Published July 7, 2016
ATLANTA—The Knights of Columbus of Georgia participated in the 2016 Silver Rose Run, an international tour of the silver rose and Our Lady of Guadalupe icon, symbols of the culture of life.
The Silver Rose was transferred into Georgia from South Carolina at a Mass on May 29 at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Savannah. The Knights of Columbus South Carolina State Deputy Franklin Davis transferred the silver rose to Georgia State Deputy Mark McMullen.
Georgia parishes hosting the silver rose in the month of June were Holy Trinity Church, Peachtree City; St. Thomas the Apostle Church, Smyrna; Blessed Alphonsa, a Syro-Malabar rite Catholic church in Loganville; and Holy Spirit Church in Atlanta.
The silver rose is a devotion to the Blessed Mother as Our Lady of Guadalupe and commemorates her appearance to St. Juan Diego and the miracle of the roses. It originated at a local Knights of Columbus Council in Mexico more than 50 years ago. The Knights of Columbus Supreme Council sponsors the annual tour as the rose travels to parishes in Mexico, the U.S. and Canada.
St. Thomas the Apostle Church and Knights of Columbus Council 12386 hosted the silver rose and icon at a Mass and special liturgy the evening of June 8.
Father Jojohn Chettiyakunnel, parochial vicar at St. Thomas the Apostle, celebrated the Mass and presided at the following liturgy. In his homily, Father Chettiyakunnel delivered an impassioned and insightful message on the meaning and significance of the silver rose, and stressed that devotion to Mary has an important role in faith as it always leads to Jesus.
The silver rose liturgy includes selected Scripture readings, a recitation of the glorious mysteries of the rosary, an act of consecration to Our Lady and a commitment to uphold the sanctity of all human life.
Members of Council 12386 participated in the Mass and liturgy by carrying the rose and the icon of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the entry and exit processions. The council provided the 4th Degree Honor Guard, and members served as lectors, altar servers and Eucharistic ministers at the Mass, and led the decades of the rosary and the litany to the Blessed Mother.
Other parishioners, including members of the St. Thomas the Apostle pro-life ministry, the Legion of Mary and other ministries, attended the Mass and liturgy to honor Our Lady and show support for efforts to respect life. After the devotion, those in attendance were able to have a close view of the silver rose.
On June 19, Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory celebrated Mass at Holy Spirit Church in Atlanta to bless the rose before it was transferred to Florida districts of the Knights of Columbus.
At the Holy Spirit Mass, Archbishop Gregory thanked the state and local council officers and members for the many services they provide to the church at the parish level. He also recognized McMullen for his outstanding leadership as state deputy.
“One Rose One Life”
The miracle of the roses inspired the mantra “One Rose One Life.” The appearances of Mary in Mexico in 1531 helped convert more than 9 million indigenous Indians to the Catholic Church.
The Knights of Columbus Columbian Squires in Monterrey, Mexico, wanted to give something back to her.
The group headed by Brother Miguel Martinez Estrada, Grand Knight Andreas Saucedo and Fray Margil De Jesus of Knights of Columbus Council 2312 in Monterrey, came up with the idea of running a rose to Our Lady of Guadalupe in 1960. They wanted to invite squires from the United States and Canada to participate.
London squires started the relay running of the rose from there through the United States and finishing up in Mexico.
Bishop John C. Cody in London blessed the first rose. It was flown to New York, then Dallas, Texas. In Laredo, Texas, squires from Mexico received the rose at the International Bridge taking it to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Monterrey.
The first rose was a natural rose. The squires wished to make another run in 1961, but due to the condition of the flower it could not be used. Grand Knight Arthur Mount at Council 1134, Father Edward Gatfield and Bishop Cody decided to make a bronze rose and sent it to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
When the squires of Circle 660 in Monterrey heard of the bronze rose, they decided to ask Brother Miguel Martinez Montoya to make a silver rose. Silver is one of Mexico’s precious metals.
The Silver Rose Run is the most widely celebrated devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe by the Knights of Columbus throughout North America.
Last year, a silver rose was presented to Pope Francis and blessed by him.