ANTHEM — As a way to honor Our Lady of Guadalupe and promote the pro-life cause, the Knights of Columbus Silver Rose, which passes from Canada through the U.S. and into Mexico, came through the Diocese of Phoenix Oct. 5-9.
St. Rose Philippine Duchesne Parish in Anthem, Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish and Blessed Sacrament Parish in Scottsdale served as three of the more than 100 sites throughout the United States where the Silver Rose, which was begun in 1960 by the Knights of Columbus’ Columbian Squires youth organization, will have been displayed as it makes its way to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in time for her Dec. 12 feast day.
“The Silver Rose was actually a dedication to St. Juan Diego and his meeting with Our Lady and the Miracle of the Roses, when he went back to the bishop and was told to tell him to build a church on the site,” said Robert Julian, the Knights’ state rose chairman. The governor was skeptical and told him to bring a sign, Julian said. The Blessed Mother told him to go to the top of the mountain and pick roses that were out of season. “He put the roses in his tunic and dropped it by the governor and Our Lady’s image was emblazoned on his cloak and is still visible today.”
Julian explained that in 2001 Supreme Knight Carl Anderson expanded the program by beginning the “Running of the Rose” from the 119th Annual Meeting of the Supreme Council in Toronto.
“He said that it was the perfect program for the Knights of Columbus to be involved with because we not only honor Our Lady but we also reaffirm our dedication to the sanctity of human life,” said Julian. “We call it ‘One Life, One Rose,’ and it’s now a pro-life emblem as well because of the culture of very radically available abortions. We hope that when people see this, they will think and pray for the end of abortion.”
Led by an honor guard composed of fourth-degree Knights, St. Rose’s Council 13719 chaplain Dcn. John D’Amico carried the Silver Rose into the parish’s Spirituality Center, where it was displayed Oct. 5-6 where parishioners prayed a Rosary both days, before it was brought to morning Mass. The Silver Rose then traveled to Immaculate Heart of Mary for an evening Mass Oct. 7 and then to Blessed Sacrament, where it was present in the Adoration Chapel and for all weekend Masses Oct. 8-9.
“The response of our people to honor our Blessed Mother through communal prayer of the Rosary has been wonderful,” said Dcn. D’amico. “Add to that our promoting the critical need to defend human life in all stages makes this one of the most significant events in the short history of our parish.”
For St. Rose parishioners, Dan and Betty Gregoria, the opportunity to pray in front the Silver Rose was a wonderful experience.
“It is something everyone should have an opportunity to do,” said Betty. “It’s a beautiful way to honor our Blessed Mother.”
The Silver Rose passing through Arizona demonstrates the connection of the many Catholic churches in the state to the greater Catholic community throughout the world, explained Richard Litton, deputy grand knight of Blessed Sacrament Council 10050.
“We can share that we are important enough to take something historic and meaningful for our faith, display it and give it the reverence it deserves,” said Litton. “Parishioners were quite amazed with the story, its meaning and its legacy. “We feel very blessed.”