Parish Rosary Gardens

– John S. Stokes Jr.

Layout

Parish Rosary Gardens are laid out with a Crucifix or Cross, and Our Father and Hail Mary stepping stones, corresponding to the familiar arrangement of five-decade Rosary beads - with flower beds proportioned to the garden site and a focal statue of Our Lady. Smaller gardens may have stepping stones for a just one decade, traversed back and forth five times.

Flower Symbols

While the stepping stones in themselves serve as the "beads" for the praying of the Rosary, and thus are all that are necessary, the meditations on the Mysteries are enriched through reflection on their flower symbols from Medieval popular Mary Garden tradition - of which examples are presented here.

Flower symbols of the Rosary Mysteries are planted in harmonious groups, borders or backgrounds suited to the garden site and beds, and as feasible, arranged according to their symbolism of the Joyful, Sorrowful, Glorious and Luminous Mysteries.

While the symbolism of individual flowers is based on their particular forms, colors and growth; as the garden (or any garden) is approached from a distance, or glanced at in passing by, the Mysteries are brought to mind by the general color symbolism of white for the Joyful, red for the Sorrowful, yellow/gold for the Glorious and purple for the Luminous Mysteries.

It is in their quickening and illumination of our meditations on the Rosary Mysteries that the symbolic Flowers of Our Lady make their special contribution in the Rosary Garden - together with the Our Father and Hail Mary stepping stones, which serve to pace our prayers, for greater recollection.

The use of flower symbols as quickeners of meditation on the Mysteries exemplifies Pope John Paul II's observation in the 2002 Apostolic Letter, 'Rosarium Virginis Mariae' (par. 29), that:

"In the Church's traditional spirituality...devotions appealing to the senses, as well as the method of prayer proposed by Saint Ignatius of Loyola in the Spiritual Exercises, make use of visual and imaginative elements judged to be of great help in concentrating the mind on the particular mystery."

Flower symbols thus serve to focus the mind more vividly and immediately on each Rosary mystery than does the simple announcing of the Mystery in itself; and in our making of "the way of the Rosary", the Our Father and Hail Mary stepping stones of the garden Rosary produce a more paced praying of each prayer, than does its rote repetition fingering the Rosary beads.

It has been observed that in the Medieval Age of Faith, before the introduction of printing, literacy, book learning and catechisms, and in which the Rosary was originated, the imaginations of the faithful were pictoral, rather than verbal - such that religious truths were largely taught and recalled by the sculptured programs of the cathedrals, by religious art, and by the nature symbols of oral tradition.

In the praying of the garden Rosary, the mysteries and the words of each prayer, with the quickening of the flower symbols, are envisaged with this same simplicity, directness and clarity of the pictorial imagination - and this in turn provides the basis for spiritual illumination.

To this end, each Mary Garden contains a focal statue, to which the layout of the garden beds is oriented; and which presents to the imagination an aspect of Our Lady's divinely bestowed prerogatives - such as the Divine Maternity of the Madonna and Child; the intercession of Our Lady of Knock, with her hands guiding our rising prayers to God; the mediation of Our Lady of Grace with her outstretched arms distributing graces; and the Woman Clothed with the Sun of Our Lady of Guadalupe, coming forth from Heaven, "as the morning rising..." to mediate the graces for the redeemed building of God's earthly Kingdom, etc..

Getting to Know the Garden

Those visiting the Garden become familiar with the flower symbols through 'take one" plant leaflets with lists of the plants by their common, botanical and symbolic names, keyed to a bed layout plan, which they can hold in their hand as they first walk through the garden, and which may be posted in a suitable "wayside" shelter at one side of the garden; and also by name markers located with each plant group in the garden.

From regular garden visits, parishioners and school children become generally familiar with the flower symbols, such that reflection on the Mysteries is quickened as the flowers are cared for, or viewed in walking through the garden; and in the praying the Way of the Rosary their symbolism is recalled for reflection through familiarity of imagination, if they are not in bloom or immediately located by the stepping stones.


THE GARDEN WAY OF THE ROSARY

General

It is to be appreciated that the Rosary prayers and meditations lead us to reaffirm and to make recourse to the basic truths of our Catholic faith in distilled simplicity, directness and clarity: God, Trinity, Creation, Grace, Fall, Incarnation, Sacrifice, Forgiveness, Redemption, Reparation, Renewal, Sanctification, Kingdom...

For Mary Gardeners, accustomed to extensive meditation on these truths as quickened by the symbolism of the individual flowers as they tend the garden, the stepping stones "way of the Rosary" provides an overall matrix for reflecting on these meditations.

The garden practice in praying the Rosary has been to follow the familiar basic bead sequence of the prayers, with the inclusion of St. Bernard's "Memorare" following the introductory prayers, for a statement of particular intention; and the "Come Holy Spirit" following the closing "Hail Holy Queen" and "O God, whose only-begotten Son...", for going forth to the world with the promptings of grace.

The following is an exposition of the Rosary prayers and mysteries from the perspective of the Medieval flower symbols. (Texts of prayers are included in indented paragraphs - for Website visitors who may not be familiar with the Rosary.)

(Stepping Stone sequence is indicated in parentheses)

(CROSS)

Sign of the Cross

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the
Holy Spirit. Amen
We are to be ever mindful of our unique Christian belief in one God of three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit - symbolized in the Rosary Garden by the pansy, Trinity Flower; so named from its three colors: white, yellow and purple in the wild, from which its botanical name, Viola tricolor, is also derived; and by trillium, or Trinity Lily.

We cooperate with those of other faiths in love, truth, justice and mercy, etc., but always cognizant that the peaceful redemption of the world, to be culminated in the establishment of God's Peaceable Kingdom, is to be accomplished through the sacrifice of Jesus, the Second Person of God, the Divine Word Incarnate.

Apostles' Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven
and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our
Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and
was born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius
Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended
to Hell. On the third day He rose again. He ascended
into Heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead. I
believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the
Communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the
resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.

Especially emphasized and made recourse to in the Rosary, in the Edenic context of the garden, is the truth that God has created the world to show forth and share with us the divine goodness and action; that to this end he has created us in the divine image and likeness, and has redeemed us, that this sharing may be to the fullest; and that Mary, in her immaculate perfection, has enabled God to enter into an unique fullness of personal union and sharing with her - in her Divine Maternity, Co-Redemption, Universal Advocacy, Mediation, Mercy, and Power over evil, etc. - such that by, through and with her is accomplished the fullness of divine sharing with us all.

(SQUARE STONE)

The Our Father

Our Father, Who are in Heaven; hallowed be Your name;
Your kingdom come; Your will be done on earth as it is in
Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us
our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
Amen.

The uniqueness of our Christian belief in Creation - that it is to be culminated in the building and coming of God's Earthly Kingdom, for transfiguration on the Last Day, with the General Resurrection, into the eternal New Heaven and New Earth - is affirmed in our praying of the Our father

This is basic to our working for peace on earth, as distinct from persons of other religions, who so far believe earth to be only a place of conflict and violence from which they believe individuals are saved only through rising ta a transcendent Paradise, Nirvana, Divine Union or Tao, etc., - with the exception of Judaism which, with Christianity, believes in peace on earth, but through a Messiah yet to come.

From our belief in Christ's Redemption, we believe that in Sacred History the world will be moved from its fallen state towards the earthly Peaceable Kingdom step by step through cumulative acts which when underken in accordance with God's will bring forth good from evil - for which we pray in the Our Father, "Your will be done". We believe further that to this end God enables us to undertake our acts in accordance with his will through the guidance of grace, which we, created in goodness, are enabled increasingly to discern through our spiritual growth in fidelity to the graces of our baptism.

A primary purpose, therefore, of praying the Rosary is its contribution to the heightening of our spiritual discernment in grace of God's will for our own lives - through the spiritual perfection which comes to us through meditating on the Mysteries "that by imitating what they contain we may obtain what they promise" (closing prayer).

(3 ROUND STONES)

3 Hail Mary's for Faith, Hope and Charity

In the three Hail Mary's following the Our Father, we pray for increase of faith, as affirmed in the Creed; of hope, as affirmed in the Our Father; and of Charity - love of God and Neighbor - as shown forth in Mary's Mysteries; and so needed for our times.

We add as introduction, from the Prayer of the Angel of Fatima:

O, my God; I believe in you, I adore you, I hope in you
and I love you. I ask pardon for those who do not believe,
do not adore, do not hope and do not love you.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you; blessed
are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb,
Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now
and at the hour of our death. Amen.

The fullness of God's above-mentioned sharing and union with Mary comes about by virtue of her immaculate purity, her utter humility and her total fidelity to God's word at the Annunciation - which enabled her conception by the Holy Spirit and giving birth to God the Son, the Divine Word, Incarnate; which Divine Parenthood she shared in with God the Father.

It is because of the totality of Mary's union with God in her Divine Maternity that God, in his creational desire and will for ever fuller divine/human sharing, was able to extend this union as well to her sharing as co-Redemptrix in her Divine Son's Redemptive Sacrifice; and, following her Assumption body and soul into heaven, to her universal sharing in his Advocacy and Mediation with the Father.

Thus, each time we pray to Mary, "Full of grace, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women", we affirm her union with God; and in petitioning her to "Pray for us", we affirm our confidence in her Divine Son's desire for her to share with him in his Advocacy with the Father, and in his Mediation of the Father's response.

Further, in the course of her advocacy and mediation Mary augments our prayers by taking them on as her own, and attunes her mediation such that she distributes the grace and providence God wills for us in proportion to our ability to receive them - for his ever fuller personal sharing with us in his divine plan for the building of the Creation-culminating earthly Kingdom.

Glory Be

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy
Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall
be, world without end. Amen.

O My Jesus (Optional, Pope Pius II, from Fatima request)

O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires
of hell, and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those
in most need of Your Mercy. Amen.

Religious Intentions

In addition to the praying of the first three Rosary Hail Mary's for the religious intention of increase in faith, hope and charity, St. Bernard's Memorare is often recited for specific immediate intentions.

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was
it known that any one who fled to your protection, implored
your help, and sought your intercession, was left unaided.
Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto you, O Virgin of
virgins, my Mother; to you I come; before you I stand sinful
and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not
my petitions, but, in your mercy, hear and answer me. Amen.

Mindful of St. Louis de Montfort's teaching that true devotion to Mary is disinterested - devoid of self-interest - we seek to discern intentions which are expressive of God's will and interest for the person or matter prayed for, with confidence that as Mary intercedingly presents our prayers to God as also her own, she will augment them accordingly.

Always, our general intention in praying the Rosary is that by meditating on the Mysteries we may grow spiritually in our ability to contribute in grace to world reparation and Kingdom, according to God's will.

(FIVE MYSTERIES DECADES - 1 SQUARE STONE - 10 ROUND STONES EACH)

Prayers for each mystery

1 Our Father
10 Hail Marys
1 Glory Be
1 O my Jesus (optional, Pope Pius II, from Fatima request)

Weekly Schedules

Traditional

The 5 Joyful Mysteries - Mondays, Thursdays, Sundays of Advent
The 5 Sorrowful Mysteries - Tuesdays, Fridays, Sundays of Lent
The 5 Glorious Mysteries - Wednesdays, Saturdays, other Sundays
Optional, Pope John Paul II

The 5 Joyful Mysteries - Mondays, Saturdays, Sundays of Advent
The 5 Sorrowful Mysteries - Tuesdays, Fridays, Sundays of Lent
The 5 Glorious Mysteries - Wednesdays, other Sundays
The 5 Luminous Mysteries - Thursdays
The 20 Mysteries


The 5 Joyful Mysteries

1. The Annunciation to Mary

In the most general way, purity and beauty which flowers retain from their original creation in the Garden of Eden, remind us of Mary's Immaculate Conception, and her fidelity to it, that she might be the Virgin Mother of the Divine Word Incarnate.

In reflecting on the Joyful Mysteries, "that we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise", we meditate first of all on Mary's purity, humility and fidelity, at the Annunciation - that through our emulation of these virtues epitomized in Mary, God may be enabled more fully share with us, his inspiration for our sharing, like Mary, in his action for Redemption and Kingdom. Our meditations are quickened by considering the white lily as symbol of her immaculate purity; the lowly violet, of her utter humility; and Fuchsia, "Our Lady's Eardrops" adorning her hearing ears, of her total openness and fidelity to God's word.

2. The Visitation of Mary

In meditating on the Mystery of the Visitation, symbolized by Our Lady' Slipper and Mary's shoes, bringing to mind, that "all her steps were beauteous" (Song of Songs) as she traveled to the hill country to visit Elizabeth, we reflect that she did so bearing in her womb the Divine Redeemer, of which Pope Benedict XVI said on the feast of the Visitation, 2005:

"Carrying the recently conceived Jesus in her womb... we
can say that (Mary's) trip was...the first Eucharistic
procession in history....

"To receive Jesus and to take him to others is the true
joy of the Christian! Let us follow and imitate Mary,
profoundly Eucharistic soul, and our whole life will become
a Magnificat."

Now coming on May 31st, following the liturgical revisions the 2nd Vatican Council, the Feast of the Visitation is the culmination of the month of May, dedicated with all its flowers, to Mary, the Mystical Rose - in which we see mirrored Mary's spiritual blossoming, bearing the Christ Child in her womb, in accordance with the Song of Songs,

2:10-13. Arise, make haste, my love, my dove, my beautiful
one, and come. For winter is now past, the rain is over
and gone. The flowers have appeared in our land, the time
of pruning is come: the voice of the turtledove is heard in
our land: The Fig Tree hath put forth her green figs: the
vines in flower yield their sweet smell. Arise, my love,
my beautiful one, and come:
and with Gerard Manley Hopkins' poem, May Magnificat,

"May is Mary's month, and I
Muse at that and wonder why;
Her feasts follow reason,
Dated due to season -

"Candlemas, Lady Day;
But the Lady Month, May
Why fasten that upon her,
With a feasting in her honour?

"Ask of her, that mighty mother:
Her reply puts this other
Question: What is Spring? -
Growth in every thing -

"All things rising, all things sizing
Mary sees, sympathizing
With that world of good,
Nature's motherhood.

"Their magnifying of each its kind
With delight calls to mind
How she did in her stored
Magnify the Lord.

"Well but there was more than this:
Spring's universal bliss
Much, had much to say
To offering Mary May.

"This ecstasy all through mothering earth
Tells Mary her mirth till Christ's birth
To remember and exultation
In God who was her salvation."
We come to see all blooming flowers as mirroring Mary's prophecied giving birth to the Divine Redeemer

Of special significance in the Visitation is Mary's Magnificat, in which she celebrates the fullness of the union with God to which she was raised at the Annunciation for the Divine Maternity - through her immaculate purity, utter humility and total fidelity to God's word - and which unionenabled God subsquently to call her to the blessed prerogatives of Co-Redemptrix and Universal Mediatrix.

3. The Birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ

In the Nativity, we share in the Father's, Mary's, the Angels', Joseph's, the Shepherd's and the Wise Men's rejoicing over the birth of the Redeemer, as symbolized by the Rose, Star of Bethlehem, Christmas Rose and other flowers by their legends: by Yellow Bedstraw bursting into golden blooms symbolizing the Christ Child as True God as he was laid on it by Mary; and by the white specs on the green leaves of Virgin Mary's Milkdrops symbolizing his nursing by Mary as True Man.

We adore the Madonna and Child in our imaginations as we behold the spathe and spadix symbolism of Lady-Lords flowers

And we pray that we may obtain Mary's love of Jesus in our hearts and minds, mindful of the lesson from the Feast of the Presentation of Mary in the Temple, November 21st, that:

"Mary heard God's word and kept it, and so she is blessed.
She kept God's truth in her mind, a nobler thing than
carrying his body in her womb. The truth and the body
were both Christ: he was kept in Mary's mind insofar as he
is truth, he was carried in her womb insofar as he was man;
but what is kept in the mind is of a higher order than what
is carried in the womb."

4. The Presentation of the Child Jesus in the Temple

In meditating on the Mystery of the Presentation of the Child Jesus in the Temple by Mary and Joseph, we recall that it was revealed to Mary, through the prophecy of Simeon, that Jesus was to be a light of revelation to the world - for which the Feast of the Presentation, February 2nd, was celebrated as Candlemas, with a procession of lighted candles - of which the tiny white flowers of early-blooming Snowdrops were seen as symbols, and accordingly known as Candlemas Bells.

As the first blooms of the new growing season in temperate climates, Snowdrops come to signify the beginning of the new year of Mary Garden blooms, to be followed by the Lenten blooms of Crocus (Penitent's Rose), Daffodil (Mary's Star), and Hyacinth (Easter Spikes), etc. and then the sequence of blooms through spring, summer and fall. In this period of early blooms, Mary Gardens are customarily blessed for the growth and blooms of the new season, with the priestly blessing of the Roman Rite - supplementing the original blessing of the garden and it's Marian statue in their dedication ceremony.

In this we recognize and esteem the sacramental blessing through which objects "produce excitation of pious emotions and affections of the heart" (Catholic Encyclopedia). This both gives the Mary Garden a special spiritual quality, as sensed by those entering it, and enhances our quickening by its flower symbols to reflection on the Mysteries of the Rosary.

The Rural Life Prayer Book of the U.S. National Catholic Rural Life Conference observes that today such sacramental blessings are:

"riches of the Church which have been long unknown and
unused like a treasure hidden under our very doorstep".
The importance of these blessings has been reaffirmed for our times in the Second Vatican Council Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (par. 62) which states:

"The liturgy of the sacraments and sacramentals
sanctifies almost every event in [our] lives . . .
There is hardly any proper use of material things which
cannot thus be directed toward the sanctification of
men and the praise of God."
St. Therese of Liseaux, "The little flower of Jesus", saw meditation on flowers as a way for her of receiving grace. What we seek to obtain, further, through Mary's advocacy and mediation, from meditation on the Mystery of the Presentation is, the light of spiritual illumination - whereby in addition to the graces experienced in contemplating flowers, we may see the subtle rays of their heavenly essences irradiating them. Following these rays to heaven in our active imaginations, we gain a vision of heavenly glory and then of the all resplendent earth as the radiance of God's face.

This is a preview of the Glorious Mysteries; but first, mindful of Simeon's further prophecy at the Presentation, of Christ's light as "a sign which shall be contradicted", we are to meditate on the Sorrowful Mysteries, through which Simeon prophesied to Mary that through Christ's sufferings "her own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts thoughts may be revealed."

Because of their early blooms it was also said of snowdrops, in popular folk legend, that as the first flowers to be seen by Adam and Eve after their expulsion from the Garden of Eden into the coldness of winter, they were saw them as symbols of hope - and because of their retention, like all flowers, of their original created purity and splendor of Eden, the hope of the very return to Paradise.

5. The Finding of Our Lord in the Temple

Of the 5th Joyful Mystery, the Finding of the Boy Jesus in the Temple, we have yet to find a suitable single symbol, but have adopted Anemone, judged by botanists to be the Flowers of the field to which Jesus referred in his parables, and thus perhaps in his boyhood preaching in the Temple; and Obedient Plant (from the retaining by its buds and flowers of any position into which they are bent) as symbol of Jesus' returning with Mary and Joseph to Nazareth, where, obedient to them, as True Man, he advanced in wisdom and age and grace with God and men."

In our meditation on this Mystery we can reflect that in the Divine Comedy, Dante observed that those souls who were in Purgatory to be purged of worldly impatience, irritation and anger still on them, were to be purged of these by a required listening over and over to the sweetness of Mary's parental words on finding the boy Jesus in the Temple, "Son, why hast thou done so to us? Behold thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing."

Through meditation on the return of the Holy Family to Nazareth, concluding this Mystery, we may be quickened to see the purity and beauty of the many Medieval flower symbols of Mary's features, apparel and household articles, and of the plants in her garden, as reflections of the purity of her intentions as she went about her daily tasks - reminding us that, in emulation of Mary, we ourselves are likewise to undertake all our own daily tasks for spiritual intentions.

Of this, Pope John Paul states in 'Rosarium Virginis Mariae' (par.18):

"The Rosary mystically transports us to Mary's side as
she is busy watching over the human growth of Christ in
the home of Nazareth. This enables her to train us and
to mold us with the same care, until Christ is "fully
formed" in us."


The 5 Sorrowful Mysteries

In the redemption of the world, Christ takes upon himself as his own all the sins of the world for their banishment, with the sacrificial death of his body, into the nothingness of the outer darkness, in satisfaction to the Father and with the accompanying restoration of sanctifying grace. While this is accomplished by virtue of Christ's divine infinity, we, in keeping with God's desire and will in creating the world for a fullness of divine/human sharing, are enabled to share in this infinite redemptive sacrifice by the continuing and renewing it each day in the celebration of the Mass.

All the aggravations, sorrows, sufferings and other effects of sin in the world - continuing in it after the nullification the sins themselves - are likewise taken upon himself by Christ for reparational dissolution through the death of his body, with accompanying of the generation of actual graces dissolving their immediate causes.

Since the effects of sin and their immediate causes are finite, it is possible, and therefore willed by God in his creational desire for the fullness of divine/human sharing, that we humans share in their dissolution by sacrificially offering all our own experienced aggravations, sorrows and sufferings for and with Christ - who has already taken them upon himself as his own - in his continuing sacrifice in each day's masses. The accomplishment of this sharing is referred to by St. Paul as "making up what is wanting in the sacrifice of Christ" (Col. 1, 24).

While usually not called for in lay spirituality, some with religious vocations may be called upon by Christ in love to share, beyond their own sacrificially offered sufferings, in sufferings he has taken upon himself as his own for other persons - tempted or diminished by the effects of sin, - who are not offering them sacrificially themselves, as described in Sr. Josepha Mendenez' "The Way of Divine Love", and in emulation of Mary's co-Redemptive experiencing and taking upon herself of all the sufferings of Christ, through the sword of sorrow piercing her soul.

The reparationally dissolving graces generated by our sacrificial offerings, through Mary"s and Christ's advocacy and mediation with the Father, are applied to the effects of sin in the world most in need of reparational dissolution for it's redemptive renewal and the building of God's Kingdom. This is the essence of Mary's beseeching at Fatima:

"Recite the Rosary every day...to obtain peace for the
world."

"The sacrifice required of every person is the fulfillment
of his duties in life".

"Tell everybody that God gives graces through the
Immaculate Heart of Mary....Ask them to plead for peace
from the Immaculate Heart of Mary, for the Lord has
confided the peace of the world to Her."
as amplified by the Prayer of the Angel of Fatima:

"Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
I adore you profoundly. I offer you the most precious
body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ, present
in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for
the numerous insults, sacrileges and negligences whereby
he is offended.

"By the infinite merits of his Most Sacred Heart, and
through the Immaculate Heart of Mary I beg of you the
conversion of sinners."
It is through our sufficient sacrificial offering for and with Christ, through the Immaculate and Sorrowful Heart of Mary, of the aggravations, sorrows and sufferings experienced in performing the duties of our daily lives, that the hearts and minds of all - and especially of world leaders, dissidents and insurgents - will be delivered from the evil effects of sin, as we pray for in the Our Father. This deliverance will be by the reparational dissolution of the effects of sin in their hearts, minds and souls through actual reparational graces, that they, in their innate created goodness, may be responsive to the graces of reconciliation and peace beseeched in all the Rosary prayers of the faithful.

(In this we are to keep in mind that God's grace is bestowed on all; not just on the baptized and sanctified, of which the Catholic Encyclopedia states:

"As the object of these graces is, according to their
nature, the spread of the Kingdom of God on earth and
the sanctification of men, their possession in itself
does not exclude personal unholiness. . . .

"Actual grace is that unmerited interior assistance
which God, in virtue of the merits of Christ, confers
upon fallen man in order to strengthen...his infirmity
resulting from sin".)

This is dealt with here at length because it is the specific basis, revealed by God through Mary at Fatima, for our hope of world peace - in these times of nuclear arms, compacted weapons of mass destruction and suicidal bombings. The Sacrifices of just one person one day offered for and with Christ can make the reparational difference for a reconciliation at a summit confrontation.

As Christ takes upon himself redemptively all the sufferings of the world including our own, we at the outset can share in those of his sufferings which he has taken on from us, by ourselves embracing and offering them sacrificially for and with him. While we are to seek health, well being and the development of our potentials for our fullest contribution, guided by grace, for the building of God's Kingdom - to the extent that aggravations, obstacles, sorrows and pain are our lot, we are thus to undertake them sacrificially for and with Christ. As has been said, we share with God in Redemption and Kingdom by doing and by suffering, in grace.

To start with, as we meditate on each of the Sorrowful Mysteries, we do so with self-examination, interior resolution, and periodic recourse to the confession, absolution and penances of the sacrament of Reconciliation, that we may, in love, purge ourselves of blocking distractions, attachments, attitudes and imperfections, that we may more fully offer our diminishments sacrificially for and with Christ, as he takes them upon himself, along with those of all the world, in his sacrifice, renewed in each day's masses.

1. The Agony of Christ in the Garden

First, in discerning and mortifying our attachments of will, we meditate on the Agony in the Garden, in which Christ, envisioning the sufferings of his Passion and Cross to come, suffered a bloody sweat, praying, "Father, let this cup pass me by; yet not my will but yours be done."

As prophesied by Simeon at the Presentation of the Child Jesus in the Temple, Mary was to participate co-redemptively with Christ in his sufferings by way of a sword of sorrow - symbolized by Iris spears, "Mary's Sword" - piercing her soul; but in Irish Gaelic popular devotion the Elegant St.Johnswort flower, with the red dots on its petals, was seen as "Allus Mhuire", or "Mary's Sweat", indicating the envisioning of the faithful that through the enormity of her sword of sorrow, she participted directly in Christ's bloody sweat, symbolized by the common St. Johnswort.

This is indicative of Mary's fullness of compassion for Christ's sacrificial sufferings which we are to emulate.

2. The Scourging at the Pillar

In meditating on Christ's Scourging at the Pillar - visualized on viewing or reflecting on the flat clusters of the red flowers, Chrsts (bloody) Back, and also the many flowers seen as Christ's Lash - we examine all our sufferings of the flesh, as to whether we see them as just our own, or also as they are taken on by Christ sacrificially, in which we are to join.

3. The Crowning With Thorns

In meditating on the mocking of Christ, through his Crowning With Thorns - symbolized by be several flowers commonly known today as Christ's Crown or Crown of Thorns - we examine all our mental sufferings, likewise to see whether we see them as just our own, or also as taken on by Christ sacrificially, in which we join.

4. The Carrying of the Cross

The sufferings of Christ's carrying of the Cross are brought to mind for our reflection by the flower, Christ's (bloody) Knee, symbolizing his falls. Through the flower symbols of Christ's Eye, we experience his poignant appeal to us though his gaze for compassion with him his sufferings, in emulation of Mary's co-redemptive compassion through the sword of sorrow piercing her soul.

We are assisted in this from our beholding of paintings of the relic, Veronica's Veil, retaining the image of Christ's face and the intensity of his eyes, from its reputed use by Veronica ("true image" ) to wipe the sweat from his brow during the carrying of the Cross - as symbolized also by the two "eyes" of the flower, Veronica

5. The Crucifixion and Death of Our Lord on the Cross

In meditating on Christ's sacrificial suffering and death on the Cross we reflect on the enormity of his taking upon himself in love - for their annihilation with the death of his body - both of all the sins of the world; and also of all the effects sins - the first of which he makes satisfaction to the Father through his infinite annihilation of them in his human death, as God, but in the second of which he wishes us, in love, to share with him in his finite annihilation of them, as human.

To the extent we are able, we continue to emulate Mary's co-redemptive sharing in Christ's sufferings, through her sorrow of soul - symbolized by the flower spears of her Sword of Sorrow, by the many flowers seen as Mary's Tears, and as Mary's Hair (by legend torn from her head by her in sorrow at the foot of the Cross).

The Passion Flower and its various parts is seen as a multiple symbol of Jesus' scourging, crowning with thorns, and crucifixion:

The spiraled tendrils - the lash of Christ's scourging

The central flower column - the pillar of the Scourging

The 72 radial filaments - the Crown of Thorns

The top 3 stigma - the 3 Nails

The lower 5 anthers - the 5 wounds

The Style - the Sponge used to moisten Christ's Lips with Vinegar

The leaves (some species) - the head of the Centurion's Spear

The red stains - Christ's Blood Drops

The Round Fruit - The World Christ came to save

The Fragrance - The Spices prepared by the Holy Women

Finally, in meditating on Christ's words, "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit", just prior to his death, we are to emulate in ourselves the mystical loosening of our own souls through the spiritual crucifixion of our bodies - in preparation for the mystical rising of the Glorious Mysteries.


The 5 Glorious Mysteries

After reflecting on the Sorrowful Mysteries of Jesus' sufferings and sacrifices of his Passion and Cross - for the forgiveness of sins and in reparation for the temporal effects of sin in the world - we move on to the Glorious Mysteries, which have taken on new significance with Pope John Paul II's addition of the Luminous Mysteries

Previously, with the Rosary ending with the 5th Glorious Mystery, of The Coronation of Our Lady as Queen of Heaven and Earth, our focus in meditation and prayer were on her heavenly Advocacy and Mediation and her occasional revelatory personal appearances on earth.

Now, with the meditations and prayers of the concluding Luminous Mysteries, focusing on the coming and final transfiguration of God's earthly Kingdom, we look to Our Lady more fully for her Queenship on earth, and thus to the 5th Glorious Mystery more as a heavenly preparation for this - as she "comes forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as a army set forth in battle array."

In meditating on the Glorious Mysteries we are to "obtain what they promise" by way of more fully emulating in ourselves Mary's heavenly grace, light, wisdom and power that, with her, we may work and pray more fully for the coming of God's Kingdom on earth.

In this, while many ascetics and mystics have followed the way of St. Teresa of Avila, St. john of the Cross, St. Francis de Sales and others to God in heaven above; Jesus has taught also that "the Kingdom of Heaven is within you" - which is the ordinary way we follow in praying the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary.

In the course of examining ourselves in praying the Joyful Mysteries that with the help of God's grace, we may more fully emulate Mary's Annunciation virtues; and in praying the Sorrowful Mysteries, we may emulate the sword of sorrow piercing her soul in uniting our sufferings sacrificially with those of Christ's Passion and Cross; we develop an interior sense of our souls and spiritual hearts, minds and bodies through which meditatively to emulate her filling with heavenly grace, light, wisdom and power in the Glorious Mysteries. This, that we may act with her and her spouse, the Holy Spirit, in working and praying for the coming of God's Kingdom, as we meditate on her, and emulate her coming forth, in the Luminous Mysteries.

In this sense the Luminous Mysteries are Pope John Paul's legacy with us whereby we may emulate the mystical fortitude with which he affirmed traditional personal morality, life, truth, justice, peace, love and mercy in everyday life - so urgently needed today.

It is to this end that we are to meditate on the Glorious Mysteries, that we may, as with the other Mysteries, "imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise" - mystical participation in Christ's Resurrection and Ascension; reception of the Pentecostal descent of the Holy Spirit for the conversion of souls to the Church to be "workers in the vineyard" for God's Kingdom; mystically to share in Mary's Assumption body and soul into Heaven, in her crowning as Queen of heaven and earth, and in her coming forth clothed with the sun from the Heaven of the Trinity, for her returns to earth "as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the Sun and terrible as an army set in battle array" (Song of Songs) to inspire, and to mediate graces for, the culminative building of God's Kingdom - in which we will participate through the Luminous Mysteries.

1. The Resurrection of Our Lord

In meditating on the Glorious Mysteries "that we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise", we first of all reflect on Mary's Joy over the Resurrection of her Divine Son - symbolized by the translucent white petals and golden anthers of the Easter Lily, and generally by the emergence from the soil, and blooming, of all spring blooming winter-dormant perennial flowers. Special symbols of the Resurrection are the Holy Land desert flower, Resurrection Plant, so named because of its "instant" blooming from its dried up condition when desert rains come, and "Touch-me-not" balsam, named from the words of the Risen Christ to Mary Magdalene because when lightly touched its seed pods burst open, scattering the seeds.

Mary's joys over the Resurrection, after her Passion and Crucifixion sorrows, are celebrated in the Servite Order by on Holy Saturday crowning of her statue for Easter with flowers, symbolizing the Resurrection - with the blessing:

"O almighty everlasting God we beseech thee to bless
these flowers . . . that there may be in them goodness,
virtue, tranquility, peace, victory, abundance of good
things, the plenitude of blessing, thanksgiving to God
the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, and a most
pleasing commemoration of the glorious Mother of God -
that in whatsoever places they shall have been humbly
received trustingly stored up and reverently kept by thy
faithful, they may put forth an odor of virtue and
sweetness."
Mindful of the statement in the Catholic Encyclopedia that:

"Blessings...are sacramentals and, as such, produce
...excitation of pious emotions and affections of the
heart..."
we "trustingly store up and reverently keep" these flowers as dried flowers in our homes and classrooms, for the quickening of our meditations on the resurrection of Christ, and the spiritual quickening of our souls - as we do blest palms for the quickening of our sorrowful mortifications

Through our meditations on the Resurrection over a period of time, we may obtain, a sense of own spiritual resurrection - of the ascetic, mystical softening of the bondings of our souls to our bodies, when they were initially placed there by God - such that with, St. Francis de Sales, we may begin to have a sense of our souls as such, and of entering into heavenly mystical marriage with Christ, as the Bride of the Spouse in the Song of Songs (Canticles), as set forth extensively by St. Bernard in his Sermons on the Song of Songs - the Bride traditionally being seen as respectively Mary, the Church and the individual soul... saying to Christ:

2:1. I am the Flower of the Field, and the lily of the valleys.

2:5. Stay me up with flowers, compass me about with apples:
because I languish with love.

8:6. Put me as a seal upon thy heart, as a seal upon thy arm,
for love is strong as death,
To which Christ replies:

4:12. My sister, my spouse, is a garden enclosed, a garden
enclosed, a fountain sealed up.

4:13. Thy plants are a paradise of pomegranates with the
fruits of the orchard. cypress with spikenard.

4:14. Spikenard and saffron, sweetcane and cinnamon, with
all the trees of Lebanus, myrrh and aloes with all the
chief perfumes.

4:15. The fountain of gardens: the well of living waters,

2. The Ascension of Our Lord

For our assistance in obtaining what our mediations on the Glorious Mysteries promise, our minds now are illuminated not so much by the symbolic forms and colors of flowers - as in the Joyful and Sorrowful Mysteries - but by the retained purity and luminosity of their original creation in Eden whereby we perceive them illuminatively according to their heavenly essences, such that our spiritually loosened and softened souls are drawn by all flowers - symbolically by those such as Ladder to Heaven and Heavenly Way - to heaven; whether to heaven above, or to the Kingdom of Heaven within us.

In this we are to continue our self-examination for limiting bodily attachments of soul - with continuing periodic confession, absolution and further purifying penances, as distinct from previous purifications of body.

1:3. Draw me: we will run after thee to the odour of thy
ointments.

1:6. Shew me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest,
where thou liest.
Through this God enables a fuller illuminative divine/human sharing with us, according the purpose of Creation, supplementing that of the infusion of grace in our souls as initially placed in our bodies by God at Baptism, and subsequently in the sacraments of Holy Communion, Confirmation and Reconciliation

Through this fuller sharing with God - from grace to grace and glory to glory, as St. Paul has said - our souls, like those of the Apostles praying in the Upper Room following on the Christ's Ascension into Heaven, are more opened to filling with the Holy Spirit, who, through Mary's mediation comes to us for our personal Pentecostal spreading of faith in the Church by our words and deeds.

3. The Descent of the Holy spirit upon the Apostles

A number of flowers were named Pentecost Flower from their bloom at the time of Pentecost, especially in Germany, where they were named named for the German name of Pentecost, "Pinkster" - some of which came to be known in English as Pinks, with special association with Pentecost through the serrated edges of their flower petals seen to represent the tongues of flame of the descending Holy Spirit at Pentecost, from which petals were named the pinking, and pinking shears, of garment making.

Other flower symbols of Pentecost are the Red Columbine and the Holy Spirit Philodendron, whose up-reaching terminal spike or spine is flaming red with the irradiation of the light of the Spirit - representing our spiritual upreaching to receive the Holy Spirit - and which in time unsheathes or unfurls its down-pointing, trailing leaves representing the many tongues of flame of the Holy Spirit, descending as at Pentecost .

The large number of flowers named in various places for Pentecost show the great importance placed on Pentecost in Medieval times, with the liturgical designation of the following period as "days after Pentecost".

In our meditation on the Mystery of Pentecost, we examine ourselves for the sacramental elimination of any spiritual imperfections or defects which may prevent our going forth in fullness of the affirmation of our faith, like the Apostles .

4. The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven

St. Bede, the Venerable, wrote of the while lily as symbol of Mary's Assumption, body and soul, into heaven - the white petals symbolizing her pure body and the golden anthers her glorious soul. We have found only one flower named for the Assumption - Assumption Lily, the white day lily hosta, blooming in north temperate zones at the time of the Feast of the Assumption, August 15th.

In medieval rural cultures, with close dependency on the harvesting of crops, the Feast of the Assumption was a special occasion for the blessing of the first fruits, on which herbs, grains and other plants were brought to Mass by the faithful tied in Assumption Bundles, and placed on the altar in special processions. Then, after blessinq during the Mass ceremony, they were taken home for reservation as blest holy objects for use - much as palm fronds blessed and distributed on Palm Sunday are used today.

Included in these blessings were Flowers of Our Lady, of which one 19th century report states:

"Their gathering is relegated to the school children and
thereby gives occasion to a botanical excursion, which has
great appeal for them. The plant names by which the children
identify them are to an extent quite original and reveal,
so to speak, the the propensity of folk culture - Our Lady's
Bedstraw, Our Lord's Little Fingers."
In the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church, the following blessing is used on the feast of the Assumption today:

"Almighty and everlasting God . . with mind and word we
earnestly implore your unspeakable Goodness to bless these
various herbs and fruits, and add to their natural powers the
grace of your new blessing. May they ward off disease and
adversity from men and beasts who use them in your name."
In Mary Gardens, in respect for the Medieval closeness to plants, the Feast of the Assumption has therefore been selected as a time at which harvested Flowers of Our Lady, generally, are blessed and dried for reservation indoors, for symbolic quickening of reflection after the outdoor bloom season is past - mindful of the statement of the Rural Life Prayer Book, mentioned previously in connection with Holy Saturday flower blessings, that today such sacramental blessings are:

"riches of the Church which have been long unknown and
unused like a treasure hidden under our very doorstep".
Our Lady's Candle,Mystically,
Mary's Assumption is the time of her bodily spiritual empowerment for her mediating returns to earth.

5. The Coronation of Our Lady as Queen of Heaven and Earth

As we meditate on the 5th Glorious Mystery, we envisage Mary in accordance with our prayer in the closing Hail Holy Queen pryer of the Rosary, "and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus" - as she emerges from the Heaven of the Trinity as the Heavenly Queen in gilded clothing, with her Child.

It is reported that St. Hildegard of Bingen dedicated the Calendula to the Virgin Mary and gave it the name Mary's Gold - the original marigold - after a heavenly vision, of which it is said in her Life and Works,

"In 1141, Hildegard had a vision that changed the
course of her life. A vision of god gave her instant
understanding of the meaning of the religious texts,
and commanded her to write down everything she would
observe in her visions.

"'And it came to pass ... when I was 42 years and 7
months old, that the heavens were opened and a blinding
light of exceptional brilliance flowed through my entire
brain. And so it kindled my whole heart and breast like
a flame, not burning but warming... and suddenly I
understood of the meaning of expositions of the
books...'"

The plants presently known worldwide as marigold, or Mary's Gold, are Mexican plants of the genus Tagetes, named after their discovery by Christian missionaries.


The 5 Luminous Mysteries

We are to meditate on the five Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary, the legacy of Pope John Paul II, to obtain what they promise - emulation of the the Pope's spiritual steadfastness and power for the advancement of God's Peaceable Kingdom in today's fallen world.

In this our souls are to come forth from the spiritual rest of heavenly contemplation, to active spiritually empowered participation in the Mary-mediated building of God's earthly Peaceable Kingdom.

1. Christ's Baptism in the River Jordan

Flower Symbol, Columbine - Dove of the descending Holy Spirit.

While in Eden our First Parents were to have undertaken the building of God's Kingdom with the guidance and promptings of the actual graces of the Holy Spirit, we now are attentive to staying in a state of sanctifying grace through the sacraments of Holy Communion and Confession, but are not attuned to turning to the actual graces which sustain our sacrifices of Reparation and our actions for Kingdom.

Through meditation on the Mystery of Christ's baptism, we are reminded that even though he was True God, as True Man he looked to the guidance and promptings of the actual graces of the Holy Spirit for the guidance in his ministry and sacrifice. While we may look to the Holy Spirit for guidance in major matters, such as selecting a vocation, we are now, per the Luminous Mysteries, to attune ourselves regularly to the promptings of the Holy Spirit in our daily sacrifices for Reparation and in our work for God's earthly Kingdom.

In this we turn to the teaching of St. Ignatius of Loyola, in his Spiritual Exercises, for the discernment of spirits, so that we can recognize the guidance and promptings of grace, through which God enables us to share with him in the work of Redemption and Kingdom - in fulfillment of his purpose for Creation.

In essence, St. Ignatius' teaching is that - for those who are spiritually attuned - actions that are in accordance with God's will and promptings are, on reflection, perceived to be accompanied by consolations of grace; while those that are not are accompanied by the sense of the desolation of the absence of grace.

Accordingly, in making a specific decision for an important matter at hand, we are to compose ourselves in spiritual quiet for successive reflections on the alternate choices envisaged; and to discern for which reflection we experience the consolation of grace. If we have no clear indication in reflecting thus on the choices as such, we are to reconsider them in the context of reflection on the purpose Creation; and if still no indication, to consider them again, in relation to God's love.

If in this we are unable to detect the consolations of grace, we are, through self-examination, to detect any blocking distractions, preoccupations, attachments, or other spiritual imperfections, and to purge ourselves of them through the confession, absolution and penances of the Sacrament of Reconciliation...and by praying in the Come Holy Spirit, "grant that we may ever rejoice in your consolation."

2. Christ's Self-revelation at the Marriage of Cana

Flower Symbol, Grapes - recalling Christ's first miracle of the turning of water into wine.

In emulation of the 2nd Luminous Mystery of Mary's intercession and mediation with her Divine Son to meet the need for more wine at the Marriage of Cana, we are now to turn to her intercession and mediation likewise in the "little" immediate, practical situations we encounter, as we sense her constantly at hand while working and praying for the building and coming of God's earthly Kingdom in today's fallen world - as well as in the "big" matters previously referred to her in heaven.

Having attuned ourselves to perceive the presence of God's actual graces, we find we have an accompanying sense of Mary's constant presence, since as Mediatrix of all grace, she is present by her mediating action wherever grace is present.

Thus, moving from our contemplation of Mary as Queen of Heaven, in the Glorious Mysteries, we now to turn to her immediate intercession and mediation "on location", as, Queen of Earth, as she "comes forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun and terrible as an army set in battle array (Song of songs _,_),

Rather than envisioning her as interceding and mediating from her heavenly remoteness, with occasional appearances on earth, we are now to envisage her as actively promoting her earthly Kingdom - in accordance with the couplet associated with
Giant ?M?u?l?l?e?i?n, "Our Lady's Candle", "Heaven's Fire":

The Virgin Mary flies all over the land,
With Heaven's Fire in her hand.
As Pope Benedict observed on the feast of the Assumption, 2005:

"Mary is taken up body and soul into the glory of heaven,
and with God and in God she is Queen of heaven and earth...

"Precisely because she is with God and in God, she is very
close to each one of us....knows our hearts, can hear our
prayers, can help us with her motherly kindness and has
been given to us, as the Lord said, precisely as a "mother"
to whom we can turn at every moment...who is not far from
any one of us."

In this our prayer is to be, "Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love" - love of the Blessed Virgin - "and (we) shall be created and you will renew the face of the earth" - that we may turn to her for assistance in perceiving the guidance of God's grace.

3. Christ's Announcement of the Kingdom of God with the Invitation to Conversion

Flower symbol: The growth of the tall Mustard plant from its tiny seed - Gospel symbol of the Kingdom of Heaven.

God - Father, Son and Holy Spirit - created the world in love to show forth and share the divine goodness and action with us humans, with culmination to be in the building and coming of the earthly Peaceable Kingdom of God of divine/human sharing, with transfiguration on the Last Day, with the General Resurrection, into the Eternal New Heaven and New Earth. Then, with the fall of the world into evil through the sins of our First Parents, God, again in love, redeemed the world through the incarnation, teaching, sacrifice and death of Jesus Christ, the Divine Son.

However, many Christians have reduced this only to acting morally, and staying in the state of grace through the sacraments, so their souls will go to heaven when they die, to be rejoined by their bodies at the General Resurrection.

While this does lead to personal salvation of souls; to the development of the earth through the arts, crafts, sciences and technologies; and to many acts of love, mercy, justice and freedom, it does not lead to the sufficiency of sharing in Christ's sacrifice necessary for sustained world peace, for the kingdomal culmination of world redemption, and for ultimate transfiguration into the eternal Heavenly Kingdom.

The practice of this truncated Christianity has the effect of making it appear to be just one of the competing, warring, world religions: each embracing belief in God, in basic religious values, and in individual transcendence in life after death - into Paradise, Nirvana, Tao, Divine Union, etc. - but lacking belief in earthly redemption and the building of God's earthly Peaceable Kingdom, for eternal transfiguration.

To meet this situation, Pope John Paul II has given us his personal example of the fullness of mystically based Christian spiritual commitment, and the legacy of the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary for its popular emulation by the faithful.

As the Pope has said, "This is our great hope and our invocation: 'Your Kingdom come!' - a Kingdom of peace, justice, and serenity, which will re-establish the original harmony of creation."

Thus, instead of living with only secular recourse to ever-shifting, never resolved, diplomatic, military and economic strategy, tactics, timing and power struggles, we, the faithful, are called to live - through Mary's practical, on location, Advocacy and Mediation - by the grace of reparation of the temporal effects of sin, of the Sorrowful Mysteries, and by the inspired grace promptings of the Spirit of the Luminous Mysteries which will open the way to the truth, justice, love, freedom and material sufficiency of God's Peaceable Kingdom.

While the discursive, verbal description of God's Earthly Kingdom as a Peaceful Kingdom of truth, justice, love, freedom and material sufficiency sets forth an ideal towards which we are motivated to work - both for overall society, and for the immediate relationships of our daily lives, including the relationships of our children - we turn for inspiration to Mary's prophecy in the Magnificat of the coming of God's Kingdom - through her divine Son, and her blessed Advocacy and Mediation:

"My soul magnifies the Lord",
And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior",
Because he has regarded the humility of his handmaid".
For, behold, from henceforth all generations
shall call me blessed
For he that is mighty has done great things to me,
And holy is his name
And his mercy is from generation to generation.
He has shown might in his arm
He has scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart,
He has put down the mighty from their seat,
He has exalted the humble;
He has filled the hungry with good things
And the rich he has sent empty away",
He has received Israel his servant,
Being mindful of his mercy,
And his mercy is from generation to generation,
As he spoke to Abraham and to his seed forever."

...praying that this vision of the Kingdom will inspire conversion to its building in sacrifice and grace,

4. Christ's Transfiguration, When He Revealed His Glory To His Apostles

Flower symbol: Goldenrod of heavenly radiance.

Motivation in working for God's Kingdom is to be enhanced by envisioning it as it will be transfigured on the last Day, as exemplified by Jesus' glorious transfiguration before the Apostles.

As mentioned in regard to the 4th Joyful Mystery, the created luminosity of flowers enables us in our purified active imaginations to gain a vision of heavenly transfiguration - as given by Jesus to the Apostles - such that we may so envisage the ultimate transfiguration of the earthly Kingdom, as motivation for us to work for it in grace.

Thus, in meditating on this 4th Luminous Mystery, we pray that we may so be filled with this vision of the transfigured Kingdom that we may inspire this vision in others, especially the young.

Then, after our initial overall transfigured envisioning of the earthly Kingdom of God, as city glistening in the sun, the architectural close=ups we see in our daily lives - and the whole world - come to have the same luminosity.

In this we beseech Mary for the luminosity for all to envisage, for their further motivation, God's Earthly Kingdom as transfigured at the end of time into the eternal New Heaven and New Earth.

5. The Institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper as the Sacramental Expression of the Paschal Mystery

Flower symbols: Wheat of the Eucharist; Lunaria, seed pod symbols of the Eucharist.

While each morning we make our virtual Morning Offering of our spiritual intentions for the day; during the day offer, with the Sign of the Cross, our actual sacrifices of work and suffering as they occur; and in the Mass continue and re-enact Christ's sacrifice and ours....in the quiet of the Spiritual Communion of Eucharistic Adoration, we affirm our basic faith, hope and love of Jesus, and the Father, in the union of the Holy Spirit - for Creation, Redemption and Kingdom.

Mindful of the world's suffering and violence, we renew our understanding that the evil, tempting, possessing, effects of sin in the world cannot to be overcome for Kingdom by diplomatic, military and economic strategy, tactics and timing of themselves - but only by our fullness of sharing in Christ's reparational sacrifice.

Then, in hope, renewing our recognition of the decisive moments of sacred world history towards Kingdom when a combination of sacrifice-generated grace and providential movements have led to major acts of reconciliation across alienations - as for example in the ending of the cold war between two factions facing one another with the potential of mutually assured atomic destruction - we resolve to renew our prayers and sacrifices for a less stressful further movement of the world towards Kingdom.


(SQUARE STONE - Medal on beads)

Concluding Prayers

These petitions are made at the conclusion of the Rosary prayers and meditations, as we turn to go about our daily lives - for needed merciful comfort and healing; and generally for our spiritual perfection and action for reparation and kingdom, in emulation of Mary in her Mysteries, and for our rising to the heavenly vision and adoration of Mary and her Divine Child.

Hail Holy Queen

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness
and our hope. To you do we cry, poor banished children of
Eve. To you do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping
in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate,
your eyes of mercy towards us. And after this our exile,
show unto us the blessed Fruit of your womb, Jesus. O
clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
O God, Whose only-begotten Son

O God, Whose only-begotten Son, by His life, death and
resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal
life, grant, we beseech You, that meditating upon these
Mysteries of the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
we may imitate what they contain, and obtain what they
promise, through the same Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Closing Sign of the Cross

Suggested Prayer After the Rosary

Mindful of Mary's closeness to us of the Luminous Mysteries, we are moved at the conclusion of the Rosary to evoke anew her divinely positioned Advocacy and Mediation in our daily lives and in world events - through a special prayer such as that of the Legion of Mary:

"Confer, 0 Lord, on us,
who serve beneath the standard of Mary,
that fullness of faith in you and trust in her,
to which it is given to overcome the world;

"Grant us a lively faith, animated by charity,
which will enable us to perform all our actions
from the motive of pure love of You, and ever to
see You and serve You in our neighbor;
A faith, firm and immovable as a rock, through which
we shall rest tranquil and steadfast amid the crosses,
toils and disappointments of life;
A courageous faith which will inspire us to undertake
and carry out without hesitation great things for
your glory and for the salvation of souls;
A faith which will be our Legion's Pillar of Fire
- to lead us forth united
- to kindle everywhere the fires of divine love
- to enlighten those who are in darkness
and in the shadow of death
- to inflame those who are lukewarm
- to bring back life to those who are dead in sin;
and which will guide our own feet in the way of peace

Amen."


Flowers mentioned in the above text, in the order of mention

General

White
Red
Yellow/Gold
Purple
Nazareth

Specific (62) ©

Pansy – Trinity Flower – Viola tricolor – MG
white lily – Annunciation Lily – Lilium candidum – MG
violet – Mary's Humility – Viola odorata – MG
Fuchsia – Our Lady's Eardrops – Fuchsia magellanica – WU
Ladyslipper – Our Lady's Slippers – Cypripedium calceolus – MG
Columbine Spurs – Mary's shoes – Aquilegia vulgaris – MG
Fig Tree – Fig Tree – Ficus carica – FW
Rose – Rose – Rosa – MG
Star of Bethlehem – Star of Bethlehem – Ornithogalum umbellatum – MG
Christmas Rose – Christmas Rose – Helleborus niger – MG
Yellow Bedstraw – Our Lady's Bedstraw – Galium verum – WP
Lungwort – Virgin Mary's Milkdrops – Lamium maculatum – FF
Cuckoo Pint – Lady-Lords – Arum maculatum – IP
Snowdrops – Candlemas Bells – Galanthus nivallis – FW
Crocus – Penitent's Rose – Crocus vernus – MG
Daffodil – Mary's Star – Narcissus psuedonarc – WU
Hyacinth – Easter Spikes – Hyacinthus orientalis – FS
Anemone – Flowers of the Field – Anemone nemerosa – MG
Obedient Plant – Obedient Plant – Psychostegia virginiana – MG
Iris – Mary's Sword (of Sorrow) – Iris germanica – MG
Elegant St.Johnswt – Mary's (Bloody) Sweat – Hypericum pulchrum – MG
St. Johnswort Christ's (Bloody) Sweat Hypericum perforatum MG
Yarrow – Christ's (Bloody) Back – Achillea millefolium – MG
Knotweed – Christ's Lash – Polygonum persicaria – MG
Crown of Thorns – Crown of Thorns – Euphorbia splendens – MG
Tigridia – Christ's (Bloody) Knee – Tigridia pavonia – MG
Plains Coreopsis – Christ's Eye – Coreopsis bicolor – FS
Veronica – Christ's Eyes – Veronica filiformis – FF
Sundew – Mary's Tears Drosera – rotundifolia – MG
Maidenhair Fern – Mary's Hair – Adiantum capillis veneris – MG
Passion Flower – Passion Flower – Passiflora incarnata – MG
Easter Lily – Resurrection Lily – Lilium longiflora – WF
Resurrection Plant – Resurrection Plant – Anastatica hierochuntica – MG
Palm – Palm Phoenix – dactylifera – PA
Touch-me-not – Touch-me-not – Impatiens noli tangere – FW
Anemone – Flower of the Field – Anemone coronaria – MG
Lily of the Valley – Lily of the Valley – Convallaria majellis – FI
Solomon's Seal – Our Lady's Seal – Polygonatum officinalis – MG
Pomegranate – Pomegranate – Punica granatum – MC
Cypress – Cypress – Cupressus sempervirens – NC
Spikenard – Spikenard – Nardostachys jatamansi – AV
Saffron Crocus – Saffron – Crocus sativus – US
Cane – Cane – Arundo donax – CO
Cedar – Cedar of Lebanon – Cedrus libani – FL
Myrrh – Myrrh – Commiphora gileadensis – HP
Aloes – Aloe – Aloe vera – HP
Gladiola – Ladder-to-Heaven – Gladiolus – IP
Chicory – Heavenly Way – Cichorlum intybus – MG
Clove Pink – Mary's Pink – Dianthus plumarius – MG
Red Columbine – Pentecotal Holy Spirit – Aquilegia canadensis – MG
Philodendron – Holy Spirit Philodendron – Philodendron wilsonii – MG
White Day Lily – Assumption Lily – Hosta plantaginia – MG
Fumitory – Our Lords Little Fingers – Fumaria officinalis – BO
Giant ?M?u?l?l?e?i?n – Our Lady's Candle – Verbascum thapsus – FW
Pot Marigold – Mary's Gold – Calendula officinalis – HP
Marigold – Mary's Gold – Tagetus (genus) – FS
White Columbinee – Dove of the Holy Spirit – Aquilegia (white) – MG
Grapes – (Cana Miracle of Wine) – Vitis vinifera – MG
Mustard – Kingdom of Heaven – Brassica nigra – MH
Goldenrod – Heavenly Radiance – Solidago virgaure – MG
Wheat – Bread – Triticum aestivum – IP
Honesty – (Eucharistic Symbol) – Lunaria annua – MG

© Copyright Credits

AY - Ayurvedic Products
http://www.sbepl.com/
BO - Botanical Online
http://www.floridata.com/
CO - Nature Conservancy
http://tncweeds.ucdavis.edu/
FF - Flagaus Faust
http://www.flogaus-faust.de/flores.htm
FI - Flower Image Library
http://www.thefloralnet.com/fil/
FL - Floridata
http://www.floridata.com/
FS - FlowerScape
http://www.fscape.com
FW - Freiburg Wild Flowers
http://nafoku.de/flora/flora.htm
HP - Henrietta's Plant Photos
http://www.ibiblio.org/herbmed/pictures/pics.php
IP - Imagines Plantarum
http://www.imagines-plantarum.de/
NC - North Carolina Consumer Horticulture
http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/
PA - PACOA
http://www.pacsoa.org.au/
US - USDA PLANTS National Database
http://plants.usda.gov/
WF - Wildseed Farms
http://www.wildseedfarms.com/
WU - Wild Flowers of the UK
http://www.floralimages.co.uk/general.htm


The John Stokes and Mary's Garden collection was transferred to the Marian Library in May 2013. In addition to his archives, manuscripts, artwork, and personal library, John S. Stokes also donated his extensive website. It was transferred to the Marian Library in early 2010. This particular entry is archived content original to Stokes' Mary's Gardens website. It is possible that some text, hyperlinks, etc. are outdated.

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