By Anne Marie Amacher
The Silver Rose, a tribute to Our Lady of Guadalupe for what she has done for the people of the Americas, has been displayed in churches in southeast Iowa this summer.
About 50 people attended a prayer service July 2 at Ss. Mary & Patrick Parish in West Burlington where they viewed and touched the rose.
Keith Howard of Knights of Columbus Council 568 said the rose was carried into the service by Sister Kathy Braun, SSND, pastoral associate at Ss. Mary & Patrick and at Ss. John & Paul Parish in Burlington. Mackin Assembly 261 in Burlington provided an honor guard.
Howard said the Burlington council was the first in Iowa to host the Silver Rose this year as part of a program to pray for the sanctity of human life from the moment of conception to natural death.
Father David Steinle, pastor of the West Burlington parish, invited participants to touch the rose and say a prayer for unborn children and for courage to continue the fight for the right to life.
The Silver Rose can be displayed in a stand-along prayer service or at Mass. During the Burlington prayer service, participants recited the rosary, went up to the rose, placed their hands on it, and said a prayer for courage to stand up for the sanctity of life. An Act of Consecration and final blessing followed.
The Silver Rose is one of three in the “Running of the Rose” that began in Canada in April and ends at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Monterrey, Mexico, on Dec. 12 — the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
According to the Knights of Columbus Running of the Rose website, the tribute began 52 years ago in Mexico. A real rose was carried that first year. Over the years, the route has expanded and multiple Running of the Rose tributes have been held since 2001.
The central route of this year’s tribute took the Silver Rose to Burlington, then to All Saints Parish in Keoekuk, St. Mary Parish in West Point and St. Wenceslaus Parish in Iowa City.
The website states the Silver Rose exemplifies Knights of Columbus devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe and to the commitment to the culture of life.