Hi folks! I hope you’re keeping well…
I just wanted to share with you this photo of the beautiful Passion Flower I photographed when I was in England; it was just gracefully hanging over the neighbour’s fence, and the decorative, orange fruits languidly dripped from the verdant, intertwining branches.
The symbolic meaning of this flower is interesting and goes something like this:
The Passion flower (Passiflora) was named by Roman Catholic missionary priests who encountered the flower while on their journey in South America in the late 1500’s. They named it after the Passion of Jesus Christ, believing that several parts of the plant symbolized features of His suffering and death.
The symbolic parts of the plant are:
- the filaments that represent the crown of thorns that Jesus wore before His crucifixion,
- the three stigmas on the passion flower which represent the three nails that held Jesus to the cross
- the ten “petals”, His ten faithful apostles, and
- the five anthers symbolise the five wounds that Jesus suffered when he was crucified.
The passion flower started to become widely known, and many used the flower to teach about the crucifixion.
The flower can also be used for medicinal purposes to treat such cases as: anxiety, insomnia, stress, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is also used for flavouring in foods.
To end this blog, here is a poem about the Passion Flower, written by Christopher Ifekandu Okigbo, a highly-acclaimed poet of Nigeria. He was also “a teacher, and librarian, who died fighting for the independence of Biafra. He is today widely acknowledged as an outstanding postcolonial English-language African poet and one of the major modernist writers of the 20th century… Despite his father’s devout Christianity (he was a teacher in Catholic missionary schools), Okigbo had an affinity, and came to believe later in his life, that in him was reincarnated the soul of his maternal grandfather, a priest of Idoto, (the water goddess of the Idoto River in his hometown), an Igbo deity (Igbo, the people of south-east Nigeria). — Wikipedia
Passion Flower — Christopher Ifekandu Okigbo (British Nigeria, 16 August 1932 – 1967)
And the flower weeps
For him who was silenced;
dumb bells1 in the dim light celebrate
with wine song;
Messiah2 will come again,
After the argument in heaven3;
Messiah will come again,
Fingers of penitence
to a palm grove5
fingers of chalk7.
Explanation of the poem:
1 — «dumb bell» referred to the practice in the Roman Catholic Church where bells are not rung between Maundy Thursday and the first Mass on Easter Sunday
2 — Messiah pointed at the expected King and Saviour (Jesus Christ).
3 —»after the argument in heaven» looks at the shaking of the powers of heaven referred to in The Gospel According to St. Luke, Chapter 21, verse 26, prior to the coming of the Son of Man, described in verse 27.
4 — “Lumen mundi”, the Light of the World (Jesus Christ)
5 — “Palm grove”, the place of sacrifice
6 — «vegetable offering», the fruits of the earth that are being sacrificed, that is, palm oil, kola nuts, alligator pepper and eggs of white hens
7 — «five fingers of chalk», the sacrificial chalk which is sold in «fingers».
(The explanation of the poem is taken from The Analysis of the poem Passion Flower by Christopher Okigbo)
Well, that’s all for now….
Thank you for visiting, your comments and/or questions are always welcome — take care! xxx
2 comentarios sobre “Christ’s Passion Flower”
We had a passion flower that climbed up the back of our house when I was a girl. I was transfixed by the story when we saw one for sale in Woolworths for about 1/6d (that dates me!) I persuaded by Mum to buy one and she did reluctantly as being South American flower, she was sure it wouldn’t last the winter in northern England. It not only lasted but thrived and was covered in those beautiful flowers all summer long. The poem is beautiful too – not a write that I was aware of, thank you.
Me gustaMe gusta
We also have had Passion flowers both in London and here in Cordova. Not only does it thrive, but is very invasive too! For me it has a special significance now that I know its symbolic meaning.
Me gustaMe gusta