Archive for the ‘Mary Gardens’ Category

Triumph_of_the_holy_cross_ceiling_lady_c_2 Today is the feast of the Exultation (or Triumph) of the Holy Cross and tomorrow is the memorial  of Our Lady of Sorrows….how beautiful the two should be celebrated together on the Church calendar!

Christ Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likenes of men. And being found in human form He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.

Therefore God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

— Philippians 2:5-11

Month_9_sorrowsFlower Symbols of Mary’s Sorrows  

"One plant legend of special relevance to Christ’s Cross is that of
the herb, basil (Ocimum basilicum) which was held to be of such
close association with the Cross that St. Helena was able to find
the location of the True Cross by digging for it under a colony of
basil plants.  We know of the association through St. Helena, but
just what the legend, the "fallen petal", was is not known to us.
Possibly it was one of the plants which was reputed to have sprung
up at the foot of the Cross where Christ’s blood drops or Mary’s
tears fell, as is reported in legends of other plants.  Or it may
have been offered to Christ as a soothing herb.  Another "fallen
petal" is the use of "basilica" as the name for the cross-shaped
floor plans of church  buildings.  Also, from the practice in some
areas of strewing branches of basil before church communion rails,
it came to be known as "Holy Communion Plant"." ~from mgardens.org

Here is a representation of a Sorrowful Mary Garden

"each station is associated with a flower or
flowers whose popular Mary-connection may prompt a devotional
insight into that station’s significance in the saving paschal
mystery of the suffering, death and resurrection of Christ.

Extending the practice of meditating on the Stations of the Cross,
the flower symbols of the Sorrowful Mysteries, planted around the
garden cross, provide a mosaic of meanings for continuing
meditation on the passion of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ."

At Catholic Culture we read :"The Sign of the Cross we make over ourselves before prayer helps to fix our minds and hearts to God. After prayer we make it to keep close to God. During trials and temptations our strength and protection is the Sign of the Cross. At Baptism we are sealed with the Sign of the Cross, signifying the fullness of redemption and that we belong to Christ. Let us look to the cross frequently, and realize that when we make the Sign of the Cross we give our entire self to God — mind, soul, heart, body, will, thoughts."

O cross, you are the glorious sign of victory.
Through your power may we share in the triumph of Christ Jesus.

Stabat_mater_1On the menu today: Hot Cross Buns

For the Liturgical Year Notebook:
Catholic Mosaic: The Tale of Three Trees

Print out and learn these 2 songs:

Lift High the Cross
212 Stabat Maters??
Stabat Mater

google search for crosses with the dc and paste into a Word document collage

also make a notebook sorrowful Mary garden with the appropriate googled clip art flowers surrounding this picture

review the 7 Sorrows of Mary and their Scriptural references

ask the dc if they want to do any other projects based on the above links!

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090_madonnafraangelico_1 The Birthday of Our Queen (September 8)

All hail, O new world! Come and see
Here in a cradle lies our Queen,

Mother of God, one day to be,

O come and see this heavenly scene.

A beauteous, fragrant rose-bud,

Immaculate! God’s own flower,

His masterpiece of royal blood

Who came to earth this midnight hour!

Thousands of angels stand to guard

This mystical counterpart of God

And Seraphs play sweet lullabies

Upon their harps, as Cherubs laud.

Hail holy babe! Hail full of grace!

With wee hands clasped, with eyelids closed

She talks with God – face to face!

HT to Castle of the Immaculate for the beautiful poem!
Sr. Francis Marie
Robert, Cyril. Mary Immaculate: God’s Mother and Mine. Poughkeepsie, NY: Marist Press, 1946
Art, the Virgin Mary being glorified by the Angels,  by Fra Angelico

Our Lady’s Birthday Flower :  Italian Aster

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Mary_jesus_and_children_3 I am a little late for the Feast of the Queenship of Mary….computer woes…but we are adding the following to our Marian Notebooks:

I bow before you, Virgin of virgins,
resting-place of the divine Bridegroom,
temple of eternal Wisdom,
sanctuary of the Holy Spirit,
palace of the Blessed Trinity,
Mother full of love and tenderness,
fountain of beauty,
wellspring of wonders,
golden key of God’s kingdom,
you are the admiration of angels,
the joy of the human family.
Who can ever do justice to your glory,
to your Queenship of grace?

Blessed are you, O virgin Mary, for you carried the Creator of the world in your womb.

0531From: Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary~

Morning   I love to pray this Little Office each day….there is so much to ponder and so much motherly comfort Our Lady offers through this special devotion! 

A song to learn:

Bring flowers of the rarest,
bring flowers of the fairest

From garden and woodland and hillside and vale;

Our full hearts are swelling,
our glad voices telling

The praise of the loveliest Rose of the vale.

:0 Mary, we crown you with blossoms today,

Queen of the Angels,
Queen of the May.:

Our voices ascending,
in harmony blending,

0, thus may our hearts turn, dear Mother, to you.

0, thus shall we prove you how truly we love you;

How dark without Mary life’s journey would be. (Ref.)

The flower that honors Our Lady’s Queenship is the Bachelors Button.



""Mary’s Crown" (Centauria
cyannis) reminds students to pray to Mary for her mediation of
the graces prompting them in their contributions to the building of
God’s Kingdom, of which she is Queen.

The gold rose, Flpeacerosethe Marygold,Images and other golden flowers, symbolize
Mary, the "Queen in gilded clothing", who, from the interior of the
Heaven of the Trinity, "comes forth as the morning rising, fair as
the moon, bright as the sun and terrible as an army set in battle
array", with her Divine Child, to minister in love, as our Heavenly
Mother, to us, her spiritual children on earth.

Mary’s Gold

The marigold was called Mary’s Gold by early Christians who placed the flowers around statues of Mary, offering the blossoms in place of coins. It was told that Mary used the blossoms as coins. A legend says that during the Flight into Egypt the Holy Family was accosted by a band of thieves. They took Mary’s purse and when they opened it, marigolds fell out."
..from mgardens.org

The Cornflower or Bachelor’s Button became known as  "Mary’s Crown" because of the flower’s resemblance to a feathery cap. It was elsetimes said to have been Mary’s cushion, upon which she rested her pretty feet.

More on the Marygold

Carlo Crivelli  "The Madonna and Child Enthroned with the Saints" (Marigolds depicted on the throne in the painting)
Also seen in Bernardino Luini’s "Madonna and Child with the Infant Saint John"
They are also found in the Unicorn Tapestries of the Late fifteenth century
~above information from "Mary’s Flowers Gardens Legends and Meditations" by Vincenzina Krymow (link in the sidebar)~

Marigold Coloring Page
Rose Coloring Page
Bachelors Button Coloring Page
smaller image Bachelor’s Button
Cornflower Border Paper  (Bachelor’s Button)

French Marigold Border Paper
Rose Corner
small roses

Some random ideas:

We will place our copywork on border paper and decorate with clip art of other Queenship flowers.
Copywork will include "Hail Holy Queen"

Fold a piece of cardstock to look like a purse….copywork about the legend of the marigold on the front and open the flap to reveal clip art of marigolds….include the poem "The Marygold"

Color picture of Our Lady as Queen and decorate border with queenship flowers.

"You are a living paradise
    Of gloriously colored flowers." ~Konrad  Wurzburg

Decorate a Crown for Our Lady with Bachelor’s buttons….or place them at the feet of Our Lady!

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Hiddengarden_1The plans were laid, the seed catalogues were dog eared and marked…my Em’s were brewing…the grass seed was ordered, bookmarked gardening books littered my nighstand, and the help was lined up…After a few years of waiting, I was finally getting my garden!!…My garden would be a prayer…it would pray. I would fall asleep at night taking in my imagination the lovely days of rewarding hard work that lie ahead and dream of the feel of the warm sun on my skin, dirt under my fingernails, and wind through my hair.

Then it hit…the van was dead…the one day we were actually able to use, we leveled the yard and threw down grass seed and in an unexpected turn of events, the straw was not delivered…the rain fell in buckets and washed part of the yard away…with it a days work and lots of seed… Extra bills came rolling in and over our garden fund…the Marian project was shelved. 

How could this happen?  It was the best laid plan!…It would give praise to God!…would He not want this?   

Ever hear that saying…if you want God to laugh, tell him your plans?   Well…at least God can be in good humor this summer…MY plans did not work out…but HIS did….it wasn’t in the big picture of a manicured lawn and a beautifully arranged garden that praised God this season.

…it was the little 3yo boy covered in dirt trying to find out what grew under the dirt…what kind of rocks God planted there….GOD  PLANTING TREASURED ROCKS?…yes, and so He did!

…Was it in the myriad of dandelions that some call weeds drooping over half filled glasses that adorned my home in many places?  …Yes, and so it was……it was a gift of love from this three year old to his mother….”Mommy, I picked this bea-u-ti-ful flower for YOU!!  Mommy, I love the yellow sunny ones!”…lovingly chanted with the  biggest smile and a heart so full of love that it overflowed from his heart and in trails all about the place…flowing out alll over his dusty fingerprints and footprints wherever he skipped.   

I wanted a garden that was welcome with open arms to children…and so it was…even with the half gone jungle gym in the back yard….The kids put their immaginations together and strung up their own rope swings.  It was a garden of catapults and exploding volcaones and gallons of vinegar and baking soda mysteriously missing… Kuck_my_big_sister_002 It was a place where a creative older brother fashioned  a home-made kiddie pool complete with a water slide and around it lie many sets of wet footprints especially those of a small pudgy-footed toddler next to the larger wet footprints of her 5yo older sister.   It was a garden of dust covered smiling faced children creating their own outdoor track for their bike races where the littlest ones always won.  Airshipadventuresolsen It was a garden of artistic creation and the historic adventure of sailing ships and of Robin Hood, kings and queens, knights and ladies,  daring feats of heroism, and pioneer survival.  …and a garden of paint and cardboard and duct tape and bubbles and ice cream.

Precious_in_his_sight___by_greg_olsen_smIt was a garden of observations of nest building birds, collecting fireflies in the deepening dusk while trying not to smoosh them too tightly in little fingers, and flitting butterflies that shook some of their joy down on us.   It was also the sight of a marvelous discovery by my 10 yo ds of a huuuge bug skin that was immortalized a digital photo in the nature notebook…  A discovery by a boy who doesn’t “like" to draw…but God drew him in anyway…

God has a way of doing that with us…in the sweet simple ways, He draws us in and nourishes our whole being with His presence.  It isn’t the physical that is the reality, it is the disposition of our hearts.   If it takes the removal of all of the trappings of life to get our attention, God will do it…to bring us back to the basics…He instructs our intellect and our will.   He molds us not only with his hands, but within His heart.  In the smallest, in the least noticed things…He is present in all His magnificence. 

There are those that will pass this way without noticing the love He has strewn so generously in our paths. He wanted us to notice this summer.  He wanted an attitude from us that would allow Him to  move in and amongst us…maybe that is what we needed more to learn.     I surrendered my will in a little way and God blessed us in so many ways. 

Right now in the area I wanted to plant this wonderful garden are two gifts from God…one, a 2ft tall statue of Our Lady of Mt Carmel ~an unexpected gift given to us by a friend who was prayerfully trying to find someone to give it to that would love and care for it.  It has one hand that needs to be re-attached.  The other, a prize won at our annual parish picnic…an Our Lady of Guadalupe rosebush!  ~Thank you, God!

Mother_and_childGOD supplied what we neededA HAND…Mary held out Her hand to us…  I took that hand in trust and climbed up into my mothers lap with wide eyes and begun my lessons.  Here in Her lap the school of Mary began for us this summer….to beome child-like and with me and all of my children to play in Her garden.  To Jesus through Mary…as scripure says:

Olsen_kingdom"But Jesus called them to him, saying, "Let the children come to Me, and do not hinder them for to such belongs thew kingdom of God. Truly I say to you, Whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it."  ~  Luke 18:16-17 

In our play we make our hearts pray…and God is glorified in that. 

~The sacrificial giving of our dreams in an attitude of thanksgiving??…yes! 
~An attitude of play is an attitude of prayer??….Yes!

Kuckautumnangel And in the small, in the little, we find an abundance of consolation and abundance of awe and wonder and creativity…in the ordinary…with this attitude…all things become extra~ordinary.  And God’s presence brings a certain kind of heart-warming joyful peace.

In today’s Second Reading, St Paul exhorts us “Play to the Lord in your hearts”, and this summer we have had our mission …to focus on this experience of play in the world around us…to enjoy the presents of God’s presence in the little things and in each other so that His magnificence may become manifest in us. 


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From St. Louis de Montfort in True Devotion to Mary:
The Blessed Virgin’s mediation of
our spiritual flowering:

"God the Holy Spirit wishes to fashion his chosen ones in and through Mary. He tells her, "My well-beloved,  my spouse, let all your virtues take root in my chosen
  ones that they may grow from strength to strength and from grace to grace. When you were living on earth,  practising the most sublime virtues, I was so pleased
with you that I still desire to find you on earth  without your ceasing to be in heaven. Reproduce yourself then in my chosen ones, so that I may have the joy of seeing in them the roots of your invincible faith, profound humility, total mortification, sublime prayer, ardent charity, your firm hope and all your  virtues. You are always my spouse, as faithful, pure, and fruitful as ever. May your faith give me believers; your purity, virgins; your fruitfulness, elect and living temples."

True Devotion 34

"It is to be recalled that in Christian mystical tradition,
interior subtle spiritual flowering is envisaged not only as
takeing place interiorly as we meditate and contemplate, but is
seen by those with subtle spiritual vision as also producing
flowers which rise heavenward transporting our prayers.  Thus,
the Catholic Encyclopedia states, that the name "Rosary",Roserosary_hand meaning
a spiritual garland or bouquet of roses, was given to the Psalter
of Our Lady as a consequence of "an early legend which. after
traveling all over Europe, penetrating even to Abyssinia,
connected this name with a story of Our Lady, who was seen taking
rosebuds from the lips of a young monk when he was reciting Hail
Marys and to weave them into a garland which she placed upon her
head.""  Encyclopedia (1912) Vol 13, p.187).

(Flower Mysticism for Divine Union and God’s Kingdom  ~John S. Stokes Jr.)

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"Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
     As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
     World without End.  Amen."

Fltrinitylily"In undertaking our acts and works we bless ourselves, making the
Sign of the Cross, "In the name of the Father and of the Son and
of the Holy Spirit", to quicken our awareness and love of the one
God, the Blessed Trinity, as the beginning, ground and end of our
being for all eternity; and to offer our acts and works, and
also our sufferings, for the spiritual intentions of the Trinity –
for Creation, Redemption and Kingdom.

We do this rejoicing that, in the state of grace of our baptism,
the undertaking of our acts, works and sufferings for spiritual
intentions meritoriously generates further grace, light, wisdom
and power rising to the heavenly reservoirs and storehouses, from
which, together with those from the acts and sufferings of Christ
and the saints, and from all Masses throughout the world, they are
distributed through Mary’s mediation and the sacramental blessings
and indulgences of Holy Church to where most needed in the divine
economy for love, sustenance, protection, forgiveness, healing,
justice and peace.  It is our faith that in this way all our daily
acts, works and sufferings, undertaken for spiritual intentions,
contribute to the conversion of souls, the healing of bodies, the
renewal of the world and the building of God’s Kingdom.

In the Mary Garden, sacramentally blest flower and plant symbols of
the Trinity quicken the offering of our acts, works and sufferings
to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit for spiritual intentions, and
recall us to these intentions if we become distracted.


An interesting aspect of bred pansy strains of a dominant color is
that the other two colors are always preserved at the centers of
the blooms.  Thus, pansies of yellow dominance may be seen to
symbolize the glory of the heavenly Father; purple the sorrows of
the incarnate Son; and white the light of the processing Holy
Spirit – with the other colors in each instance always retained at
the center, serving to remind us that whenever one of the Persons
of the Trinity is present the others are present also, in the
unity of the Godhead of love.

Pansies also bear the old name of Our Lady’s Delight, whereby,
mindful of their Trinity symbolism, we refer to Mary’s words,
"My spirit has rejoiced in God, my Savior.""

The Mary Gardens site has the above quoted information and many more wonderful devotions seen in the garden which are such a beautiful collection of praises to the Most Holy Trinity.  This article is beautiful and worth the time spent reading it!

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When Mary entered into intimate union and communion with
overshadowing, indwelling, espousing God, the Holy Spirit at the
Annunciation, the Holy Spirit, as St. Louis de Montfort says,
became her Spirit.  In Annunciation paintings the traditional
flower symbol of the descending Holy Spirit is the dove-like
columbine (Aquilegia),

Columbineflowerfound with white lilies Flannunciationlilyof Mary’s immaculate

At Pentecost, in her continuing union with Jesus, now ascended into
Heaven, Mary, on earth, joined with him, mediatingly, in his promised
sending of the Holy Spirit to the disciples, with restoration of
grace to the world.  The Pentecostal descent of the Holy Spirit as
tongues of flame was symbolized by vines branches of pendant flowers,
such as the Holy Spirit philodendron, symbolizing the descending
flames of the Holy Spirit; and the
red peony (Paeonia officinalis),Flholyspirit2
in bloom in temperate climates at the time of the liturgical feast of
Pentecost, and symbolizing the soul inflamed with the Holy Spirit.

The Pentecostal Holy Spirit is also symbolized by 
"Mary’s Pink"
(Dianthus plumarius)Flpink

with its serrated petals, recalling the pointed
tongues of flame in which it descended – adopted also because of its
bloom in Holland at the late May or early June season of Pentecost
(known there as "Pinkster"); because of its pink color; and because
of its uniquely serrated symbolic petals, from which garment "pinking
shears" receive their name.

In all, some twenty flowers have been found in our research to
have been found from their time of bloom to have had the religious
folk names of "Pentecost Flower".

As a poetic affirmation of Mary’s heavenly mediating distribution
of the Holy Spirit, a couplet from the German, applied to the
flower "Mary’s Candle" (giant mullein,Flcandle Verbascum thapsis), also
known as "Heavenly Radiance", reads (translated):


"The Virgin Mary flies all over the land,
With heaven’s fire in her hand."

Also, Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spectabilis, Mary’s Heart) Flimmaculateheartspiritis known
as "Holy Spirit" in France from the "tear" of Spirit precessing to
earth through her universally mediating Immacuate Heart."

Quoted from MGardens.org

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I love being a "sneaky mom"!  I just tested the kid’s knowledge of the Catechism without a formal test…we had a Scavenger Hunt today!!

The overall theme was all to honor Our Lady in the garden and give God praise!  We started and ended our hunt with the statue of Our Lady of Grace in our backyard. 
The first clue started with one of the little ones’ favorite songs to honor Our Lady which was draped at Her feet:

Roses_frise3"Hail Mary, Mother of God, Lady in Blue I love you!
Hail Mary, Mother of God, Mary is my mother too!"

What does a mother do?
A mother takes good care of you!
She will teach you all you ought to know,
And will direct you to THE WAY to go!

Across the very humid yard ran a pack of giddy children from clue to clue that challenged them to recall the Baltimore Catechism.  I used some of the lines from 24 Catholic songs for Children from Our Lady of Victory to make the clues.  (The music is a catchy way to memorize the catechism and the children love the songs.)

We ended with:

Stay close to Her and all will be well.
Hear Her say, "Come to me and learn to be wise,
if you call on me I will answer."
And with Her always is our greatest prize!"

Under a rock by the side of the statue of Mary was this note…

Garlofros"Make a garden for me here that is full of love from your heart.  Prayerfully tend the flowers and think about me…and I will think about you! 

Offer me your flowers as a prayer!  They will remind you of the virtues with which I wish to share to fill YOUR heart!!
I love when you visit me, and offer me your gifts of love and prayer!  Stay close to me and have no fear!  I will always point the way to THE WAY of Divine Love, My SON!

I love you!"

The site of this garden needs some work!  And now that work is ready to begin! (finally!! :o)
The children and I are putting our heads together for it’s design.  The children are going to use Poetry Stones Deluxe Poetry_stones_picto help them personalize their Mary garden and  label the plants we intend to place here.  We also hope to use this kit to make stepping stones for the different mysteries of the rosary…embellishing each with symbols of each mystery!  Looks like we will be sporting the look of cement this summer! There are a few hints on the cement here as well as some ideas for garden design.

The great thing is that we are working together and personalizing the yard and at the same time creating a Garden that Prays!

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It always amazes me the depth of meaning to be found in tending Mary’s garden.  I never would have guessed that the roots of the garden could plant flowers in  our spiritual lives as ~virtue~, but with MARY it certainly can!!
Here is an excerpt I stumbled upon today…..

In the Madonna House Apostolate of Combermere, Ontario, extensive
use is made of the religious meanings of herbs, as set forth in
letters from Catherine Doherty, Director General, to Mary’s Gardens
of October, 1951 and September, 1963 (excerpted):

" . . . So few people in this land understand gardening in
     God’s earth and gardening in one’s soul: the two in one in a
     manner of speaking each help the other.

" . . . All our projects (at Madonna House) are not just
     ordinary projects of interest – botanical, culinary or
     educational….They are spiritual projects.

     "There is such a need in our day and age of restoring
     humankind to God, and our Apostolate is dedicated in
     total to that restoration of Christ’s kingdom to him.


"This restoration must begin with individuals, though of
     course in time it will extend to institutions and groups
     and, in fact, nations.  But like all things of God, it must
     begin slowly, painstakingly on a small scale relating to
     the individual and then to the rest of the world.


"My firm belief is that one way of restoring humankind to
     God is by putting all in contact with nature on an intensive
     and deep scale so that we all can begin to understand the
     mystery of creation and begin to distinguish the face of
     God in the beauty and order of nature.


"Also, I believe that there is a healing quality in working
     with earth, plants, gardens and farming.  And as we restore
     the earth that God has given us to till to a healthy
     condition and grow in it our own food, we become restored
     ourselves and learn to read in the immense prayerbook of
     nature the tenderness and love of God for us.

"Herbs are part of this.  They’re also part of the
     Scriptures.  Like everything in nature, they help us to
     understand the source of our faith and appreciate the
     Scriptures better.  And they are a beautiful way of
     expressing a mutual charity. . . .  The growing, drying
     and preparing of them for storage and cooking purposes
     involves many members of our apostolate in training here,
     and herb lore and nature lore and the Scriptures become
     alive for many. . . .


Send forth flowers as the lily,
and yield a fragrance,
And bring forth leaves in grace,
and praise with canticles,
And bless the Lord in his works."

                       Sirach 39:13-14 (Ecclesiasticus 39:18-19)

Petals12"As the flower pneums of the virtues have descended from heaven,
through Mary, for implanting in our hearts, so, in return, do the
flowers of our subtle, interior Tree of Love, rise heavenward in
grateful praise of God and the desire to participate in his works.
Rising thus, they are received, embellished and conduited by Mary
on their way to God, who then fills them with actual graces for
return, again through Mary’s hands, to our hearts for our
inspiration and prompting in our works of mercy and social

The way of flowers is thus one way rooted in tradition upon which
we can draw for the faith which moves mountains and the love which
is stronger than death, as we work to overcome the evils of
exclusion, discrimination, disadvantage, poverty, ignorance, drugs
and violence, in our works of personal and social redemption.

Copyright, Mary’s Gardens, 1997"

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Our Lady of Walsingham

"Wooden statue of the Mother of God with the Infant Christ at Walsingham. The statue, dating from the 19th century, was crowned with papal crowns in 1954, the year of the proclamation of the dogma of the Assumption. Shown here carried in procession traditionally led by the Arhcbishop of Westminster, the statue is surrounded by flowers traditionally associated with the Blessed Virgin Mary.

(Pictured in The Madonnas of Europe – Pilgrimates to the Great Marian Shrines of Europe – English edition 2002, Ignatius Press)"

I was perusing the net today and I came upon this picture of Our Lady.  I am so taken by the thought of Her being presented in various arts symbolically.  My children are so attracted to this symbolism too.  They are fond of icons, old tapestries, mosaics, stained glass and now, the symbolism we find in Mary Gardens.  It is as though the children are captivated by their unique "language" and are eager to decipher its meaning.

"Flowers are included in works of Christian art not only because they are pretty and decorative, but also because they had a particular meaning. ("Iconography" is the word used by art historians for the study of symbolism in works of art.) The symbolism of flowers was used especially in medieval and renaissance paintings and tapestries to reinforce the message of the main subject. Sometimes the background of a tapestry would be carpeted with symbolic flowers. In paintings, a bouquet in a vase might be included, or the Virgin or another person might hold flowers. Elaborately embroidered vestments often had floral decorations, and the borders of illuminated manuscripts were very often embellished with symbolic floral ornaments. The significance of the flowers was generally known at the time these works were originally produced for the decoration of churches or private dwellings (most are now in museums).

"Children are usually very interested in deciphering the message contained in these art works. And they may enjoy using this "code" themselves. A bouquet or wreath to honor Mary can be made of real or silk flowers, and could include those that traditionally symbolize Mary and her virtues and attributes."

Why is it that the children’s attractions in anything …most especially anything dealing with faith seem to capture my attention as well?  THEY are teaching ME?!  Yes!  They have a special way of listening and responding to God where God speaks to them "personally and with profound simplicity".  …and their JOY is contagious!  Leave it to God to catch our attention with a sense of awe and wonder just like that of a child.  I know from reading about The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd that God has a very special relationship with children.  I guess it is because of that special relationship that we have with our little ones that we also get a glimpse of that same awe and wonder that they have with Him. 

Listening to God With Children: The Montessori Method Applied to the Catechesis of Children by Gianna Gobbi, it talks about sharing religious experiences with children, a role which we are CALLED to live.  It also states "there is only one true Teacher, who is Christ Himself".   "Both our own joy to be living a religious experience with children, as well as our effectiveness as catechists, rests in our desire and commitment to listen to God with the children."  …once again God knits His seamless garment….

(The term “seamless garment of life” was developed by Cardinal Bernardin as an attempt to link together all human life as valuable. We can have a more modest goal as we think about a “seamless garment of love” for children, born and unborn, and the women who nurture them."  This quote came from a pro-life article that I read, but it struck my heart in a different kind of way….)

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