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    Holy Face of Jesus
                                   Holy Face of Jesus

Lavender  Mary's Drying Plant 

Lavender, a million tiny blue blossoms gather
to sachets to sweeten, freshen, charm.

After Mary had washed Jesus' clothes and was looking for a place to hang
them to dry, she saw a gray bush of lavender and on its branches she spread
the snow-white baby clothes.   The sun and the wind dried the clothes and
when Mary came to gather them, the clothes smelled sweet and clean and
the bushes were fragrant with a sweet scent that lavender now has.  It is
said that the fragrance which came from the earthly body of the Son of God
was transferred to the plant, giving it its unique scent.

Lavender was said to be one of the plants most loved by the Blessed Virgin because it represented purity, cleanliness and virtue.

Forget-me-not  Eyes of Mary

The ancients called our eyes the windows of the soul.  Words are not needed
when our eyes speak.  The blue and gold forget-me-not ask us to view all we
see as Mary would, through eyes reflecting paradise-bright, clear and kind.

Mary, when you looked at your Child-God you could not help but reflect him.
To look at you is to see Him.  To look at you reminds us of the paradise he
came to restore.   Forget-me-nots remind us of that paradise.  
Help us to keep our eyes fixed on him as you did.

Young Jesus, looking into his mother's eyes one day in front of their home in
Nazareth said: "Mother, your eyes are so beautiful, everyone looks at them in
wonder.  What a pity those who will be born in future generations will not be
able to behold them.   Because in your eyes one can see my paradise, and
whoever looks into them cannot help but be drawn toward it."
Then he touched her eyelids and passed his hands over the ground
as though sowing seeds.  Immediately forget-me-nots sprang up,
hundreds of tiny blue eyes with golden centers,
as a reminder for people of future generations of Our Lady's pure eyes.

Christmas Rose  Holy Night Rose of Mary

Angels and shepherds, kings and children; there is room for everyone in the
Bethlehem cave.  Mary, the Christmas Rose with its soft ivory petals, nestled
in lacy green leaves, blooms in the midst of winter-an astonishing and
comforting sight during the dark, fruitless seasons.
Sometimes my heart is as cold and hard as the winter ground.
Warm me, and offer my heart to your Child.

On the night that Jesus was born a young shepherd girl named Madelon
followed the other shepherds to Bethlehem to see the infant wrapped in
swaddling clothes that the angel of the Lord had told them about.
She wanted to offer something to comfort Mary and show her love for Jesus,
but she was poor and had nothing to give.
The shepherd girl Madelon stood outside the manger door quietly weeping.

God saw her distress and sent the angel Gabriel to her.
"Madelon, what makes you weep while you pray?" Angel Gabriel asked.
"I weep because I have nothing to offer to the infant Jesus.
If only I had some flowers to give him I would be happy, but it is winter,
and the frost is on the ground and spring is far away. 
Good angel, I am most distraught," Madelon answered.

Gabriel took Madelon by the hand and led her out into the night and as they
walked the cold seemed to disappear and they were surrounded by a bright
golden light.  They paused and Gabriel touched the frozen earth with his staff.
Immediately waxen white blossoms flushed with pink sprang up everywhere.
"Nor myrrh, nor frankincense, nor gold," said angel Gabriel,
"is offering more meet for the Christ Child than these pure Christmas Roses."

Joyfully the shepherd Madelon gathered the flowers and made her offering to
the Holy Child.  She ran to decorate Jesus' bed and
the stable where Mary had borne him.
Rose de Noel