(Source: Photo by Nina Bille of Thoughts and Images Along the Way )
For our own Madelon...
The Legend of the Christmas Rose speaks of a young girl named Madelon
who wanted to come worship the Christ Child. Seeing the gold, frankincense
and myrrh brought by others who were drawn to the humble birthplace,
she despaired that she had no gift to bring, for Madelon was poor indeed.
In vain she searched the countryside for a flower that she might bring, but the
winter had been cold and harsh – and there were no flowers to be found.
Saddened, the girl began to weep. An angel passing over her stopped to
provide comfort and smote the ground that was wet from her tears. There did
spring a beautiful bush that bloomed of white roses.
"Nor myrrh, nor frankincense, nor gold," said the angel, "is offering more
to the Christ Child than these pure Christmas Roses." And thus young Madelon
went her way and worshiped the Prince of Peace, bearing the gift of her heart
The Legend of the Christmas Rose is founded on the
following 15th C. poem:
A Rose has sprung from a tender root,
From Jesus, as those of old have sung,
And it bore a flower,
In the middle of a cold winter,
When half spent was the night.
Isaiah foretold it, the Rose I have in mind;
Is Mary the pure, the little flower has brought us.
From God's eternal wisdom, she bore a child,
And remained pure.
The Flower, so small, whose sweet fragrance fills the air,
Dispels with glorious splendor the darkness everywhere;
True man and truer God, helps us out of all sorrows,
Saves from sin and death.
Oh Jesus, until we leave this misery,
Let your help guide us into joy,
In Your Father's Kingdom, where we eternally praise You.
Oh God, allow us this.
Translated from the early 15th century German poem
"Es ist ein Ros' Entsprungen."