Pope Francis will offer a third Golden Rose to Fátima

11 may, 2017


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Pope Francis will be presenting tomorrow to the Shrine of Fatima its third Golden Rose; it will be his first act when arriving in the Chapel of the Apparitions, his first stop on his pilgrimage to Cova da Iria to celebrate the Centennial of the Apparitions and to canonize the Blessed Francisco and Jacinta Marto.

On the video message he addressed on Wednesday to the Portuguese regarding his journey to Fatima, the Holy Father already announced such gesture, referring that:

“I need you to be with me. I need your union – physical or spiritual, the important being that it be with your heart – for my flower bouquet, my Golden Rose, so as to form a single heart and a single soul.  Entrust yourself to Our Lady, asking her to whisper to you: “My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge, the way that will lead you to God”.

The Golden Rose is a distinction which Popes confer to personalities, shrines, churches or cities as a token of recognition or a reward for noticeable services provided to the Church or achieved for the benefit of the society.

This tradition has been documented since the pontificate of Leo IX (1049-1054) but it is believed to be dating back to the end of the 6th century or to the beginning of the 7th. The Golden Rose is usually blessed on Lætare Sunday, or Rose Sunday, at the end of the Lent.

It will be the second time that a Pope is presenting this distinction personally and on the Portuguese territory. It had formerly been done by Pope Benedict XVI on the 12th of May 2010.

The first Golden Rose was conferred to the Shrine of Fatima by Pope Paul VI on the 21st of November 1964, at the end of the third session of Vatican II, after having been blessed by the Supreme Pontiff on the 28th of March 1965.

It was presented to the Shrine on the 13th of May 1965 by Cardinal Fernando Cento, Papal Legate.

During the Blessing ceremony, Paul VI recalled the symbolism of the Golden Roses, which in their “mystical meaning, represent the joy of the double Jerusalem – the Church Triumphant and the Church Militant– and the beautiful Flower of Jericho – the Immaculate Virgin – who is also your Patroness and the joy and the crown of all Saints”.

“[The Golden Rose] is the testimony of Our paternal affection for the noble Portuguese nation; it is the token of Our devotion to this distinguished Shrine, where an altar was erected to the Mother of God”, underlined Paul VI.

The Pope also added that the rose is the symbol of penance, recalling the message of Our Lady to the Little Shepherds during the Apparitions from May to October 1917: “The Virgin of Fatima came to the world to remind the evangelic message of penance and prayer; as it has been so much forgotten by them, it has to be you, dear sons and daughters, who should give the example regarding the fulfillment of this message”. 

On May 12th, 2010, on his pilgrimage to Fatima, Pope Benedict XVI presented the second Golden Rose to the Shrine; it was the first time a Pope presented it personally on the Portuguese territory.  

Kneeled in front of the Statue of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima, in the Chapel of the Apparitions, the now Pope Emeritus, in prayer before the Virgin Mary presented the Golden Rose “as a homage of gratitude” for the wonders that, through Her, God has worked in the hearts of the pilgrims.

“I am sure that the Little shepherds of Fatima, Blessed Francisco and Jacinta and the Servant of God Lucia of Jesus, are united with us at this hour of prayer and rejoicing”, he added.

The Shrine of Our Lady of Sameiro, in Braga, also received a Golden Rose on the 8th of December 2004, conferred by Pope John Paul II on the occasion of the centennial of the Crowning of the statue of Our Lady. The golden Rose was delivered by Cardinal Eugénio Sales, Papal Legate. 


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