Friday, May 1, 2015


Rosa Mystica- Richard Soler
For the month of May I thought we would focus on some of the names given to the Blessed Virgin, who is specially honored this month.

Many of the titles given to Mary are dogmatic in nature. Other titles are poetic or allegorical and have lesser or no canonical status, but which form part of popular piety, with varying degrees of acceptance by the Church. Many titles refer to depictions of the Blessed Mother in the history of art.

Mary is known by many different titles: Blessed Mother, Virgin, Madonna, Our Lady and epithets such as Star of the Sea, Queen of Heaven, Cause of Our Joy, and invocations, Mother of Mercy, and other names such as Our Lady of Loreto and Our Lady of Guadalupe. 

 Everyone has a favorite devotion and every country has a title for Our Heavenly Mother. There are several stories on the significance of the large number of titles given to Mary. Some titles grew due to geographic and cultural reasons, e.g. through the veneration of specific icons as Our Lady of CzÄ™stochowa. Others were related to Marian apparitions (Fatima, Lourdes).

Mary's help is sought for a large spectrum of human needs in varied situations. This led to the formulation of many of her titles (good counsel, help of the sick, etc.). Moreover, meditations and devotions on the different aspects of the Virgin Mary's role within the life of Jesus led to additional titles such as Our Lady of Sorrows. Still further titles have been derived from dogmas and doctrines, e.g. the Mother of God, the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption.  I would like to focus on some of the perhaps lesser known names in our modern world.
 Mystical Rose- Michele Livingston

Since May is the month we most associate with spring and flowers we will begin with the
Mystical Rose. "Saint Brigid says: "The Virgin may suitably be called a blooming rose. Just as the gentle rose is placed among thorns, So this gentle Virgin was surrounded by sorrow."   

During the Middle Ages, Mary’s name was associated with flowers in order to celebrate the awakening of new life, especially on May 1 and during the whole month of May. The expression “bringing in the May” is well known. It meant carrying flowering branches in procession on the first day of May.  Our Lady was honored as the mother of all growing and living things.

One of the most beautiful and significant symbols of the Western Mysteries is the Rose. The symbolism of the Rose is complex given the beauty of its form, the number and arrangement of the petals with their velvety texture, the intoxicating perfume and, deep inside, the hidden golden heart enfolded within the petals.

Mary was given many rose-names, including Rose of Sharon, the Rose-garland, the Wreath of Roses, and Queen of the Most Holy Rose-garden. The litany of Loreto called her ‘Rosa Mystica,’ the Mystic Rose.

 She was often addressed as the ‘Rose without a Thorn’ because she was as pure as the original rose that grew in the Garden of Eden. According to the Christian legend, the thorns came only when it was planted on earth after Adam and Eve were expelled from the garden. Mary was regarded as a ‘second Eve’ whose purity restored her to the paradise from which Eve had been driven. She was considered the perfect example of our union with God, so the Rose became a symbol of the union between Christ and Mary.

J. Tejibo- Manila- Woven Fibers


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