Flores for the Immaculate Conception (Our Lady of the Snows edition)


This is a re-publishing from years ago, a way to honor the Immaculate Conception on this day, 8 December, Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. It’s set to snow today, ice all around, black ice on the roads in the mountains here in WNC as Sassy the all-wheel-drive 2016 Subaru Forester braves transport to three Masses. My parish sports the American-esque version of the Hautes-Pyrénées surrounding Lourdes, France.

Back in the day, when I was a permanent chaplain in Lourdes I took the picture above of fresh roses bursting from the ice next to the Grotto. It was February at the end of weeks of 24/7 sub-freezing temps with ice and snow precipitating down on the pilgrims daily. As you can see, the ice and snow are no match for the gentlest of petals when it is time to give due honor to the Immaculate Conception at the Grotto. Below is a view from above the grotto, and, yes, this is also a color picture. It was just that dark and dreary and ferociously cold:


Meanwhile, in the brutally hot August of Rome it snowed exactly where the Basilica in honor of Jesus’ good mom was to be built, and only there, you know, when tender snowflakes had rightly, for once, had something to do with water despite adverse temperature.

Today I am thinking about Saint John Paul II, how he used the phrase “co-Redemptrix” dozens of times, I think 29 times. This title for our Lady refers simply to how appropriate it was in justice that one of us who is not divine should ask for such graces perfectly, graces coming directly from her Divine Son. It was because of her Immaculate Conception that she had agility of soul, purity of heart, clarity of vision, see exactly what we needed from Christ Our God. Thank you, Blessed Mother, for being a good mother to us. Continue to show yourself a mother to us!

Monstra te esse matrem!



Perhaps this theme of co-Redemptrix is the key to my making a popular version of the thesis, finally. My hope is that this would bring some light to the darkness, including my own dark little life. The glory of the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception entering this world to grab us and bring us to heaven fires me up, enough, methinks, to melt the ice and snow of my own heart and soul so as to finally start writing. [I know, I know, I just have to do it. Time goes on. Life is short. Yikes! And, I know, I know, I wrote these words years ago… I’m so bad and evil. I beg for the wherewithal to do this.]


Filed under Flores, Immaculate Conception, Mary

8 responses to “Flores for the Immaculate Conception (Our Lady of the Snows edition)

  1. pelerin

    Beautiful. A few years ago after having seen some photographs for sale of Lourdes under the snow I tried to find postcards of similar scenes there both to keep and to send but was unsuccessful. Perhaps I was not the only one asking as now there are several snowy postcards on sale. On my visit during the heatwave in August I bought several to send to friends back home.
    I have also tried to find any postcards of the recent floods but they appear to be non existant and I presume that the publishers did not think they would sell. One hundred years ago postcards of floods, fires, disasters, earthquakes, even train crashes etc were produced often in great numbers and often in aid of the relevant disaster. The publishers could have issued cards with part of the profit going to the great expense of the clear up in Lourdes there but to date I have found none.

  2. Janice

    Beautiful photos and even more beautiful reflection. How I long to return to Lourdes! Mater Dolorosa, pray for us.

  3. Monica Harris

    What a show of Hope! Thank you for this, Father Byers.

  4. sanfelipe007

    Rest in Peace, Father Gabriele Amorth.

  5. Aussie Mum

    The title of co-redemptrix for Our Lady seems right. The two hearts on the back of the Miraculous Medal bring that title to mind as does the beautiful picture of Our Lady of Ollignies. I also appreciate your writings on the Immaculate Conception. Thank you Father.

  6. nancyv

    Add this to my “favorites” to review over and over. Wow. (inverted to MOM!)
    Deo gratias!

  7. sanfelipe007

    I am off to Mass this morning! “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad!”

  8. Aussie Mum

    “Perhaps this theme of co-Redemptrix is the key to my making a popular version of the thesis”. Please write it Father.

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