Our Lady of Guadalupe has done so much for her people and country that an assembly of Columbian Squires, the youth group associated with the Knights of Columbus, wanted to give something back to her.
Under the leadership of Brother Miguel Martinez Estrada, Grand Knight Andreas Saucedo and Fray Margil De Jesus of Knights of Columbus Council 2312 located in Monterrey, Mexico, they came up with the idea of running of a rose to Our Lady of Guadalupe in Monterrey, Mexico. The small group was so enthused that they wanted to invite other squires to participate from two other countries on the North American Continent. They contacted squires from Laredo, Texas to London, Ontario, Canada.
In London, squires asked to start the relay running of the Rose from there through the United States and finishing up in Mexico City, Mexico.
The first Rose was blessed by Bishop John C. Cody in London Ontario. It was then flown to New York where it was received by Grand Knight Joseph Thomasen, he in turn took it to Supreme Knight Luke E. Hart. Mr. Hart then took the Rose to Dallas, Texas where district officers of the state of Texas were. Knight Jack Collerin received the Rose and sent it to Laredo, Texas where the Rose was received by squires from Monterrey, Mexico at the International Bridge in Laredo.
The squires then ran the Rose from the International Bridge to Monterrey, Mexico. The Rose was run by several squires through Sabinas Hidalgo N.L. Mexico to Cienega de Flores and onto the Basilica in Monterrey, Mexicoon December 12, 1960.
The First Rose was a real rose. After a year it decomposed. The squires were so full of inspiration they decided to make yet another relay run in 1961, but due to the condition of the Rose it was not able to be run again. After contacting Grand Knight Arthur Mount at Council 1134, Reverend Edward Gatfield and Bishop John C. Cody it was decided to make a bronze rose and send it to Our Lady in Monterrey, Mexico.
When Fray Antonio de Jesus Sacedon and the squires at Circle 660 in Monterrey heard of the bronze rose, they decided to call upon Brother Knight Miguel Martinez Montoya (owner of Joyeria Rosine) in Monterrey to make them a similar rose. The idea was then to make a silver rose as this is one of Mexico’s precious metals. The jeweler saw a beautiful bed or roses in a garden owned by Mrs. Shirla Ostwowk. He asked if he could have a rose as a model for the making of the “Silver Rose.” She first refused stating that she worked very hard to make her garden beautiful and her roses perfect. However, after talking to Mr. Montoya, she saw something in his eyes and how he spoke about the roses. She asked him to explain about his interest in the rose on more detail. He explained what had happened to the original rose in 1960 and what Canada was doing for Our Lady in Monterrey. Once she heard about the making of the “Silver Rose” she gladly gave him the rose and the stem to which it was attached.
Mr. Montoya, knowing that the rose would eventually wilt, took a series of photographs and made some sketches. Since then Mr. Montoya made all of the “Silver Roses” from 1961 to 1997.
The rose bush of which the rose was removed was called “Rose of Peace.” The first “Silver Rose” was blessed by Bishop Alfonso Espino Silva. It was then sent on to New Haven, Connecticut, to William L. Piedmont. The Bronze Rose was blessed by Bishop Cody. It was received by Supreme Knight Luke E. Hart. Archbishop Francis J. Spellman of New York so admired both roses he kept them for a special mass, there in New York. Both roses were then flown to Dallas, Texas.
Texas State Deputy Jack Collerin, State Secretary Ed Gunter and Grand Knight Scott Grant of Fort Worth, Texas set the roses on to Laredo, Texas. Laredo Council 2304 received the roses and turned them over to our brother knights from Monterrey, Mexico at in the middle of the International Bridge in Laredo. Brothers’ Louis G. Alanis who received the “Silver Rose” and Brother Enrique Garcia received the Bronze Rose. Again the roses were taken to Sabinas Hidago and Cienega de Flores and onto Monterrey.
Each of the roses are kept at the Basilica in Monterrey, Mexico, one for each year the “Silver Rose” has been run from Laredo, Texas to Monterrey, Mexico.
This tradition symbolizes unity and especially international brotherhood has been jointly nurtured by two cities from two countries. In 1997 during a Fourth Degree Exemplification in Kingsville, Texas, a “Silver Rose” (which was made a year before, especially for the council and assembly of Laredo) was present at the exemplification. A representative from Monterrey along with the keeper of the rose from Laredo (Sir Knight Alfredo McCabe) were also present during this exemplification.
After seeing the reception the rose obtained, it was decided to have another rose made by the jewelers in Monterrey. This special one would belong to all assemblies, councils and squire circles encompassing the fourth district of Texas of the Guadalupe Province. That rose has been made of solid silver with special emphasis on its design.
There are two large roses representing the two diocese of the Fourth District of Texas, a smaller rose between them indicating life and future growth. The stems of the roses circle each other indicating unity and at their base are twelve additional small roses representing the twelve Disciples. The base is made of marble from the mountains of Mexico, silver from its mines and labor from its people. All together with the help from many in the most southern region of Texas and the northern region of Mexico, a tradition is still alive and growing.
In recent years the rose has been run from London Ontario, Canada through 10 states in the United States and then into Monterrey, Mexico crossing the International Bridge. In 2010, the 50th anniversary of the original Silver Rose Run, the program was expanded to include three Roses traveling simultaneously across the continent from Canada through the United States to Mexico. They travel along a western route, a central route and an eastern route. Coming together at Laredo for the final leg of their journey to Monterrey.
See History of the Silver Rose for more information.