The Rose of the Catholic Church
Mary Ever Virgin
In modern times, It is known for its ornamental beauty. Its array of deep fluorescent colors can add a touch of humble elegance to any room.
Since the Roman era it has served as food, medicine, and fragrance.
According to legend, Emperor Nero showered his guests with them.
Roman historian, Pliny the Elder, recorded thirty-two different medicinal uses which were derived from it.
In the middle ages, the wealthy habitually used its petals and the oil which exuded from them to bathe in.
It is a proven source of nourishment. In fact, it is very high in vitamin C and it is often listed as the main source of the mineral in commercially available supplements.
It is even mentioned in 14th century French cookbooks.
Lastly, as the gesture of an appreciative son, the rose, can bring tears to the eyes of a loving mother.
Yet, the Catholic Church, has a rose in its possession whose humble beauty transcends that of the treasured flower.
For while the beauty of the rose is blemished by its thorns, this most purest of roses is thorn-less. In other words, she is without blemish. Oil exuded by mere images of this apprised flower has served, not only as a source of bodily rejuvenation, but as a fountain of physical healing.
Heavenly creatures have humbled themselves before her, proclaiming: "Hail full of grace." This is a greeting reserved for royalty alone. Those who consecrate themselves to her immaculate heart will not experience heavenly loss. For she will collect them like petals gone astray.
This impeccable flower has been duly venerated by Popes, Protestant ministers, Dalai lamas, and Jewish as well as Muslim clerics. Any man or woman accorded the designation - saint, has not garnered it without the alluring of her gentle incense.
Yet, the Catholic Church has not encased this rarest of roses in a glass case. She has not deprived variant religious senses of her fragrance, her spiritual-medicinal value, or her supernatural nourishment.
Rather, the Church invites us all to take this delicate flower unto ourselves. She invites us all to partake of her healing oil, her aromatic extract. For it was her appreciative son who said:
"Behold your mother."
This rose - the blessed Virgin Mary, belongs to us all. May we never fail in cherishing her.
Holy Mary, mother of God pray for us.
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