SALT LAKE CITY — A Knights of Columbus Silver Rose, a pro-life effort that venerates Our Lady, will be in Utah for most of July and will be exposed at several parishes across the Diocese of Salt Lake City. During those events, Knights of Columbus, parishioners and community members will pray for respect for life, for the spiritual renewal of nations and for the advancement of the message of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
The annual pilgrimage, or running of the roses, began in 1960 when the Columbian Squires, a youth organization of the Knights of Columbus, wanted to remember Our Lady of Guadalupe and all she has done for the people of Mexico. They chose a carry a live rose in a relay to honor a miracle performed when the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared in 1531 to Juan Diego and told him to take roses from the rocky hillside as a sign to a bishop who did not believe in the Blessed Mother’s apparition. The Squires’ rose was blessed in London, England and carried to Texas, and from there to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Monterrey, Mexico.
The event has continued to this day. In 1961, Knights from a California council had a bronze rose made and sent to the basilica. The following year, the Squires of Monterrey had a silver rose made for the pilgrimage. Today, silver roses shepherded by Knights of Columbus councils take eight separate routes from Canada to Mexico. They travel through several states beginning in March; all end at the Basilica on Dec. 12, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
“The foremost thing about the Silver Rose is it venerates our Blessed Mother Mary; it honors and celebrates her memory,” Utah Silver Rose Chairman Mark Meredith said.
“We, the Knights of Columbus, are also pro-life and the Blessed Mother Mary is all about pro-life,” he said. “We especially feel honored to have her there. She represents pro-life in its best form. The Blessed Mother Mary IS the Silver Rose.”
This year, the Silver Rose was brought to Utah on June 23 from Evanston, Wyo. by Knights of Columbus State Deputy Greg Keller to be venerated at five parishes from West Haven to St. George. It was displayed at St. Mary Catholic Church, West Haven, at the 8 a.m. Mass on June 27. The following day the Knights of Columbus hosted a veneration service at Hill Air Force Base.
On Tuesday, July 2, the Silver Rose will be exposed at the 6:30 p.m. Spanish Mass at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Orem. From there it will go to St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church in West Jordan, where it will be exposed at Masses on Saturday, July 6 and Sunday, July 7.
The Silver Rose will be exposed during all Masses July 9 and 10 at the Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City. It will also be exposed the evening of July 10, when a Knights of Columbus honor guard will be present. The event will conclude with a brief prayer service after the Christ in the City: Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, a monthly young adult veneration.
“What better way to show support and teach about the Silver Rose as part of the pro-life movement?” asked Giancarlo Gazani, Knights of Columbus Council 602 faith director. “We think this is a very important symbol from the Knights of Columbus of our involvement, our advocacy for life from conception to natural death.”
Silver rose events are scheduled for July 12-14 at Christ the King Catholic Church in Cedar City and July 15 to 22 at St. George Catholic Church, but details were not available at press time. For information, call David Webb in Cedar City at 435-592-2944 and Tom Kelly in St. George at 612-669-7505.
The Silver Rose schedule in Utah
Tuesday, July 2: 6:30 p.m. Spanish Mass at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, 65 East 500 North, Orem
Saturday-Sunday, July 6-7: Exposition at the 5 p.m. (English) and 7 p.m. (Spanish) vigil Masses and 9 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Sunday Masses in English at St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church, 7405 S. Redwood Road, West Jordan
Tuesday-Wednesday, July 9-10: Exposition at the 8 a.m. and 5:15 p.m. daily Masses in English at the Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City; and after the Wednesday evening Mass until the close of the Christ in the City young adult devotion, about 9 p.m.
Friday-Sunday, July 12-14: Christ the King Catholic Church, 680 S. Cove Dr., Cedar City. Times to be determined.
Monday-Monday, July 15-22: St. George Catholic Church, 259 West 200 North, St. George. Times to be determined.