VERO BEACH | It was a joyful and prayer-filled evening Aug. 5, 2022, at the Knights of Columbus 2022 Silver Rose ceremony at St. Helen Parish in Vero Beach. The event was hosted by the St. Helen Spanish ministry and Knights of Columbus Mother of Perpetual Help Council 5629.
“The Silver Rose is a symbol of the Knights of Columbus’s dedication to the ‘sanctity of life,’ honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe,” said Michael Glatz, faith director for the St. Helen council. .
Spanish ministry co-coordinator Gloria Rivera said, “We feel so blessed. We believe in the Blessed Mother and the rosary.”
The Silver Rose ceremony began with a welcome from Father Matthew DeGance, pastor of St. Helen and the Knights’ chaplain. He said he was happy to see both communities unite for the ceremony. “The Knights of Columbus have done a great job, and we are very happy to have them.”
When Mary appeared to native peasant Juan Diego in 1531 near present-day Mexico City, he went to tell the local bishop, who told him to ask her for a sign that she was indeed the Blessed Mother. Juan Diego gathered roses that were normally dormant in December, putting them into his cloak to present to the bishop. When Juan Diego unfolded his cloak, the miraculous image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was revealed.
Glatz explained the Silver Rose pilgrimage starts in March and ends Dec. 12, Our Lady of Guadalupe’s feast day. “Eight Silver Roses run along different North American routes, starting in Canada, to 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 Catholics, we are called to be a people of life. The challenge before us is to teach the world that the life of each human being, unique and unrepeatable, begins at the moment of conception and ends at natural death."
The Knights of Columbus color corps, dressed in full regalia, processed with the Silver Rose, placing it before a large image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Knights from St. John of the Cross Council 13153 also participated.
The glorious mysteries of the rosary were prayed, with alternating decades in English and Spanish. Father DeGance led the faithful in the Act of Consecration and Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Then he celebrated the 7 p.m. Spanish Mass.
At the end of the Mass, Father DeGance said, “Pray the rosary in your homes. It is very important to become witnesses for your children.”
Afterward, the faithful had an opportunity to venerate the Silver Rose. Red roses were available as a reminder to protect “the sanctity of life.”
Ron Sheldon, a member of the Knights on Bikes motorcycle group, said, “Our job is to take the Silver Rose through the Diocese of Palm Beach. The Knights are evangelizing at the same time because riding the bike is very public.”
The Silver Rose was also to be brought to St. Rita in Wellington Aug. 7, St. Paul of the Cross in North Palm Beach on Aug. 8 and Our Lady Queen of the Apostles in Royal Palm Beach Aug. 10, before heading to the Archdiocese of Miami.
For information on the Knights of Columbus, visit www.kofc.org. Contact Michael Glatz of the St. Helen Knights at 772-538-1811 or visit www.sthelenvero.org. For Our Lady of the Rosary Council 13153, call 772-563-0057. For more about Knights on Bikes, visit www.knightsonbikes-international.org.