(1) MARY, you are called the Mystical Rose, for in a spiritual sense I see in you everything that is found in roses: sharp thorns, green leaves, and sweet fragrant flowers.
The thorns of a rose are the trials and sorrows of life. The path of suffering was the path your footsteps trod. I think of the pain you felt because of the danger to your divine Child through the cruelty of Herod, the arduous flight into Egypt, and your long stay in that country. What bitterness you felt when you lost your Child and sought Him three days. You yourself exclaimed, "Son, why hast thou done so to us? Behold, thy father and I have been seeking thee sorrowing" (Luke 2,48). You shared all the sufferings which the divine Savior had to suffer during His public life. No mother ever suffered as much as you did. Standing beneath the cross, You felt as if you were plunged in a sea of sorrow. Aged Simeon's words were fulfilled: "Thy own soul a sword shall Pierce" (Luke 2,35).
Mystical Rose, you and the saints have trod the path of thorns to reach heaven; I cannot avoid this rugged path. Suffering is a sign that God loves me and wishes me to be saved. Let me never forget that suffering, if borne with patience and love, will win great glory for me in heaven.
(2) MARY, the green leaves of a rose are a symbol of the hope which we place in you. You are our hope. We place our hope in God as the Fountain of all good, as the Author and Giver of all graces; but we place our confidence in you only in so far as you can and will obtain from God all blessings and graces by your intercession. Jesus will not refuse your petitions because you are His Mother. He owes His very life to you. He loves you most tenderly on account of your sanctity. No creature on earth can obtain for us so many graces as you, our intercessor, whom God has honored with the privilege of being His Mother. Since you are also our Mother, you know no greater delight than to make use of your power with God to procure for us the help of heaven in all our needs.
Mystical Rose, be my hope in life. Turning to you with confidence, I firmly hope that you will help me in every danger and obtain for me the grace to overcome all the enemies of my salvation so that I may remain steadfast in God's grace to the very end. Be my hope in death, when the devil will exert his utmost power to ruin me. Protect and strengthen me that I may be victorious in that last struggle and die a happy death.
(3) MARY, the red rose is a symbol of your love; the white rose, a symbol of your virginal purity. God, who is love, appeared on earth to enkindle in all mankind the fire of His holy love; but He inflamed no heart with His love so intensely as your own. Being entirely free from all desires for earthly things, you were most capable of receiving His holy love. You alone without any imperfection fulfilled the great commandment of charity.
As a white rose you appear in matchless beauty of virginal purity. You are the Queen of virgins. Virginal purity was of greater value in your eyes than even the dignity of being the Mother of God. Therefore, you love virginal souls most tenderly and graciously listen to their prayers.
Mystical Rose, help me to love God with a love that is ready to sacrifice everything, even life, rather than offend Him and lose His grace. Help me to love chastity and to take heed lest I do or permit anything contrary to this holy virtue. Through prayer and frequent Holy Communion aid me in preserving the virtue of purity until death.
May the right hand of Your Immaculate Mother raise up those, O Lord, whom You have nourished richly with food from heaven, that through her help we may come to our everlasting home. Who live and reign forever. Amen. (Feast of the Apparition of the Blessed Virgin, Feb. 11)
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