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The Rose-Garden: Beauty And Purity

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Chapter Summary

There is little indication in the Bible of the importance that the image of the rose was to play when it became associated with the Virgin Mary. This chapter traces the presence of the rose without thorn from being a symbol of the Virgin's perfect beauty and blossoming motherhood to one depicting her genealogy and her perfect nature, as well as her sinlessness. Both the rose and lily, from the Song of Songs, were readily taken as scriptural prefigurations of the Virgin, expressing her perfect beauty, singularity, and exceptional purity. The chapter shows how poets draw on Tota pulchra es symbols, particularly the enclosed garden, the rose-garden, the star of the morning, and the lily among thorns, but argued it is impossible to determine whether they are used deliberately to evoke it. Catalan poets often explicitly echo biblical prefigurations of Mary as both the rose and the rose bush.

Keywords: Bible; catalan poets; purity; rose-garden; Virgin Mary

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