The blessing of roses takes place at the end of Mass on the feast of Saint Rita. It recalls an episode in the life of the Saint of Desperate Causes. In January 1457 Saint Rita, lying ill in her monastic cell in Cascia, asked a cousin to bring her a rose. Tradition affirms that God granted this desire: Saint Rita’s relatives were able to pick for her a rose found blooming amidst the winter snow. In exchange for the thorn in her forehead that she bore for fifteen years as a sign of her participation in the redeeming Passion of Jesus, Saint Rita was miraculously given a rose in winter.
V. Our help is in the name of the Lord.
R. Who hath made heaven and earth.
O God, whose word sanctifieth all things,
pour forth, we beseech Thee, the dew of Thy blessing + upon these roses
that we present to Thee in memory of Saint Rita,
and grant that Thy faithful who will make use of these roses with devotion,
may by the merits of the Passion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ,
receive from Thy merciful goodness
health in sickness and consolation in every suffering.
Through the same Christ our Lord.
The roses are sprinkled with Holy Water.