Sunday Thoughts ~ The Legend of The Christmas Rose

“But in this season it is well to reassert that the hope of mankind rests in faith.  As man thinketh, so he is.  Nothing much happens unless you believe in it, and believing there is hope for the world is a way to move toward it.” ~ Gladys Taber

Good Sunday morning, dear friends.  I have something, I consider beautiful, to share this morning.  The Legend of the Christmas Rose, a heart moving legend of love. Should you not be familiar with the legend, I hope you will enjoy it as I do.  And, if you are familiar with it, well ~ I hope you will enjoy it once again.

Image may contain: plant, flower, nature and outdoor The beautiful Hellebores niger, blooming in the snow.

The Christmas rose (Hellebores niger) is actually a perennial herb.  This beauty, with dark green waxy leaves, grows in the cold, snowy mountains and high valleys of Europe, and in zones 3-8 in the United States and Canada. The flowers are white, star-shaped, but can have pink speckles, a tinge of pink, or tipped with pink.  Because it blooms in mid-winter season, it may also be known as the Snow Rose or Winter Rose.  However, by whatever name it may be known, the Hellebores is the true Christmas flower.  And, attached to this lovely flower is a most beautiful legend.

“Sometimes the hardest things to believe are the only things worth believing at all.” ~ E.J. Patten

The Legend of the Christmas Rose is a story of a shepherd girl, named Madelon.   The shepherds, while watching their flocks, were visited by an Angel who was leading the Magi to the birthplace of Jesus. The Angel told them of the birth of Jesus who would come to be known as the Prince of Peace, the King of Kings and the Saviour of their people. Full of hope and joy, the shepherds left their flocks to visit the newborn king.  Taking with them small gifts they could afford.

Also, out on the hillsides, on this cold winter night was a young shepherd girl, Madelon.  She was tending her family’s flock, had witnessed the arrival of the Angel and heard what the Angel told the shepherds.  Madelon’s heart filled with joy, love, and devotion.   Filled with faith, she followed at a distance the Angel, Magi, and shepherds to the stable where Jesus lay in the manger.

Madelon watched as they entered the stable and the Magi laid their gifts of gold, myrrh, and frankincense before the baby Jesus. She watched as the shepherds gave their gifts of honey, fruit and snow-white doves. Realizing she had nothing to give she rushed back to the hillside to try and find flowers that she could lay before him.  The hillside was snow-covered, there were no flowers.  Madelon, full of shame and sadness, began crying.  Her tears fell down her face onto the snow-covered ground around her.  Seeing this from on high the Angel came down, touched the ground around Madelon.  A small clump of the most beautiful winter roses appeared at her feet.  The Angel then lifted Madelon’s face, wiped her tears, and told her, “Child, no gold, frankincense, or myrrh is as precious a gift for the Prince of Peace as these blooms which were born from the tears of your love, faith, and devotion.”

“Christmas hath a beauty … lovelier than the world can show.” ~ Christina Rossetti

Perhaps this legend began in order to serve as a reminder to each of us that our gifts must be from our hearts, and the gesture is always far greater than the gift.  The Christmas Rose is the symbol of hope, love, and everything good and wonderful in this most glorious season.  The beautiful blooms of this plant nod, therefore, one must gently lift the bloom to see its beauty.  Just as the Angel lifted the face of Madelon when she spoke to her. 


The legend also tells us that if one plants a Hellebores, it is to be planted close to a door so as to invite Jesus into the home.



I do hope you have enjoyed this post.  And that your heart will fill with joy every time you see a Christmas Rose ~ truly, a gift of an Angel. 



Wishing you and yours a day filled with the joys of the season. 


Au Revoir,



Images: viatumblr

Note:  The Legend of the Christmas Rose, from my personal collection of notes and information gathered through the years. 


12 thoughts on “Sunday Thoughts ~ The Legend of The Christmas Rose

  1. I never knew this legend, Sandra! I do, however, have my first hellebore planted this past winter (after it bloomed indoors), and look forward to it reblooming this winter. It is facing my front door by dumb luck! (This legend also tells me I should get a female figurine to stand alongside the three wise men!) Happy Sunday.

    1. Ah, Rita, I don’t believe it was dumb luck that you planted your hellebores facing your door. The angels guided you. And an angel would be perfect to go alongside your three wise men. Happy day to you also.

  2. Sandra, such a beautiful story and wonderful reminder for this glorious Christmas season! I would love to plant some of these beautiful roses. I live in zone 7 so maybe they will tolerate my area. Enjoy your Sunday, sweet friend! Merry Christmas!!!

    1. Shannon, I believe they would be most happy with you, because of your shade. They love a woodsy type environment. And, once they are established they are quite drought tolerant. Happy day to you also, dear friend.

  3. Sandra, I did not know this story, but it is so sweet filled with love. The Christmas rose is so beautiful with its head bent downward. Thank you for always sharing such beauty! Wishing you a joy-filled day sweet friend❤️

    1. Many thanks, dear Pam. You are so special to me. Wishing you a beautiful week, this season is moving way too quickly.!

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