Father “Ted” Gatfield, now a nonagenarian, blesses the 2011 Silver Rose before it began its journey through Ontario in May, 2011.
After the first running of the Rose in 1960, the Squires in Canada, the United States and Mexico were so enthused they wanted to repeat the program in 1961.
But the original rose could not be used. It was a real rose and had decomposed by then. To resolve the problem Bishop John Cody of London, Ontario, working with Father Edward (Ted) Gatfield decided to have a bronze rose made to send to Monterrey.
After hearing of the bronze rose, the Knights and Squires of Mexico also decided to have a permanent rose. It was made of silver because that is one of Mexico’s chief precious metals. Father Ted, now a nonagenarian, is shown above blessing the 2011 Silver Rose before it began its journey through Ontario in May, 2011
Both the silver rose and the bronze roses were sent to Supreme Knight Luke Hart in New Haven, who, sent them to Texas. Both roses were carried to Laredo, Texas, where they were turned over to Knights and Squires of Mexico for the journey to the basilica in Monterrey where both roses are kept.
As the decision was made to keep the program going, the silver rose became the symbol of the Silver Rose program. Brother Montoya crafted each rose used until 1997 and each was left at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe.