In the 15th Century, Spanish Missionaries noticed much symbolism between the flower and the last days of Christ:
- The pointed leaf tips represent the Holy Lance which pierced Jesus' side before He died.
- The flowers' tendrils resemble the whips used to punish Christ.
- The faithful Apostles (minus St. Peter the denier and Judas the betrayer) are represented by the flower's 10 petals and sepals.
- Radial filaments, which can number over 100, resemble the Crown of Thorns.
- The chalice-shaped ovary with its receptacle symbolize a hammer (for the nails used to crucify Christ), or the Holy Grail.
- The three stigmata represent the nails, and the 5 antlers below them, the wounds of Christ (four by the nails, one by the lance).
- The blue and white colors of many passion flowers represent heaven and purity.
Why do I find that particularly fascinating? Because I love symbolism found in nature as well as literature. It's another way we are "spoken to" if our ears are attuned.
Has nature whispered to you lately? What did you hear?