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As history tells us, the War of The Roses raged in England between the Houses of York (white rose) and Lancaster (red rose). The war was ended by Henry VII of Lancaster who married Elizabeth of York. As an emblem of his House (Tudor), he joined the white rose with the red. Early Christians too associated the rose with their Roman enemies, but later adopted the rose as a symbol of miracles. The Virgin Mary is called "The Mystical Rose." The first rosary is said to have consisted of roses and later carved into beads. Many stories and legends name the rose as a source of love and delight. According to the ancient Persians, the nightingale loved the white rose so much that the bird embraced it, piercing its heart and turning the rose red with its blood. The red rose was eventually adopted as a symbol of the blood of the Christian martyrs during the Crusades. In Rome a wild rose would be placed on the door of a room where secret matters were discussed. The phrase sub rosa, or "under the rose", means to keep a secret! The story of roses even goes to the Egyptian Cleopatra who had her palace strewn with rose petals to receive her lover, Mark Anthony.


Roses have long been associated with love in many different cultures and contexts. The ancient Greek poetess Sappho (6th - 5th century BC) declared that "the rose breathes of love" and the flower is a symbol of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love.


The rose as a symbol of secrecy dates to ancient Greece and Rome. The Latin phrase sub rosa (literally "under the rose") conveys the duty of silence denoted by the flower. Roses hung from a ceiling or made into garlands serve as a reminder of this code of silence.

rose is also a symbol of gentleness, light, martyrdom, christianity.