'"Mystical Rose" - Of Mary it is said in the sacred Canticles, that she was the enclosed Garden of God, My sister, my spouse, is a garden enclosed (4:12). St. Bernard writes, "that our Lord planted all the flowers which adorn the Church in this garden; and amongst others the violet of humility, the lily of purity, and the rose of charity." "A rose is red, and of a fiery color," says Blessed Raymond Jordano, "which denotes love of God and of our neighbor;" therefore, on account of the ardent love with which the heart of Mary was always inflamed towards God and us, she is called a rose. And where can we find an advocate who is more earnest in the affair of our salvation, or who loves us more than Mary? "We acknowledge," says St. Augustine of her, "that one alone is solicitous for us in heaven."
'O my dear Mother, could I but love thee as thou lovest me! I will not, however, cease to do all that I can to honor and love thee. My most sweet Lady, do thou obtain for me grace to be faithful to thee.'
"I was exalted like a palm tree in Engedi, like the rose bushes of Jericho"
-Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) 24:14
'History shows that the rose is the favorite flower of Our Lady herself. In her apparition at Guadaloupe, she made use of roses as a sign of her presence and even arranged them with her own beautiful hands in the tilma of Juan Diego. At La Sallette she wore a profusion of roses in three garlands and had tiny roses around the rim of her slippers. She brought beautiful roses with her at Lourdes, Pontmain, Pellevoisin, Beauraing and Banneaux. To Sister Josefa Menendez she showed her immaculate heart encircled with little white roses.
'Mary's wedding garment, according to approved revelation, was "richly embroidered with blue, white, violet, and gold roses." At the Incarnation, while the Angel vanished down the path that led up to heaven, showers of half-blown roses fell on Mary. In the city of Damascus, very familiar to Mary, hundreds of men and women earn their living by working with roses, from which they distill rosewater and extract attar and syrup of roses. These people carry the scent of roses with them wherever they go. This is a lesson for us; let us become so saturated with the virtues of Mary that we carry their fragrance and attract other souls to our Divine Lord through His Mother, the Mystical Rose.
'Among the many feasts of Our Lady we find mentioned in an old Latin chronicle: "January 30. Our Lady of the Rose, at Lucca in Italy. Three roses were found in January in the arms of the Lady statue there."
'Cardinal Newman says "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. 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."
'In the stately college of King's Chapel, in Cambridge, England, one of the most renowned universities, built by Henry VIII in memory of his father, there can be discerned, hidden in one of the Tudor rose-bosses on the walls, a small head of Our Lady which somehow escaped observation at the despoliation of images at the Protestant Reformation. Brother John, a clever carver, was hired to carve all of the roses; knowing of the king's quarrel with the pope, he secretly carved a tiny head of Mary, half-hidden within the rose petals in the upper tier of decorations, saying "There you remain, Our Lady of the Rose, even if wicked men try to drive you and your Son from this Church. His words came true, when the place was stripped of every trace of the Faith, the diminutive head of the Mother of God still remained.
'But a rose has thorns, as so had the Mystical Rose - the sharpest for herself alone; so she could have compassion on our infirmities. Never did the breath of evil spoil the splendor of this Mystical Rose; never did God's lovely flower cease to give forth the sweet perfume of love and praise.
'"Mystical Rose, thou has been hailed to shed thy fragrance sweet, to flood our desert with thy perfume rare. We beg thee, daily kneeling at thy feet, let fall thy petals for our repose,shower upon us thy aroma, O thou Mystical Rose."'2
"Eve was a thorn, wounding, bringing death to all; in Mary we see a rose, soothing everybody's hurts, giving the destiny of salvation back to all. Mary was a rose, white for maidenhood, red for love; white in body, red in soul; white in her seeking after virtue, red in treading down vice; white in cleansing her affections, red in mortifying her flesh; white in her love of God, red in compassion for her neighbor"
Prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe
Our Lady of Guadalupe,
intercede for the holy Church,
protect the Holy Father,
help all who invoke you in their needs.
Since you are the ever Virgin Mary
and Mother of the true God,
Obtain for us from Jesus, your most holy Son
the grace of a firm faith,
sweet hope amid the bitterness of life,
a burning charity
and the precious gift of final perseverance.
Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas, pray for us.
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