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The Church’s penitential season of Lent begins on Wednesday.
In 1569, Spanish missionaries discovered a new climbing plant when they began to settle in Peru. It is called the Passion Flower. There are about 500 varieties.

During Lent they used the flower’s unique structure in their teaching to illustrate the Crucifixion of Christ: its five sepals and five petals referred to the 10 apostles (doubting Peter and betrayer Judas are not included), the three stigma look like the nails of the cross, the corona resembled the crown of thorns, the three bracts were the three Marys at the foot of the cross, and the blue colour in the flower referred to Mary’s cloak, etc.
The Passion Flower is now used in a combination of herbal products as sedatives for promoting calmness and relaxation in insomnia, anxiety, seizures, irregular heart-beat, high blood pressure, and narcotic drug withdrawal, etc. Passion Flower extract is also used as flavouring.

St. Patrick used the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity.


I'm afraid it will always remind me of genocide, greed and cruelty.
Although, since my own existence is predicated on the same genocide, I suppose I shouldn't judge.
Why the association?
Because of the destruction of the indigenous people of Peru by the conquistadors, under the sanction of the Catholic church. It seems ironic to appropriate a native flower and name it after the cause of so much suffering.