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Catholic Dictionary




An emblem of the Blessed Virgin, often referred to as the Mystical Rose. Mary's rose emblem is rendered as a design with five petals signifying Mary's five joys, "I was exalted like the rose plant in Jericho" (Ecclesiasticus 24:18). Mary's Rosary is symbolized by white, red, and yellow roses corresponding to the joyous, sorrowful, and glorious mysteries. St. Thérèse of Lisieux has her crucifix covered with a profusion of roses as her well-known emblem, reminiscent of the shower of roses she promised to send her friends on earth. St. Elizabeth of Hungary is also symbolized in art with roses, disguising her offerings to the poor. St. Dorothy is represented with a laden basket of roses, the miraculous gift she is reported to have sent the pagan Theophilus, who mocked her on the way to martyrdom. Rose-colored vestments may be used instead of purple on the third Sunday of Adven (Gaudete Sunday) and the fourth Sunday of Lent (Latare Sunday). The liturgy of these Sundays is joyful.