A rose made of Mexican silver to honor Our Lady of Guadalupe as patroness of the Americas and of the pro-life movement is currently on its way from Canada through the United States to arrive on Mary’s Dec. 12 feast day in Monterrey, Mexico. The Silver Rose pilgrimage, sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, will come through the Denver Archdiocese Aug. 1-18.
Parishes are invited to host the Silver Rose with a one-hour liturgy to increase devotion to Mary, respect for human life and the spiritual renewal of each nation. Local Knights councils will assist with organizing the liturgies. Everyone is invited to attend them.
“The Knight’s Silver Rose program honors Our Lady of Guadalupe and affirms dedication to the sanctity of human life,” said Stephen Sweeney, a Knight organizer of the event. “The prayer services include Liturgy of the Word, a rosary and consecration to Mary [of pro-life efforts].”
Some parishes also choose to celebrate a Mass, organizers said.
Our Lady of Guadalupe is an icon of the pro-life movement as her appearances to the peasant St. Juan Diego nearly 500 years ago in what is modern-day Mexico City ushered in the largest mass conversion of a people in the history of the Church from a religion that involved human sacrifice.
Dressed as an Aztec princess, Mary appeared to Juan Diego on Tepeyac Hill in December 1531 and asked him to tell the bishop of her desire for a church to be built where people could take their prayer requests for her intercession. The bishop, however, asked Juan for a sign to prove the request came from Mary. At Mary’s direction, Juan found a sign — roses not native to the land blooming from the frozen ground on Tepeyac Hill. After filling his cloak with them, Juan hurried to the bishop. Upon opening his cloak, the roses fell out and Juan and the bishop saw a more wondrous sign — an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe miraculously imprinted on the cloak. Convinced, the bishop built the church. The cloak bearing the image remains on view at the Guadalupe Shrine in Mexico City where it draws millions of pilgrims annually.
Every year, runners from villages across Mexico light torches at the Guadalupe Shrine in Mexico City and relay them to their home churches to arrive on Dec. 12. For the Silver Rose pilgrimage, instead of carrying a torch, Knights steward a silver rose to recall the miracle of Guadalupe and Mary’s promise of aid. The final destination of the silver rose is the Guadalupe Basilica in Monterrey, Mexico, where the Silver Rose program was initiated in 1960 by the Columbian Squires, youth group of the Knights of Columbus.
Since its inception, which started with a single live rose, the program has grown to relay eight silver roses, which take different routes from their March departure, half from cities in Canada, to their final destination.
“The routes cover several provinces in Canada and most U.S. states,” said JR White, a Knight organizer of the event.
In addition to promoting Marian devotion and the dignity of all human life, organizers said the pilgrimage embodies international brotherhood and builds unity among the Knights.
The Knights urge parishes interested in participating to contact them as soon as possible.
Silver Rose Pilgrimage Host Locations
August 3: St. Louis Catholic Parish (Englewood, CO)
August 4: Mother Cabrini Shrine (Golden, CO)
August 5: St. Jude Catholic Parish (Lakewood, CO)
August 6: Risen Christ Catholic Parish (Denver, CO)
August 8: Our Lady of the Pines Catholic Church (Conifer, CO)
August 9: St. Francis of Assasi Catholic Church (Castle Rock, CO) 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
August 9: Immaculate Heart of Mary (Thornton, CO) Starting time: 6 p.m.
August 11: Holy Ghost Catholic Church (Denver, CO)
August 12: Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception (Denver)
August 13: Christ the King Catholic Church (Evergreen, CO)
August 15: Queen of Peace Catholic Parish (Aurora, CO)
August 16: St. Mary Catholic Parish (Littleton, CO)
August 17: Holy Cross Catholic Church (Thornton, CO)