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."
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