a fragrant secret upon the mouth of God.
Hildegard Von Bingen
Your praises echoed from her saintly lips.
A Rose among thorns
Heavenly chants of medieval monks fill the air.
Garden of God
Your divine place of sweet refrain; rest in the arms of your beloved.
Opening of the sacred petals
The breath of God sighing deeply into your barrenness; a cloistered garden of divinity.
Round Yon Virgin
Mysterious fertility within thy consecrated womb.
Fruit ripens on the blessed vine
The shoots of the stalk of Jesse break into the world.
Awaited Messiah cradled in your loving arms.
Anna A. Kasper – Copyright 2004
The Christmas poem Rosa Mystica found above is one I wrote for a college Creative Writing class. It’s a Ghazal style poem which is an ancient form of poetry from India and Persia. The subject matter is usually mystical spirituality or mystical sensuality. I did receive an A+ for my writings in this course. The professor told me I have a natural gift for writing Ghazal style poetry, and that I understand the form on a mystical level, something he stated that not everyone does. Recently, I studied Ghazal style poetry again when the subject was found in my World Religions course that I completed at Phillips Theological Seminary last fall.
The history and origins of the Virgin Mary being called Rosa Mystica (Mystical Rose):
In the 5th century she was first called a “rose among thorns” to express Mary’s purity and the fragrance of her grace. In Medieval times she was called rosa mystica or the mystical rose coming from the verse of Sirach 24:14: “like a palm tree in Engedi, like a rosebush in Jericho” which makes reference to God graced fertility and growth, and a reference to the mysterious generation of Christ from the womb of Mary.
The Biblical source of the title is also found in the Song of Songs 2:1, often translated, “I am the Rose of Sharon“. Bishop Robert C. Morlino draws a connection to Isaiah 11:1, “But a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom.” This is also reflected in the German Advent hymn Es ist ein Ros entsprungen, known in English as “”Lo, how a rose e’er blooming”, which makes reference to the Old Testament prophecies of Isaiah which in Christian interpretation foretell the Incarnation of Christ, and to the Tree of Jesse, a traditional symbol of the lineage of Jesus.
Christmas Blessings to all!
Lyrics to Es is ein Ros entsprungen (It is a rose sprung up) in English:
Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming
A rose has sprung up,
from a tender root.
As the old ones sang to us,
Its lineage was from Jesse.
And it has brought forth a floweret
In the middle of the cold winter
Well at half the night.
The rosebud that I mean,
Of which Isaiah told
Is Mary, the pure,
Who brought us the floweret.
At God’s immortal word,
She has borne a child
Remaining a pure maid.
or: Who makes us blessed.
The floweret, so small
That smells so sweet to us
With its clear light
Dispels the darkness.
True man and true God!
He helps us from all trouble,
Saves us from sin and death.
- Mary, the Mystical Rose, is link to God – Madison Catholic Herald
- Journey into the Heart of God: Living the Liturgical Year – Philip H. Pfatteicher – Google Books
- Rosa Mystica – Wikipedia
- Mystical Rose (piercedhearts.org)
- ANNA KASPER CHRISTMAS NEWSLETTER (2013)
Rosa Mystica poem is © Anna A. Kasper 2004. If you use any information from my blog posts as a reference or source, please give credit and provide a link back to my work that you are referencing. Unless otherwise noted, my work is © Anna A. Kasper 2011-2022. All rights reserved. Thank you.