ATL.HIGHLANDS – Our Lady of Perpetual Help-St Agnes Church will have a special unique prayer service Friday evening at 7 p.m. as one of the parishes in the Silver Rose tradition honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe dating back to the 16 century. The devotion will be at St. Agnes Church, Center Avenue.
Sponsored by the Rev. Joseph J. Donnelly Council 11660 of the Knights of Columbus, the Silver Rose tradition is a pilgrimage that includes visits to churches from Mexico, the United States and Canada which began in March and culminates on Dec. 12, the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patron saint of the Americas. The pilgrimage, carrying a Silver Rose throughout the trip, signifies unity among the countries, their respect for life, and a spiritual renewal to the Mother of God under the title of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Dan Halpin, Grand Knight of the local Council, said this will be the first time the Silver Rose pilgrimage has been in this parish, and the Knights of Columbus are gratified to be a part of the symbolic pilgrimage and opportunity to increase devotion to the Mother of God. The Friday night ceremony, on the Feast of the Mother of God under the title of Our Lady of Mercy, will include special devotions in her honor recognizing her under her title of Our Lady of Guadalupe as patron saint of the Americas.
Halpin pointed out the Knights, the worldwide men’s organization whose program is Faith in Action exemplified through faith, family , community and life, is participating in the Silver Rose pilgrimage under its action for life in its Faith in Action program.
It was in the dead of winter in 1531 when the Mother of God appeared several time to an Aztec Indian in Mexico. When the man, Juan Diego, reported the visions to the Bishop, he was asked to bring proof. Juan Diego then asked Mary to provide proof, and she gave him roses and told him to return to the Bishop. When he opened his tilma before the bishop, Castilian roses, which are not native to Mexico, fell to the floor, and his tilma, or cloak, had an image of Mary imprinted on its fabric . The image is still intact centuries later and the tilma is displayed and honored at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City, the most widely visited religious shrine in the world. Traditions since that miracle have included pilgrimages with lighted candles, but have since been replaced with a Silver Rose and the visits to numerous churches in the three nations honoring the dignity of life.
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“We are fortunate to be able to participate in this year’s pilgrimage,” Halpin said, “and urge everyone who is able to attend this special religious devotion that will emphasize the importance of life from conception to death, and the program of the Knights focusing on prolife prayers and actions.”