VERO BEACH | A Knights of Columbus Silver Rose on a nine-month pilgrimage from Canada to Mexico, honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe and the sanctity of life, was the focal point of a special prayer service Aug. 23, 2023, at St. Helen Church in Vero Beach.
Knights of Columbus councils from Holy Cross, St. Helen and St. John of the Cross, all in Vero Beach, and St. Sebastian in Sebastian sponsored the event, with St. Helen’s Hispanic ministry hosting a reception in the parish hall.
“The annual celebration commemorates the appearance of the Blessed Virgin to the Mexican peasant, Juan Diego, in 1531, and it expresses both international unity and dedication to the sanctity of human life,” said Michael Glatz, faith director of St. Helen’s council.
The ceremony began with the Knights’ honor guard and Knights on Bikes escorting the Silver Rose with regal splendor into the church, where it was placed on a table next to a life-size image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Glatz welcomed everyone, saying, “On behalf of your St. Helen’s Knights of Columbus, Mother of Perpetual Help Council 5629, I welcome you to our Silver Rose ceremony.”
Presenting a history of the Silver Rose, he said, “A group of young men in Knights of Columbus Council 2312 in Monterrey, Mexico, in 1960 came up with the idea of running a rose to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe,” Glatz said.
“The rose was chosen to commemorate Juan Diego and the miracle of the roses, an important part of the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe.”
Today, “eight roses run along different North American routes that include Canada, every U.S. state, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia and Mexico,” he said. “This tradition spreads devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe and embodies international brotherhood as jointly nurtured across the continent.”
The glorious mysteries of the rosary were prayed at the ceremony, with alternating decades recited in English and Spanish. St. Helen’s pastor, Father Matthew DeGance, led the faithful in an Act of Consecration to our Blessed Mother and the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
After the ceremony concluded, people had an opportunity to venerate the Silver Rose and image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Red roses were available to take home as a reminder of the Knights’ “one life, one rose” efforts promoting the sanctity of life.
Richard Gallant, Knights of Columbus District 65 deputy, explained how the Knights on Bikes traveled with the Silver Rose to parishes in the Diocese of Palm Beach.
“It started at St. Vincent Ferrer in Delray Beach, then to St. Paul of the Cross in North Palm Beach, then to the Cathedral of St. Ignatius in Palm Beach Gardens,” he said. “Then to St. Jude’s in Tequesta, and St. Joseph’s in Stuart, and then here to St. Helen, the last stop.”
Parishioner Maxine Gallagher said, “I came here because I feel like our Mother is the hope of this country, and we need to call on her to ask for her protection over our country.”
For more information on the Silver Rose program, contact Glatz at 772-538-1811 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn about the Knights of Columbus, visit https://www.kofc.org, or the Knights on Bikes at www.knightsonbikes-international.org.
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