The Silver Rose Arrives in Phoenix

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8/2/2009

Symbol of Our Lady of Guadalupe

A full week of Knights of Columbus events in Phoenix, including the 127th Supreme Convention, the Marian Congress and the lively Guadalupe Festival, was launched on Sunday (Aug. 2) with the presentation of the Silver Rose at Saints Simon and Jude Cathedral.

A symbol of the unity among peoples in the Americas, the rose had been carried over the course of months from Canada and through the United States.

The presentation in the Phoenix Cathedral at the 9 a.m. Mass was one stop on the long journey in the annual Knights of Columbus event known as the Running of the Silver Rose.

The rose is also a symbol of the Order’s commitment to the pro-life cause, and Our Lady of Guadalupe is claimed as the patroness of the pro-life movement. The rose’s final destination is the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City for the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, December 12.

In the opening procession of the Mass, the rose was presented by members of the Columbian Squires, the youth group of the Knights of Columbus. Carrying the rose was Esteven Wetzel, a member of St. Mary’s Squires Circle #5000 in Phoenix. He was accompanied by fellow Squires Paul Taylor and Devin Morales.

The Squires were chosen for the honor because the annual Running of the Rose was started more than 50 years ago by members of the Columbian Squires.

“I think it is pretty cool to get to participate in keeping this tradition going,” Wetzel said before Mass. “I know the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe and I think it is amazing. Also, I am a pro-life person. I pray in front an abortion clinic with my pro-life group. I think it is an honor to represent the pro-life message with this rose.”

Celebrating the Mass was Father Paul Sullivan, director of vocations for the Phoenix Diocese. He told the congregation that the rose, which was placed before the cathedral’s large image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, was “a sign of our commitment to the protection of all human life.”

The Silver Rose will be a part of the celebrations at the Guadalupe Festival on Saturday, Aug. 8, when some 16,000 people are expected to fill the Jobing.com Arena for an afternoon and prayer, song, witness talks and intercultural exchange.

For 50 years, the Knights of Columbus has sponsored the Our Lady of Guadalupe Silver Rose Program to honor the Blessed Virgin under her title of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of America. The purpose of the  is to honor our Lady of Guadalupe and to reaffirm our commitment to the sanctity of life.

This past May, three Silver Roses left Ontario, Canada, and have been traversing the United States by a Western, Central and Eastern route. In November, all three Roses will come together in Laredo, Texas, to travel over the International Bridge and be delivered to Knights from Monterey, Mexico.

The Western Rose, traveling south through the Mountain States, is the one that arrived in Phoenix.