HOULTON---Over 330 people visited the Silver Rose during a six-day stop at St. Mary of the Visitation Church in Houlton this June. During its visit to Maine, the Knights also took it for display at St. Paul Church in Patten and St. Agnes Church in Island Falls. Each year, silver roses are stewarded by Knights of Columbus councils along routes from Canada to Mexico, honoring respect for life, the spiritual renewal of each nation, and the advancement of the message of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
“We held a Silver Rose Ceremony with a votive Mass for Our Lady of Guadalupe on June 3 at St. Mary of the Visitation,” said Michael Dobbs of the Knights of Columbus Paul A. McGillacuddy Council #1873. “During this Mass, we had two honor guards present and following the Mass, we had time for adoration and confession.”
In 1960, the Columbian Squires, a youth organization of the Knights of Columbus, came up with the idea of running a rose to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Monterrey, Mexico. The rose was chosen to commemorate Juan Diego and the miracle of the roses, an important part of the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The first rose was a natural rose and made a journey to New York and back to Laredo, Texas, where it was given to the Squires from Monterrey, Mexico, at the International Bridge in Laredo. They ran the rose from the International Bridge through Sabinas Hidalgo N.L., Mexico, to Cienega de Flores and on to the Basilica in Monterrey, Mexico, on December 12, 1960. After a year, the first rose had decomposed, so ultimately, a silver rose was made as silver is a precious metal of Mexico.
Over 25 years ago, the Knights of Columbus Supreme Council expanded the program and today, multiple roses run along different North American routes from Canada to Mexico through 47 U.S. states and five Canadian provinces before all meeting in Laredo. This tradition spreads devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe, offers a reaffirmation of the Knights’ commitment to the sanctity of human life, and embodies international brotherhood as jointly nurtured by these three nations.