In order to complete this month dedicated to the Virgin Mary, we welcome Séraphine who will tell us about the appearances on the Ile Bouchard, as well as the Virgin Mary and the flowers.
On the 8th of December 1947, Virgin Mary appeared to four little girls in the small church of the Ile Bouchard village (in the region of Touraine, in France). She appeared nine times in total, but one of those appearances is very relevant for this very month of May, this wonderful Virgin Mary’s month! Indeed, during the seven day of the appearances, the four little girls went to Tours to get some pretty flowers. This was an instruction from the mayors, the priests and the people from the village, in order to give thanks to Virgin Mary.
Jeannette got a bunch of beautiful roses, Laura got some violets, Nicole some carnations and Jacqueline some arums.
We have already talked about the rose’s symbolism: Mary is herself called the Mystic Rose. Virgin Mary is the queen of flowers and embodies Unconditional Love (like give birth to her son to accomplish God’s will). She also faced the disbelief of Man towards her son; she has been a rose amongst thorns, always shining. But contrary to all roses on earth, Virgin Mary does not fade because Love maintains her radiance and untouchable beauty.
The flowers given by Laura, Nicole and Jacqueline also have a meaning.
* Violet: humility
* Carnation: also called « God’s flower » because her shape was associated to the Passion’ nails.
* Arum: it symbolised the Virgin Mary during the Middle Ages because it was reaching “towards the sky”, but also a symbol of virginity and purity.
Then, the young girls were coming in with their humble bouquets of flowers. The Virgin kissed and blessed them, but did not take them. This is a way for her to let them on Earth and entrust us. Mary does not “need “flowers, but she likes before all the meaning they carry (thanks, forgiveness, intentions…). Flowers are delicate and elegant plants that one must take care not to let her fade. It is the same for our relation to our Heavenly Mother. Thus, the nature that surrounds us is a gift from the Heaven, and it is the reason why we must take care of it in order to thank our Creator.
Flowers for the Virgin Mary
When people offer flowers to Mary, they show their attachment and devotion in order to materialise our love for her. To offer flowers to Mary reminds us of our heart poorness, because it is like offering something that already belongs to her as she is our Creator’s mother. Is is the reason why the Virgin did not accept to bless the flowers during her appearance on the Ile Bouchard.
Let’s also offer flowers of prayer to Mary: 1 Ave Maria would be a rose, 10 Ave Marias would be a bunch of roses, and 50 Ave Marias would be a crown of roses for the Virgin. It is nearly the end of the May, which is a rosary month, but it is still time to embrace the Virgin Mary with flowers and prayers.
The Pope and the flowers.
Pope Francis regularly offers flowers to the Virgin. The first step of his pontificate was to lay down flowers on the Salus Populi Romani’s altar at the Saint Mary Major basilica on the 13th of March 2013. Since then, every time the Pope come home from an apostolic travel, he keeps doing the same gesture. When he is asked about his intentions, he answers: “The flowers to Mary, the Salus Populi Romani Madonna, are a sign of our gratitude for her help in the story of salvation. Flowers are a gift from divine nature. People sometimes need touchable and visual content to connect with what is going beyond humanity, beyond our world. To offer an earthly present goes beyond words and prayer. It is the expression of a son towards his loving mother, who is only looking for the best for the souls of the entire world.
Love, pray and sow.
Camille for God save the Green