Penitential Perennial Roses

On this page you will find different ways in which you can offer up your daily sacrifices and penances to Jesus through Mary as Roses in your monthly crown.

The Basic Penitential Rose

This is the basic, and most important, of our penitential roses. This rose can be offered once per day only. That is to say – if you don’t complete it one day, begin from scratch the next. However, if you complete it in one day, you can’t offer it again as a Rose until the next.

The method for this rose is very simple: Say the following prayer, taught by Our Lady to the Children of Fatima, five times in a day:

“O Jesus, it is for love of You, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”

The prayer should be used at these times to offer up something that pertains to your duties or responsibilities, depending on your state in life. It doesn’t necessarily have to be something excessively difficult or laborious, but, e.g. an hour of work (be it study or to earn money); changing a nappy or feeding an infant; making time to intentionally build relationships with a family member; cleaning; being faithful to an horarium; fulfilling a duty out of obedience… etc. Typically, things that will be done on a regular basis daily anyway, so you shouldn’t have to add more ‘doing’ in order to complete the rose – its completion consists simply in the remembering to offer your day to Mary as it unfolds, and doing all things out of love.

The reason the rose consists in saying the prayer five times is the same reason Our Lord gave Sr. Lucia for stipulating Five First Saturdays – there are five sins against the Immaculate Heart of Mary to make reparation for. It may strengthen your focus to learn these and each time you say the prayer offer it in reparation for a different sin – but this is not required for the Rose.

You may, as you develop the habit, count offerings made in hindsight when you remember that you forgot earlier in the day. However the aim should always be to grow in being consistently present to Jesus and Mary. making the offerings promptly and regularly as you begin the task.

Prayer Posture

Here the penance is offering the sacrifice of maintaining the posture for the time specified, so if it happens to coincide with prayer roses, those can also be counted separately. The timeframes given are cumulative – so you don’t have to do it all in one go. Please listen to your body and don’t hurt yourself if any of these prove difficult!

  • Kneeling (upright, not half sitting on a pew) – Outside of Mass and Benediction, but including other times of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, as well as any other time of personal prayer: 2 hours = 1 rose
  • Praying Lying Prostrate (start session over if you fall asleep, but obviously previous times of prayer contributing to total time still count): 90 minutes = 1 rose
  • Praying with arms outstretched (kneeling or standing): 1 hour = 1 rose
    N.B. This means that roughly 9 Divine Mercy Chaplets (prayed reverently but simply) with arms outstretched, should equate to a penitential rose as well as a prayer one. That doesn’t mean you have to be praying this Chaplet for the penitential rose – but it is a suggestion to begin with if this mode of praying is new to you. Please be gentle. Don’t extend your time of praying in this manner beyond about 7 minutes at a time (the length of a DM chaplet) until you have done it for that length of time for 5+ consecutive days, monitoring how your muscles hold up. Ideally, discuss in spiritual direction.
  • Praying daily 1 major and 1 minor hour of the Breviary, whilst standing/sitting at appropriate times (as if one were praying in choir) may be counted as a rose per week – this ‘posture’ rose being separate from those due to the prayer itself.

Corporeal Penances

It’s difficult to ascribe roses here as prudent direction tends to be key in negotiating the fine line between fervour and imprudence – nevertheless, with Marian apparitions repeatedly pointing towards prayer and penance it doesn’t seem right to leave out specific acts of penance from our counting entirely. For this reason, Roses are attributed here with the following proviso:

A MAXIMUM of three of the following penitential roses may be counted for one’s bouquet per week, unless one is under the guidance of a prudent spiritual director. Under said guidance, there is no such limit, so long as EVERY act of corporeal penance is performed with permission.

Here are the general guidelines:

  • A day fasting on bread and water = 1 Rose
  • 3 days of strictly eating one meal and two collations = 1 Rose
  • A night sleeping on the floor = 1 Rose
  • 3 nights (consecutive or not) rising somewhere between midnight and 3:30am to pray Matins, a full Rosary or a Divine Mercy Chaplet* = 1 Rose
  • 3 nights (consecutive or not) being woken to attend to a crying infant, if you pray a decade of the Rosary* before you fall back asleep = 1 Rose

*Here the penitential aspect is the getting and staying out of bed for God, therefore if the prayers themselves are still free to contribute towards any prayer rose to which they may be relevant.

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