Faith is one of the strongest belief systems around the globe and always has been, since the dawn of man.
From the Sumerians and the Jewish people to the Catholics, Hindus, and Christians, faith plays a pivotal role in so many lives, regardless of when in time you are referring.
When it comes to flowers, there are many flowers that symbolize faith due to their role throughout history and in important biblical or religious characters.
Flowers that symbolize faith are: Rose, Lotus, Lilies, Poinsettias, Orange Flowers, Olive Tree, Marigold and Verbena.
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When you think of the beautiful and lush rose, you may immediately associate the rose with romance and love. However, rose flowers have a much deeper meaning beyond the surface.
Roses are often used in many religions, including Christianity, as a symbol of the Virgin Mary. Some may also believe that roses are meant to represent Christ’s blood itself.
For Christian brides, carrying a bouquet of roses may indicate her fertility. A wreath made entirely of roses in any color was also meant as a symbol of joy and rejoicing.
White roses, however, are often meant to represent purity and innocence, which also correlates with many religious uses and applications of the flower.
The lotus flower is another globally recognized symbol that is often associated with many religious practices and beliefs, namely Buddhism and Hinduism.
The lotus flower is said to represent the attempt to attain enlightenment, as the shape of the lotus flower is growing vertically and upwards in its most natural state.
The lotus is also meant to represent the different paths each of us takes in order to attain higher enlightenment spiritually.
The lotus, which typically grows in mud and swamps, grows upwards, which aligns with the philosophy of Buddhists and Hindus that believe that suffering is the only way towards growth and enlightenment.
The lotus flower is closely aligned with Hinduism as the lotus blossom is known as “the flower act” in Hindu cultures.
Throughout Hinduism texts and historical passages, the Hindu goddess Lakshmi was nearly always depicted as sitting or standing near or on top of a lotus flower.
The lotus flower represents beauty, enlightenment, eternity, and prosperity, making it one of the most symbolic flowers in many cultures and religions today.
The lily flower is one of the most adored flowers that is known around the world.
However, did you know that it has a rich and complex faith-based history?
Lilies represent the miraculous conception of Christ while also being a symbolic flower that is used to represent Jesus Christ during the Easter holiday.
There is also an Easter Lily, which is represented during Easter time, that includes white petals with darker leaves.
The white petals on the lily flower are meant to represent purity and life after death as they relate to Jesus Christ himself.
The stamen of the lily, especially when referencing the Easter Lily, is meant to represent the kingship of Christ.
The overall arching trumpet-like shape of the lily as it grows upward is also meant to represent the trump call of Gabriel for new life and rebirth.
Lilies can be used to represent the actual birth of Christ, as well as the innocence and purity of the Virgin Mary, depending on the context in which they are used and/or displayed.
According to some beliefs, the lily flower may have been yellow in the past, but was turned white only once touched by the Virgin Mary herself.
If you celebrate Christmas or you live in the Western part of the world, you have likely noticed an array of Poinsettia flowers that appear during the holiday season or even throughout the winter months of the year.
The Poinsettia flower has a rich and complex history that aligns with the Christian faith and the belief in Jesus Christ.
The shape of the Poinsettia flower is representative of the Star of Bethlehem, while the bright red-colored petals are said to represent the actual blood of Jesus himself.
In Christian mythology and in various legends told about the Poinsettia flower, it is thought that a sad young girl who was walking in Mexico who was unable to offer a gift to the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus was approached by an angel on the side of the road.
The angel then directed the girl to a pile of weeds, which were then turned into a Poinsettia bush immediately, due to the angel’s help.
Although the flower is closely associated with Christianity and the belief in Jesus Christ, the flower is also poisonous and must be kept away from children at all times.
5. Orange Flowers
Orange flowers are another widely popular flower that can be found throughout the Middle East. They also have close ties with the Islamic religion.
While Muslims do not typically use flowers or plants for symbolic purposes or for funerals or faith-based practices, they do often incorporate orange trees in places of spiritual practice.
Orange trees are known to be planted in Islamic gardens that have been designed and built for those who wish to meditate or practice spiritual prayer.
It is said that with orange flower plants, the leaves of the branches are used to protect those who may be sitting underneath the hot sun during prayer, especially for extended hours.
The tree is also notable throughout Islamic religion and culture as the tree bears fruit, or food for those who pray beneath it.
6. Olive Tree
The olive tree is not a flower in the classical or traditional sense, but it is one of the most religious plants known to man.
The olive tree has been known as a symbol of finding or making peace, victory, and even as a symbol of resilience.
Throughout history, the olive tree has been symbolic of all three Abrahamic religions: Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.
Some Christians believe that the olive tree was used to crucify Jesus on the cross.
Muslims believe that olive trees are closely linked to and associated with Paradise.
It is also said that the prophet Muhammad may have used olive oil in order to anoint himself, which is produced from the olive tree.
For those of the Jewish faith, it is believed that the olive tree represents God‘s overarching relationship with His creations and people, as well as peace, prosperity, and connection between all.
Throughout history and in ancient Israel, olive oil played an important role in providing anointments to cooking oils, which is why it still has a significant place in cultures from around the world today.
7. Marigold (Tagetes)
The marigold flower is another flower that is beloved around the world. Marigolds, or Tagetes, come from a genus of around 50 species and belong to the Asteraceae family.
Marigolds can be commonly found throughout both South and Central America, although it is possible to find them growing in some regions throughout North America as well.
While many popularized versions of Marigolds often include the color yellow, they come in many different colors, shapes, and sizes, mostly sticking to warm hues involving yellows, oranges, and reds.
The flower petals themselves are lush, round, vibrant, and perfect for just about any type of garden.
The genus name of Tagetes is Tages, which references the grandson of Jupiter, also known as Etruscan. Etruscan was known as a founding prophet of religion himself, the Etruscan religion.
Today, marigolds, or Tagetes, are still known for their faith symbolism as well as for the passion and creativity they represent.
8. Verbena (Vervain)
Verbena, also commonly referred to as Vervain, belongs to the Verbenaceae family and is from around 100 species.
Verbena flowers are native to both America as well as various regions throughout Asia.
The flowers themselves are tiny in nature and are grouped close together, forming tight-knit clusters. Verbena, or Vervain flowers, come in a variety of bright and vibrant colors, from royal purple and bright Fuschia to stunning shades of red.
These flowers are perfect for planting in and around garden beds as well as for filling cracks in sideways and between walls and stones that surround one’s own garden.
The name ‘Verbena’, is Latin for the use of sacred plants when conducting many different religious ceremonies.
The name ‘Vervain’ is also believed to be derived from Celtic culture and language. In Celtic, it is said that ‘Vervain’ comes from the words ‘fer’ and ‘faen’, which can both be translated into “to remove” and “stone”.
Because Verbena plants have medicinal qualities, it was also associated with mysticism and healing in some religious circles.
Since Egyptian times, the Verbena plant has been widely regarded as spiritual and symbolic, also referred to as a “Holy Plant” by many different cultures.
Even dating as far back as the Greeks and Romans, Verbena has a reputation for providing wellness and health.
Understanding the significance of flowers that symbolize faith can also help to better understand the stories and accounts that are included in religious texts that also involve symbolic flowers.
Flowers that symbolize faith remind us that even the deepest beliefs can last longer than many lifetimes.
Header image courtesy: Photo by Nita from Pexels