April 28, 2024

Dear Parish Family:

As the saying goes, April showers bring May flowers. Flowers are used throughout the year to decorate our church and beautify our worship space. But did you know some of these beautiful flowers hold symbolic meanings of our faith, life, death, resurrection and hope? Flowers also remind us of the spiritual life and the virtues we should acquire within our hearts.

ANEMONE: The anemone is depicted in scenes of the Crucifixion, or in conjunction with the Virgin Mary to show her sorrow for the Passion of Christ. The red spots on the petals symbolize the blood of Christ, for it is said that anemones sprang up on Calvary the evening of the Crucifixion.

DAISY: Toward the end of the fifteenth century the daisy came to be used in paintings of the ‘Adoration’ as a symbol of innocence of the Christ Child because of the sweet simplicity of the daisy.

HYACINTH: The hyacinth is regarded as a symbol Christian prudence, peace of mind, and the desire for Heaven. This was derived from the myth of Hyacinthus, upon whose death the flower sprung forth.

IRIS: The symbolism of the iris stems from the fact that name ‘iris’ means ‘sword lily’, which was taken as an allusion the sorrow of the Virgin at the Passion of Christ.

LILY: The lily is a symbol of purity, and has become the flower of the Blessed Mother. Originally, in Christian symbolism, the lily was used as the attribute of the Virgin Saints.

PALM: The palm is a symbol of Martyrs who are often depicted with the palm either in place of or in addition to the instruments of their Martyrdom. Christ is often shown bearing the palm branch as a symbol of His triumph over sin and death.

PANSY: The pansy is a symbol of remembrance and meditation and is most often found on tombstones.

ROSE: The red rose is a symbol of Martyrdom, while the white rose is a symbol of purity since the earliest years of The Church. St. Ambrose relates how the rose came to have thorns. Before it became one of the flowers of the earth, the rose grew in Paradise without thorns. Only after the fall of man did the rose take on its thorns to remind man of the sins he had committed and his fall from grace; whereas its fragrance and beauty continued to remind him of the splendor of Paradise.

VIOLET: The violet is a symbol of humility. St. Bernard describes the Virgin Mary as the ‘violet of humility.’ It is also used to denote the humility of the Son of God in assuming human form. White violets are an attribute of St. Fina, whose resting place, after her death, was found covered by these flowers.

With our May Crowning and cookout next weekend and our red geranium donations for Pentecost, we will be surrounded by all the beauty springtime has to offer. Next time you see one of these flowers, say a small prayer reflecting on their significance and thank God for the beauty of His creation.

Love and prayers,

Father Neil Sullivan