In 1531, a Mexican peasant, by the name of Juan Diego, was walking to visit his sick uncle. While walking he was confronted by a mysterious lady. She told him to go to the bishop and tell him she wants a church built on the spot where they met. Juan Diego then went to the bishop and told him of the encounter. The bishop proclaimed he could not do that without a more compelling reason.
Juan Diego returned to his home by another route. On another walk, he again was confronted by the mysterious lady. Juan Diego told the lady the bishop explained he could not build a church based solely on the word of a peasant. The lady told Juan Diego to go to the top of the nearby hill and pick the flowers he found there. The flowers were magnificent roses. Nothing like them had ever grown in that region. He picked them, placed them in his tilma and returned to the lady. The lady arranged the roses and instructed Juan Diego to take the flowers, show them to the bishop and again tell him to build a church on this spot.
Juan Diego did as he was told. When in the presence of the bishop he opened his tilma. The roses fell to the floor. On Juan Diego’s tilma was the image of who we now know as Our Lady of Guadalupe. The bishop ordered the construction of the church to begin immediately.
In 1960 the Knights of Columbus began a program to honor Our Lady of Guadalupe by transferring a Rose from the U.S. to Mexico for the feast or Our Lady of Guadalupe. The program began with a single, natural rose, chosen to commemorate Juan Diego and the miracle of the roses in 1531. Since then, the rose has undergone several transformations from natural to wood, bronze and finally silver.
In 2001 Supreme Knight Carl Anderson, labeled the program "Running of the Rose", and adding to it 'One Life, One Rose', symbolizing the commitment of the Knights of Columbus to Our Lady of Guadalupe, for the spiritual renewal of each nation, and restoring respect for the sanctity of human life from conception until natural death.
There are currently eight Silver Roses traveling throughout North America, three of which will make their way every year to the Our Lady of Guadalupe Basilica in Monterey, Mexico.
FDD Bob Julien, Former Arizona Silver Rose Chairman