Saints' Quotes

holy quotations for purification of the soul


for reflection and meditation


'Flores apparuerunt in terra nostra. . . Fulcite me floribus. (The flowers appear on the earth. . . stay me up with flowers. )

Sg 2:12,5

'For all flesh is as grass; and all the glory thereof as the flower of grass. The grass is withered, and the flower thereof is fallen away. But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel hath been preached unto you.'

1 Peter 1:24-25

'A slight sabre-cut will separate my head from my body, like the spring flower which the Master of the garden gathers for His pleasure. We are all flowers planted on this earth, which God plucks in His own good time: some a little sooner, some a little later. Father and son may we meet in Paradise. I, poor little moth, go first. Adieu.'

St. Jean-Theophane Venard, from a letter to his father

'In the garden of the Church, Mary gathers three flowers and places them into your hands: the white lily, the red rose, the pale violet.

The lily is the symbol of purity of conscience of life.

The rose represents that burning love which purifies, perfects and elevates the heart to God.

The violet is the emblem of the evangelical mortification which keeps us canditus, et rubicundus ("fresh, and ruddy" Sg 5:10) according to the desire of the Beloved of our heart et pascitur inter lilia. ("who pastures his flock among the lilies" Sg 2:16, Sg 6:2)

The picture of the lily draws you away from the world. The image of the rose unites you with the heart of Jesus. Finally, the violet makes you partakers of the fruits of the Cross of Jesus.

May the most holy Virgin who presents you with these flowers, find them still in your hands in your last agony as a pledge for entrance into the home to which only the pure lovers of Jesus Crucified are admitted.'

St. Gaspar del Bufalo

'Be faithful in all your exercises of piety and virtue; be always resigned; be satisfied, in the superior part of your soul, to taste, without relish, the contentment of doing God's will. Thus after the winter the spring will come, with its flowers, and you will hear the voice of the turtle-dove in this land. (Cant. ii. 12.)'

St. Paul of the Cross

'Possess purity in an eminent degree, and jealously preserve this fragrant flower. I earnestly desire to see you shine by the brilliancy of this virtue; be like to angels, and omit no precaution to retain this treasure, which is so easily lost by imprudence. We have this treasure in earthen vessels, says the Apostle. (2 Cor. x. 5.)'

St. Paul of the Cross

'"The flowers have appeared in our land: the time of pruning is come: the voice of the turtle-dove is heard in our land." (Sg 2:12) When the soul, like the solitary turtle-dove, retires and recollects itself in meditation to converse with God, then the flowers, that is, good desires, appear; then comes the time of pruning, that is, the correction of faults that are discovered in mental prayer.'

St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori

'The hermitage is a paradise of delight where the fragrant scents of the virtues are breathed forth like sweet sap or glowing spice-flowers. There the roses of charity blaze in crimson flame and the lilies of purity shine in snowy beauty, and with them the humble violets whom no winds assault because they are content with lowly places; there the myrrh of perfect penance perfumes the air and the incense of constant prayer rises unceasingly.

But why should I call to mind these in particular? For the lovely buds of all the holy virtues glow there many-coloured and graces flourish in an undying greenness beyond the power of words to describe. O hermitage! delight of holy souls, unfailing in your inner sweetness.'

St. Peter Damian

'Ever since Blessed Alan de la Roche re-established this devotion the voice of the people, which is the voice of God, called it the Rosary. The word Rosary means "Crown of Roses" that is to say that every time people say the Rosary devoutly they place a crown of one hundred and fifty-three red roses and sixteen white roses upon the heads of Jesus and Mary. Being heavenly flowers these roses will never fade or lose their exquisite beauty.'

St. Louis Marie de Montfort

'I am the flower of the field, and the lily of the valleys. As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.'

Canticles 2:1-2

'I adore You, O Precious Blood of Jesus, flower of creation, fruit of virginity, ineffable instrument of the Holy Spirit, and I rejoice at the thought that You came from the drop of virginal blood on which eternal Love impressed its movement; You were assumed by the Word and deified in His person. I am overcome with emotion when I think of Your passing from the Blessed Virgin's heart into the heart of the Word, and, being vivified by the breath of the Divinity, becoming adorable because You became the Blood of God.

I adore You enclosed in the veins of Jesus, preserved in His humanity like the manna in the golden urn, the memorial of the eternal Redemption which He accomplished during the days of His earthly life. I adore You, Blood of the new, eternal Testament, flowing from the veins of Jesus in Gethsemane, from the flesh torn by scourges in the Praetorium, from His pierced hands and feet and from His opened side on Golgotha. I adore You in the Sacraments, in the Eucharist, where I know You are substantially present. . .

I place my trust in You, O adorable Blood, our Redemption, our regeneration. Fall, drop by drop, into the hearts that have wandered from You and soften their hardness.'

St. Albert the Great

'Because the martyrs were devout men and women, fire, flame, wheel and sword seemed to be flowers and perfume to them. If devotion can sweeten the most cruel torments and even death itself, what must it do for virtuous actions?'

St. Francis de Sales

'O my child, bethink you that just as the bee, having gathered heaven's dew and earth's sweetest juices from amid the flowers, carries it to her hive; so the Priest, having taken the Saviour, God's Own Son, Who came down from Heaven, the Son of Mary, Who sprang up as earth's choicest flower, from the Altar, feeds you with that Bread of Sweetness and of all delight.'

St. Francis de Sales

'All the honey that can be gathered from the flowers of this world has less sweetness than the vinegar and gall of Jesus Christ our Lord.'

St. Ignatius of Loyola

'See, my children, if we really wish to be saved we must determine, once for all, to labor in earnest for our salvation; our soul is like a garden in which the weeds are ever ready to choke the good plants and flowers that have been sown in it. If the gardener who has charge of this garden neglects it, if he is not continually using the spade and the hoe, the flowers and plants will soon disappear. Thus, my children, do the virtues with which God has been pleased to adorn our soul disappear under our vices if we neglect to cultivate them. As a vigilant gardener labours from morning till night to destroy the weeds in his garden, and to ornament it with flowers, so let us labor every day to uproot the vices of our soul and to adorn it with virtues. See, my children, a gardener never lets the weeds take root, because he knows that then he would never be able to destroy them. Neither let us allow our vices to take root, or we shall not be able to conquer them.

One day, an anchorite being in a forest with a companion, showed him four cypresses to be pulled up one after the other; the young man, who did not very well know why he told him to do this, took hold of the first tree, which was quite small, and pulled it up with one hand without trouble; the second, which was a little bigger and had some roots, made him pull harder, but yet he pulled it up with one hand; the third, being still bigger, offered so much resistance, that he was obliged to take both hands and to use all his strength; the fourth, which was grown into a tree, had such deep roots, that he exhausted himself in vain efforts. The saint then said to him, "With a little vigilance and mortification, we succeed in repressing our passions, and we triumph over them when they are only springing up; but when they have taken deep root, nothing is more difficult; the thing is even impossible without a miracle."

Let us not reckon on a miracle of Providence, my children; let us not put off till the end of our life the care that we ought daily to take of our soul; let us labor while there is yet time. . .'

St. Jean Marie Baptiste Vianney, the Cure of Ars

'When I was in the desert of Scete, where are the most excellent monastic fathers and where all perfection flourishes, in company with the holy father Germanus, I sought out Abbot Moses, who was eminent amid those splendid flowers, not only in practical but also in contemplative excellence, in my anxiety to be grounded by his instruction: and together we implored him to give us a discourse for our edification; not without tears, for we knew full well his determination never to consent to open the gate of perfection, except to those who desired it with all faithfulness, and sought it with all sorrow of heart; for fear lest if he showed it at random to those who cared nothing for it, or only desired it in a half-hearted way, by opening what is necessary, and what ought only to be discovered to those seeking perfection, to unworthy persons, and such as accepted it with scorn, he might appear to lay himself open either to the charge of bragging, or to the sin of betraying his trust; and at last being overcome by our prayers he thus began.'

St. John Cassian

'Let everything in creation draw you to God. Refresh your mind with some innocent recreation and needful rest, if it were only to saunter through the garden or the fields, listening to the sermon preached by the flowers, the trees, the meadows, the sun, the sky, and the whole universe. You will find that they exhort you to love and praise God; that they excite you to extol the greatness of the Sovereign Architect Who has given them their being.'

St. Paul of the Cross

'Make great account of your precious trials, both interior and exterior; it is thus that the garden of Jesus is adorned with flowers, that is, with acts of virtue.'

St. Paul of the Cross

'When we see a beautiful object, a beautiful garden, or a beautiful flower, let us think that there we behold a ray of the infinite beauty of God, who has given existence to that object.'

St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori

St. Augustine says: "Learn to love your Creator in creatures; and fix not your affection on what God has made, lest you should become attached to creatures and lose him by whom you, too, have been created." This was the practice of the saint. At the sight of creatures he was accustomed to raise his heart to God; hence he exclaimed with love: "Heaven and earth and all things tell me to love Thee." When he beheld the heavens, the stars, the fields, the mountains, he seemed to hear them say: Augustine, love God, for he has created you for no other end than that you might love him.

Thus, likewise, St. Teresa, when she beheld the plains, the sea, the rivers, or other beautiful creatures, felt as if they reproached her with ingratitude to God. Thus also St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi, holding in her hand a flower or an apple, and looking at it, became enraptured with divine love, saying within herself: Then my God has thought from eternity of creating this fruit for my sake, and to give me a proof of the love that he bears me! It is also related of St. Simon Salo, that when in walking through the fields he saw flowers or herbs, he would strike them with his staff, saying: "Be silent! be silent! you reproach me with not loving that God who has made you so beautiful for my sake, that I might be induced to love him: I have already heard you; cease; reprove me no longer; be silent."'

St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori