Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Mother of God ~ Unfading Bloom

NOW IN THE TIME when the forest ferns are spent, the garden and tree leaves are mottled, faded and insect-chewed, we look for the last rose of summer. And security and peace withers and the world feels menacing for many. I'd suggest that only spiritual things are lasting and sure. And then I remembered this lovely icon of the Theotokos (Mother of God) Unfading Flower. Sometimes she is called Unfading Bloom or Unwithering Flower. 

She reposes in a living aureol of light, fruit and flowers, inviting us to stop, simply to look, to gaze, to consider. There are little open scrolls on either side of the icon's lower border. Perhaps the artist has printed the icon's story there. But we might also imagine they contain her words of encouragement, her promises, her instruction. And then, out of silence, we can pray:

Having entered the season of decay and fading light,
and learning of my planet's joy-stealing troubles,
I turn to you, Unfading Flower,
in a heavenly egg of
pomegranate promise,
hands overflowing with 
raspberry staff,
and the Child who calls himself, Life.

Father Stephen P. Morris


  1. This icon is often depicted with Mary holding white lilies, a sign of purity. the unfading flower of virginity. This alternate version is very lovely with the staff of fruit and flower blossoms. This points to a line in the Akathist hymn: "Rejoice, O thou who alone hast blossomed forth the unfading Rose" — in this case, the Rose is Jesus Himself.

  2. Your reminder that "only spiritual things are lasting and sure" is so true. We should never take things for what they appear to be for we will be surely disappointed in those whom we have come to rely on. The rocks around us may crumble but our faith remains our solid foundation.

  3. This Theotokos is one of my favorites. Lovely prayer. It fits the icon perfectly. I will keep these words close as I gaze upon our heavenly mother holding her blessed bloom.

  4. The symbolism of the prayer deeply captivates my senses. Thank you! I am so grateful to have seen you recently as look forward our next celebration of life.