I wasn’t aware of this connection when the first wreath of Little Flowers was written; the peony is our flower for Love of God with Agnes as our patroness.
I just heard about this title for the flower last week at daily Mass and it makes so much sense. In my neighborhood, peonies are in full bloom all around. We have some in my parish’s Mary Garden and I noticed them this morning exploding with color and petals strewn over the ground.
Called pfingstrose in German, peony literally means “Pentecost Rose”.
Pentecost should be such a time for us – exploding with love for God in thanksgiving for the gift of the Holy Spirit. Take some time to ponder this as we continue our novenas and prayers waiting for Pentecost. God sent us a part of Himself to remain with us, even until the end of days. We are never alone – never – not matter how lonely we might feel.
If you have some peonies available they would make a great late addition to your Mary altar as we wind down the last days of May.
Peonies as a flower have a rich history. You will see them in ancient Japanese art, lauded for its medicinal properties and even being a sought after as a flavoring for foods. But, what I like most about the peonies in my garden is the ants. Yes, the ants.
Anyone who has grown these big flowers will see a steady stream of ants on peonies as they get ready to bloom. I once thought, as many d0, that the ants are necessary for the blooms but that isn’t so. The flowers will come with or without the ants, so the relationship is actually a neutral one but I find it a lovely imagery of my own relationship with the Holy Spirit.
Can I live a life without the Advocate? Of course, people all around the world do. But is my life better when I allow the Holy Spirit to be an active, involved part of my day – absolutely! So, while the ants aren’t needed for my flowers to come to full bloom I won’t do anything to inhibit them. Let them do their mysterious, silent work and wait until the flowers burst forth.
Just like the Holy Spirit – I strive to let Him do his silent, mysterious work in my heart, mind and soul and hope that God’s graces and mercy burst forth for my benefit and the benefit of all those I love and encounter.