Hundreds of roses are piled up for Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 12, 2021. / Photo by James Maly, courtesy of Benedict XVI Institute
Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Dec 14, 2021 / 11:47 am (CNA).
A pro-life campaign led by the archbishop of San Francisco gathered thousands of roses for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) outside the U.S. Capitol on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
“The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the unborn, is a fitting day to send a shower of roses to Speaker Pelosi,” Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, Pelosi’s archbishop, said in a statement. “Each one represents a Catholic praying and fasting for Nancy Pelosi’s conversion to the Gospel of Life.”
The roses are part of the “Rose and a Rosary for Nancy Pelosi” campaign, hosted by the Benedict XVI Institute for Sacred Music and Divine Worship at the archbishop’s request. The campaign invites Catholics to pray and fast for the conversion of the speaker, who backs abortion legislation, including the Women’s Health Protection Act. For every person that signs up, the campaign promises to send a rose to the California Democrat who identifies as Catholic.
“This is what equality means: Every human life is equally sacred,” Cordileone said. “Speaker Pelosi, we love you. It is not too late: choose life.”
Dec. 12 marked the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patroness of the unborn, who appeared to St. Juan Diego at a time of conflict between the Spanish and the indigenous peoples. She asked the saint to persuade the bishop to build a church and, as a sign, she instructed him to gather Castilian roses. When the saint presented the flowers to the bishop, he discovered her miraculous image left on his tilma.
On this Marian feast day, the Benedict XVI Institute, based in San Francisco, displayed roses and gathered to pray a rosary outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.
“We wanted this to be a prayer service, not a political rally,” stressed Maggie Gallagher, executive director of the Benedict XVI Institute.org. They did not deliver the 7,700 roses directly to Pelosi’s office, she said, but they placed the flowers outside the U.S. Capitol.
The institute plans to continue sending 100 roses to Pelosi each day. Each flower represents a Catholic praying and fasting for her conversion on abortion and the life issue.
“As of the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, 16,381 Catholics have made this commitment,” Gallagher added. “These roses are a rich and deep and visible symbol that Catholics cannot support the massive taking of innocent human life, whatever the politics, the pols [politicians], and the polls may say.”
Cordileone tweeted about the number of roses on Monday.
“That is a lot of roses,” he said, sharing a photo of the roses in Washington, D.C. on Sunday, Dec. 12. “Thanks to each one of the 16,381 people who joined this campaign.”
The campaign officially began on Sept. 29.
“A conversion of heart of the majority of our Congressional representatives is needed on this issue, beginning with the leader of the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi,” Cordileone said at the time. “Speaker Pelosi speaks fondly of her children … Please join me in praying the rosary and fasting for a conversion of Speaker Pelosi’s maternal heart to embracing the goodness and dignity of human life not only after birth, but in the womb as well.”
Within the first 48 hours of the campaign, more than 1,000 Catholics signed up. The first rose delivery, to Pelosi’s San Francisco office, came on Oct. 1, the feast day of St. Therese of Lisieux, who promised to send a “shower of roses” from heaven after her death.
The rose, Cordileone added, also represents Mary.
“The rose is also a symbol of our Blessed Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, the ‘mystical rose,’” he said.