Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Our Lady's Sorrows and the Iris

“And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary his mother: Behold this child is set for the fall, and for the resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be contradicted; And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed.” (Luke 2:34-35. Douay-Rheims Bible.)
Today, September 15, the Church honors the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary: hearing the prophecy of Simeon; fleeing into Egypt; losing the Holy Child at Jerusalem; meeting Jesus on his way to Calvary; standing at the foot of the Cross; seeing Jesus taken down from the Cross; and witnessing the burial of Christ.

According to Mary Gardener John S. Stokes, the Blue Flag iris or iris versicolor symbolizes Our Lady’s Sorrows because of Simeon’s prophecy that a sword would pierce her soul. The iris has sword-like foliage and is also known as the Sword Lily.

Photograph of iris versicolor, from Wikimedia Commons. Some rights reserved.

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