The Silver Rose, a program of the Knights of Columbus honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe is returning to Kenosha for the second time later this month.
St. Therese of Lisieux Catholic Church will serve as one of the more than 100 sites throughout the United States where the Silver Rose will be displayed.
Every March, silver roses are stewarded by Knights of Columbus councils along routes from Canada to Mexico. Each stop along the pilgrimage is a rosary-centered occasion for Knights, parishioners and members of the community to pray for the respect for life, the spiritual renewal of each person, and for the advancement of the message of Our Lady of Guadalupe, according to the National Council of the Knights of Columbus.
The Silver Rose Program began in 1960 by the Knights of Columbus Squires. The Squires is an international fraternity of approximately 25,000 Catholic young men, ages 10 to 18, in more than 1400 circles worldwide which involve young men in programs to benefit the church, the community as well as in recreational and social activities.
Led by an honor guard composed of fourth-degree Knights, they will carry the Rosary to the Festival Grounds to be on display throughout a ceremony and rosary beginning at 9am that morning.
According to Richard Mich, district deputy of District 67, the ceremony will begin with Mass at 8:30 a.m. celebrated by Father Robert McDermott at St. Therese. A procession to the Fr. Schneider Festival Pavilion will be followed by the Knights of Columbus Silver Rose program at 9:00 a.m.
In addition to praying for the unborn and victims of abortion, the Knights will be praying for the end of COVID-19 and a vaccine to be approved by year’s end.
“We will then pray the Rosary and the Glorious Mysteries,” he said. “Afterwards, a reading from the New Testament, followed by the Gospel, a homily and the Litany of the Saints. We will have the rose from Friday Aug 14, in the morning until just after the ceremony when the Knights from Illinois take it for their program on Sunday, Aug. 16.”
Our Lady of Guadalupe
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 St. 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 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 the spectacular 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.
Due to the condition of the live rose it could not be used again, so the Grand Knight at the time, Arthur Mount at Council 1134, Rev. Edward Gatfield and Bishop John Cody created a bronze rose and sent it to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Monterrey.
Word got out to Fray Antonio de Jesus Sacedon and the squires of Circle 660 in Monterrey about the bronze rose. They decided to contact Brother Miguel Martinez Montoya in Monterrey to create a rose of silver as silver is one of Mexico’s precious metals. Montoya made all of the Silver Roses from 1961 to 1997.
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 called the annual effort “a perfect program for the Knights of Columbus.”
“Through it we honor not only Our lady of Guadalupe and express the unity of the Order, but we also reaffirm the Order’s dedication to the sanctity of human life. It is to the Blessed Mother that we turn in prayer as we work to end the Culture of Death that grips our society,” Mich said. “As we think in terms of ‘One Life, One Rose,’ it is most appropriate that we turn to Our Lady of Guadalupe who made known her will through Juan Diego and the miracle of the roses.”
Mich explained that the District of Kenosha Councils are excited to be one of the 35 cities and councils to host the Silver Rose this summer. He hopes that those from Kenosha, Racine and Lake Geneva will attend the spiritual event.
“This is the second time we have hosted the Silver Rose in Kenosha and it is very important to have this excellent program to help all parishioners to continue to look towards the Blessed Mother Mary for her intercession with her son in answering our Prayers and Petitions,” he said.
“We hope that all who attend this prayer program will walk away with a feeling of spiritual growth and a closeness with our Blessed Mother that they haven’t felt in a while. Also, an inner feeling of the spirit of Mother Mary and rejuvenating their love of Jesus.
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