The Christmas Rose
Adapted from an Old Legend
One clear cold winter night the shepherds gathered in the hills with their sheep. Snow lay all around. Noleen, a young shepherdess was with them. She often went to look after the sheep with her father.
There was a stirring amongst the sheep when the sky filled with moving colors, and the most beautiful song filled the air.
‘It is the angels singing,’ the shepherds whispered to each other. They looked at the sky and listened well. The angels’ song told of the birth of a Child who would be the King of All the World.
One by one the shepherd’s started to gather their sheep and belongings. They were going to find this Child who was a miracle. Noleen looked at her father, and they too packed up their things and set off with their sheep. The angels kept singing from the sky.
They walked and walked, it seemed they walked forever. Then in the distance they saw a stable filled with animals, but it was surrounded with golden light. The shepherds ran the rest of the way, and stopped by the stable door. There, in a simple manger, was the Child sleeping in a bed of straw.
‘I will give him some wool,’ said one shepherd.
‘I have some milk to give,’ said another.
Each shepherd found something to give the Child.
Noleen’s father gave his blanket to keep the family warm.
Noleen had nothing to give. Here was the King of All the World, and she had no gift for him. She kneeled outside the stable and started to cry. Her tears fell on the ground and melted the snow. What is this? Under the snow Noleen saw something beautiful. She rubbed her eyes and looked again. Yes, there were white roses growing where her tears fell. ‘But how could they grow in winter,’ she wondered. She gathered them in her arms and brought them to the Child. When the child’s small hand touched the white roses, they turned a rosy pink around the edges.
The Child’s mother sat next to Noleen. ‘Thank you dear Noleen, for these wonderful flowers. They are so lovely I will call them Christmas Roses, in honor of this Child. It is a night of wonder and magical things do happen.’
Noleen looked at the Child, the flowers, and when she looked at her father, their eyes twinkled as they smiled at each other.