Silver Rose Presented to the Pope
A Knights of Columbus Silver Rose was presented to Pope Francis during a Mass in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe
At the conclusion of a special Mass celebrated by Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Basilica to mark the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Msgr. Eduardo Chávez, a Canon of the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe and brother Knight, presented the Holy Father with a silver rose. The silver rose was hand-carried from Canada, through the United States to Mexico City by Knights of Columbus as a symbol of unity in the continent of America. For more than 50 years, the Order has sponsored the Our Lady of Guadalupe Silver Rose Program to reaffirm the Order's commitment to the sanctity of life and honor the Blessed Virgin under her title of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas.
Supreme Knight Carl Anderson, with whom Pope Francis met earlier in the day in a private audience, was also at the Mass.
The Silver Rose program began in 1960 as an initiative of the Columbian Squires, the youth program of the Knights of Columbus. In the mid-1990s, the program was adopted as a Supreme Council program which grew to encompass routes for three silver roses. Last year, five silver roses made their way across North America.
This year, six silver roses traveled from Canada to Mexico to symbolize unity among the peoples in the Americas. The rose is also a symbol of the pro-life movement, which recognizes Our Lady of Guadalupe as its patroness.
The roses began their journey in Canada in May, and for six months were carried by Knights of Columbus throughout the western, central and eastern corridors of North America. The journey concluded on December 12, the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, at the basilica bearing that name in Mexico City. The roses were presented before an image of Our Lady.
The Silver Rose program is replete with symbolism. The seven guides carrying the roses represent the sacraments of the Catholic faith and the ways to approach God. The thorns represent all the efforts and sacrifices of the Columbian Squires and Knights of Columbus along the way. Lastly, the strong stem represents faith.
In 2001, Supreme Knight Anderson dedicated the Order to Our Lady of Guadalupe. Since that time, the Order has organized and supported numerous spiritual initiatives and academic conferences to promote devotion to the Virgin of Guadalupe.