which was in late November, my mother was very excited to find a single rose had bloomed in her yard. We took that to mean that our prayers would be answered. I was not looking for my own rose, thinking that one rose gave both of us an answer. Later that same day, my husband and I went buy a Christmas tree. I picked one, but then thought it was a little too crooked. I picked out another one. My husband held the tree up for my inspection. I looked it over and my eye caught something inside the tree. I reached into the branches, and lo and behold, I pulled out a rose bud! Well, that was definitely our Christmas tree! It is a moment I will never forget!
At our family rosary yesterday, we were very blessed to have a friend of the family share a special rose petal with us. On this tiny petal that has traveled from home to home for several years, you can clearly see Our Lord Jesus and the Blessed Sacrament.
And so remember to honor your Blessed Mother with roses on her special feast days. She has done so much for us, her children. She deserves our attention and honor. Her messages should not be ignored. She is fervently working for our salvation. She is our gift from Our Lord Jesus Christ. His Crown of Thorns gave way to our Mystical Rose.