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The Passion Flower Legend

The story relates that in 1609 Jacomo Bosio, a monastic scholar, was working on his extensive treatise on the Cross of Calvary, when an Augustan friar, Emmanuel de Villegas, a Mexican by birth, arrived in Rome.
He showed Jacomo Bosio drawings of a wonderful flower, ‘stupendously marvellous’, but Bosio was unsure whether or not to include these drawings in his book to the glory of Christ, fearing that they were greatly exaggerated. However, after receiving more drawings and descriptions from priests in New Spain and assurances from Mexican Jesuits passing through Rome that these astonishing reports of this lovely flower were indeed true, and when finally he saw drawings, essays and poems published by the Dominicans at Bologna he was satisfied that this marvellous flower did exist.

Passin Flower Drawing


He now considered it his duty to present this ‘Flos Passionis’ flower story to the world as the most wondrous example of the ‘Croce triofante’ discovered in the forest. He considered the flower to represent not directly the cross of our Lord but more the past mysteries of the Passion.
In Peru, New Spain and the West Indies the Spanish descendants still call it the ‘Flower of the Five Wounds’. Bosio observed that the bell shaped flower took a long time to form, then after staying open for just one day, it closed back into the same bell shape as it slowly faded away. He wrote, ‘It may well be that in HIS infinite wisdom it pleases HIM to create it thus, shut up and protected, as though to indicate that the wonderful mysteries of the cross and of HIS passion were to remain hidden from the heathen people of these countries until the time preordained by HIS highest Majesty’.....continue

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