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did homage to the rose: but the flower of Venus now became the mystic rose – the
lily’s sister – and did penance for her sins.
Then young maidens in the processions
scattered roses before the cross.
The altars in country churches were dressed with roses.
The same hand which gave its benediction to
the city and to the world, was annually stretched over the roses, on the day
called Rose Sunday.
The standard which Charlemagne received from
the Pope was studded with roses.
Angels even came from heaven, to offer roses
to a saint; witness the history of Saint Dorothea.
Rose-garlands hung from St. Cecilia’s harp.
God changed to roses the accusing bread, which
was to have conducted the Duchess of Bavaria to her end.
During this period, unfortunate women of my
class could only imitate the example of Magdalen. I found refuge in a cave,
where I lived for many years on prayers and roots.
(Twenty-one leaves wanting here.)