Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Our Lady of the Snows, edition)

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Jasmine is just now coming into bloom on the patio fence. The cruciform snow will soon be drifted up in great snowbanks, with so many thousands of white crosses.

Jasmine is of the olive family. That was a surprise to me. Wikipedia also presents the etymology as “derived from the Persian Yasameen (“gift from God”) through Arabic and Latin.” In Hebrew that would be Nathaniel. In Latin: Deodatus. The Italians will often shorten that to just Donato.

I can’t think of a better flower to give to Jesus’ good mom on the anniversary of the dedication of the major basilica named after her over in Rome: Saint Mary of the Snows.

The Catholic Encyclopedia has it that in the middle of the 4th century, “during the pontificate of Liberius, the Roman patrician John and his wife, who were without heirs, made a vow to donate their possessions to the Virgin Mary. They prayed that she might make known to them how they were to dispose of their property in her honor. On 5 August, at the height of the Roman summer, snow fell during the night on the summit of the Esquiline Hill. In obedience to a vision of the Virgin Mary that they had the same night, the couple built a basilica in honor of Mary on the very spot that was covered with snow.”

6 Comments

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6 responses to “Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Our Lady of the Snows, edition)

  1. pelerin

    I was so pleased some years ago when I discovered that my birthday fell on one of Our Lady’s feast days – Our Lady of the snows. I have never seen the plant illustrated although we do have a bush called Winter Jasmine which has bright yellow flowers and very different.

  2. nancyv

    Down south, we call it Confederate Jasmine…and it smells heavenly. Good flower for Our Lady. (Happy Birthday pelerin)

  3. pelerin

    Correction! Mass in Lourdes is 10 am French time and 9am here in GB. Never was any good at Maths!

  4. pelerin

    Thanks Aussie Mum and nancyv. Much appreciated. A lonely birthday this year but was grateful to be able to follow Mass from the Grotto in Lourdes. (9am French time 10 am in GB every morning on the Lourdes webcam)

  5. Marianne Winter

    It was a real surprise to me to discover that my birthday fell on that special Feast Day, especially as I was born in winter, it being winter in the Southern hemisphere. So snow is normal then. Winter became my professional name. I had a newspaper critic of a performance of mine entitled “This Winter makes a Musical Summer”. The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore was the first church I saw in Rome when I arrived here.

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