There they were, hundreds, thousands of them, a heap of flowers, brought into the cathedral, as so many offerings to
«La Morenita», Our Lady of Guadalupe… A heap of colors and fragrances, a heap of prayers…
There they lay, still as people deep in prayer. In silence they lay, yet they spoke, more than any litany or rosary recitation. They spoke, and told hundreds, thousands, of stories … There, before the Lady standing with the moon under her feet.
There they lay, in all their colors, and shades, and petals and leaves: the roses, the lilies, the tulips and so many, many more… As I was gazing at them in admiration, so still yet so telling, I heard them speak… Each of them was a unique voice, the voice of a unique person, the cry of a unique soul.
There was the beautiful pink rose, so devotedly presented to the bountiful Lady, who once produced roses of Castille for the sake of Juan-Diego ‘s Castillan bishop. And the rose was a mother. A caring mother, whose adult son had taken his life, after years of depression. How poignant the fragrance of that rose was ! A mother who had made all the efforts she could, year after year, to help her Juanito, who drank and smoked and failed and failed again… She had come here, as a mother and as a widow, to implore the mother of Jesus and Joseph’s widow, to save the soul of Juanito. And the petals of the rose looked like lips chanting a prayer of hope.
There was that white lily, strong and healthy, offering the rich perfume of its heart deep down in the cup formed of six immaculate petals. And the lily was this young man, kneeling in the pew, his ardent eyes focussed on the miraculous image. Paco was struggling against the fallacious promises besieging him, day and night, in the godless society of his peers and coworkers, at work and out of work. Paco was imploring the Mother of Christ to be able, one day, to make a home of his own, to raise a family, a family which would radiate the perfume of Christ. The lily so firm and handsome, was the young man kneeling in the pew , his hands clasped in a long, trustful and sound prayer of hope.
There was that yellow tulip, in her perfect chalice of a very subtle scent, amidst all the fragrances from a thousand bunches of flowers. The yellow tulip was Maria, the mother of three, whose husband had left them, unaided. Maria was working hard ; she had taken two jobs, in order to make both ends meet. A courageous little Mum she was, Maria, and she often came to the Virgin Mary, to thank her and to plead. She thanked for the grace of forgiving her spouse, whom she loved still, and she pleaded for his sickened soul. She also prayed for their three children whom she somehow managed to raise and educate, thanks to the help of caring neighbors. The yellow tulip was one among so many others, in the heap of flowers. Each had its roots, its colors, its voice.
There they were, « a monton de flores », a heap of flowers in silent pleading, before the Woman robed in sunshlight, who had her feet on the moon. An angel picked each one of the thousand flowers and presented it to the merciful pregnant Virgin, who once spoke to a man, on his way to his ailing uncle. Each flower bore a name. Each had a face. And a voice. And a soul for eternity. I looked at them, so varied and so beautiful. So admirable in their shapes and in their shades, colors and fragrances…There they lay, still and alive, and ardent love was their perfume. At the feet of the Woman who once produced the roses of Castille, on Tepeyac.