Tomorrow is the Marian feast of the Assumption. Here’s something you can do to honor her and create a refuge of prayer in your home.
My perennial garden is adorned with a beautiful statue of the Blessed Mother. It’s a beautiful place to sit and ponder as Mary did or meditate on the rosary. While researching ideas to enhance this prayer space, I found so many creative ideas including a Marian prayer garden surrounded by rocks that formed a rosary around them. (no garden envy there at all!!!)
Whether we have a yard, a grassy corner, a patio, or a porch at our disposal, our creative potential is infinite. Any of these spaces can become a magnificent garden. We can also augment God’s creation by filling these garden sanctuaries with statues, chimes, or colorful flags. Running water, like that in a created stream or fountain, helps soothe a stressful soul as well.
Marian Gardens aren’t just for the outdoors though, they’re a beautiful way to honor Mary in your home as well. They’re a simple reminder of her grace and intercession for you and your family. It can be as simple as placing a small statue into one of your house plants or creating one of your own (ideas below). For those of you who don’t enjoy gardening or creating, I’ve included some suggestions for you as well.
This little refuge of brilliant color, sweet scents, and stillness creates the perfect setting for prayer.
Did you know…
During medieval times, Catholics often honored the Blessed Mother through planting a Mary Garden at their homes or on parish grounds. These medieval gardens would often include shrubs, herbs, and flowers that represented the Blessed Mother and events from her life. Many plants had Marian names in honor of her life and glorious virtues.
- Columbines were once called “Our Lady’s Shoes” because a legend said that, on her way to visit her cousin Elizabeth after the Annunciation, these flowers sprang up along Mary’s path.
- Bluebells were once known as “Our Lady’s Thimbles” in honor of Mary’s role as a mother and homemaker.
- Violets were called “Our Lady’s Modesty,” because a story said that violets blossomed when the Blessed Mother told the Angel Gabriel, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. Be it done to me according to thy word.”
- Hostas used to be called “Assumption Lilies.” In late summer, a tall, thin stalk emerges from this plant’s leaves and unfolds into a beautiful and intricate flower. This natural occurrence reminds us of Our Lady’s Assumption into Heaven, which we celebrate around the same time this flower blooms.
While many of these plants have new names, some continue to bear their Marian titles. For instance, marigolds get their name from the phrase “Mary’s Gold,” in honor of Our Blessed Mother.
Creating a Marian garden is a centuries-old tradition in the Church. You, too, can participate in this special practice to honor Our Lady. Here’s 10 ideas to get you started (pst – there’s even an option or two for those of you who don’t have a green thumb).