In the wake of the devastation of Hurricane Ian we have seen an outpouring of much heroism and charity throughout the 10 counties of the Diocese of Venice.
Many have responded to the disaster by coming forward to perform Corporal Works of Mercy by either donating items to help support our suffering brothers and sisters in Christ, or by volunteering to distribute essential food and water, or helping to clean out destroyed homes.
Moved by the heartbreaking images of destroyed homes and ruined lives as families cry out in despair, many have also turned to prayer in response to the impacts of Hurricane Ian.
With this fundamental tenet of the Catholic Faith at the fingertips of all, the Church has a beautiful tradition of offering what is called a “spiritual bouquet.”
James Gontis, Diocese of Venice Director of Evangelization, said the tradition of a “spiritual bouquet” likely came from the origin of the rosary, from the Latin rosarium, or a garden of roses. For example, St. Louis Marie de Montfort compared each Hail Mary in the rosary as a rose given to Our Lady in prayer. The roses form a bouquet to lay at her feet.
“The devotion of the ‘spiritual bouquet’ has grown to include the flowers of traditional and devotional prayers and spiritual offerings,” Gontis said. “These are offered up to God for a person, an intention, or in this case for the many people affected by the hurricane.”
The practice is for a person to commit or pledge a “flower” of prayer to offer in union with others doing the same.
“Together, those flowers form a bouquet of prayer that rises as a sweet fragrance to God,” Gontis added. “These flowers of prayer can take a wide variety of forms, such as a Rosary, a Divine Mercy Chaplet, a Holy Hour, litanies, novenas, or Holy Communion. This is a tremendous spiritual work of mercy that can be done in families, schools, and Parishes.”
The Diocese of Venice asks all to join others in a special “spiritual bouquet” for the people of Southwest Florida, so all prayers for those suffering in the wake of Hurricane Ian may powerfully rise to the throne of Christ Our King.
You can add a flower to the Diocese’s “spiritual bouquet” by simply visiting https://dioceseofvenice.org/offices/offices-departments/evangelization/spiritual-bouquet-prayers-for-the-people-of-the-diocese-of-venice/.
Once on the website, a visitor can indicate which spiritual offerings they are pledging from the options listed or create your own. Don’t forget to click “Submit” when you are done! The “Spiritual Bouquet” will be available through Nov. 30, 2022, the end of the 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season.