Silver Rose Programs Held in the Diocese
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
August 26, 2021
ROCKFORD­—On Aug. 16, the Knights of Columbus at Holy Family Parish held a Silver Rose prayer service to honor the Blessed Mother, Our Lady of Guadalupe.
They were one of several KC councils to host the annual prayer service in the Diocese of Rockford this year. Parish KC councils in Rockford, Aurora, Sugar Grove and Crystal Lake were on the schedule between Aug. 15-21.
Since 1960, the Silver Rose program, originally called Operation Rose, has gathered Knights and Columbian Squires from Mexico, the United States and Canada under the mantle of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas. 
That year, Monterrey, Mexico, Columbian Squires – an international youth fraternity run by the KCs for Catholic boys ages 10-18 – ran a rose from the International Bridge in Laredo, Texas, to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Its travels had begun in London, Ontario, Canada, then came through New York, Dallas and Laredo, Texas.
The original was a live rose. A KC council made a bronze rose the following year and sent it to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe. 
Hearing about it, the Monterrey Squires then called upon Brother Miguel Martinez Montoya in Monterrey to make a silver rose, since silver is one of Mexico’s precious metals. Brother Miguel made all the silver roses from 1961-1997.
From 1961 until the early 1990s, Knights from Mexico, Texas and the Our Lady of Guadalupe Province of the Fourth Degree kept the tradition alive. In the 1990s Supreme Knight Virgil C. Dechant decided to make the Silver Rose a Supreme Council program.
Now from late February through mid-December, eight silver roses are stewarded by Knights of Columbus councils along routes from Canada to Mexico. 
The eight routes run through various parts of the U.S., all winding up in Laredo, Texas, and brought from there to Mexico.
Illinois is part of Route 3, which began in Manitoba, Canada, followed by North Dakota, Minnesota, South Dakota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois (Aug. 16-Sept. 26), Missouri, Arkansas, Texas, to end on Dec. 12 in Mexico on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Every stop the Silver Rose makes throughout the pilgrimage is a rosary-centered occasion for Knights, parishioners and community members to pray for respect for life, for the spiritual renewal of each nation, and for the advancement of the message of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
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