The Knights of Columbus of West Virginia will participate in a North American effort paying special tribute to Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas through the Our Lady of Guadalupe Silver Rose Run One Life, One Rose program. It involves running three Silver Roses from Ontario through the U.S. to Monterrey, Mexico.
The Rose will journey through the area between Thursday and Saturday beginning in Parsons, traveling through Elkins and ending in Buckhannon.
The rout will take the Silver Rose along the Rail Trail and U.S. 33 with scheduled overnight stops in Parsons, Elkins and Buckhannon. At each stop, a special prayer service honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe will be celebrated.
The Our Lady of Guadalupe Silver Rose Program began in 1960 as a project of the Columbian Squires of North America to honor the Blessed Virgin under her title of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas. The program has continued since then as a project of Squires circles, councils and Fourth Degree assemblies in several jurisdictions.
In 2001, Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson expanded the program by beginning the "Running of the Rose" from the 119th Annual Meeting of the Supreme Council in Ontario. The program has expanded with three roses traveling from Ontario, to Monterrey, Mexico, arriving at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe on Dec. 12, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
The 2012 Silver Rose Run has grown to incorporate more than double the number of jurisdictions participating. Starting in May, three roses began traveling simultaneously through 31 jurisdictions before entering Mexico for the final leg of the pilgrimage to Monterrey.
In recent years, the rose has been run from London, Ontario, through 10 states in the United States, and then crossing at the International Bridge and ending in Monterrey, Mexico. Now, four roses travel simultaneously starting in Ontario and then moving to the West Coast, central United States, the Southeast and the East Coast. All four roses come together in Texas to travel over the International Bridge and be handed over to Knights from Monterrey.
"The 'Running of the Rose' is a perfect program for the Knights of Columbus," Anderson said. "Through it we honor not only Our Lady of Guadalupe and express the unity of the Order, but we also reaffirm the Order's dedication to the sanctity of human life. It is to the Blessed Mother that we turn in prayer as we work to end the Culture of Death that grips our society. As we think in terms of 'One Life, One Rose,' it is most appropriate that we turn to Our Lady of Guadalupe who made known her will through Juan Diego and the 'Miracle of the Roses.'"
"Through the Silver Rose Program the Knights of West Virginia show our support for the church and its bishops and priests as we pray for the continued strength to do so in these troubled times. The Silver Rose also symbolizes our commitment to restoring respect for the sanctity of human life from conception until natural death," said Mark Ackermann, state deputy, chief executive of the Knights of Columbus in West Virginia.