My Roman rose (rosacea) vestments

My rose vestments.  It is a classic Roman set.

Ironically, they were given to me by an ultra-dissenter, once actually disciplined by the CDF.

He was getting rid of old stuff.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. ckdexterhaven says:

    Fr. Tighe at St. Catherine of Siena, Wake Forest had some beautiful Rose vestments on today. He even explained Laetare Sunday! Me suspects he may be the type of guy to read WDTPRS!

  2. Thomas L says:

    Justin Cardinal Rigali offered mass at my OF Parish today and he was sporting a beautiful rose vestment.

  3. Mitchell NY says:

    Getting rid of old stuff like that is like getting rid of the Roman Colliseum. How can someone think that way when referring to traditional, maybe even antique vestments?…Regardless I am happy they fell into hands that use them and treasure them. Their fate could have been much, much worse as I suspect happened to many rose vestment sets after the 70’s. And a magnificent set they are.!

  4. RichR says:

    Gotta get rid of the 400-year-old stuff to make way for the polyester! noble SIMPLICITY under the guise of relevance. LOL! Thank God these were spared the fate of many sacred vestments.

  5. Nice shade of rose, and beautiful details.

  6. Hey – we have to check in on His Hermenueticalness today

  7. Nevermind, you already did. I hadn’t scrolled down that far yet. Blackfen in rose – how nice.

  8. Romuleus says:

    I attended my beloved EF Mass at St. Francis De Sales in St. Louis this morning. No Rose vestments; just the regular purple. During the homily, the Deacon explained to us that the Oratory could not afford rose vestments even though they had them until last year. I suppose the previous Rector took them with him when he was transferred last year.

    Ironically, at the 1030 OF Mass this morning at my local “lefty” parish (they are celebrating “Saints” Dorothy Day and Dom Helder Camara this week at a “Soup and Speaker” series … I don’t recall seeing them in the latest version of the Roman Martyrology … I suppose the nun who is putting on this Series canonized them …), the Priest Celebrant wore Rose vestments. Go figure.

    So, if anyone out there wants to donate a complete set of Rose Vestments to SFDS in St. Louis, …

  9. Bill in Texas says:

    Here’s an interesting story about Santa Croce in Gerusalemme by The Catholic Traveler, explaining one version of why the priest wears rose vestments on this Sunday in Lent:

    Is it true? I have no idea, but it’s a good story. Maybe you know, Father Z. [I have written about it many times here. So many times that I didn’t think I had to post it again!]

  10. Where rose vestments came from:

    Today is known by the first word of the first chant of Mass, the Introit, in this case, “Laetare … Rejoice”!  This is one of two days of the year we use rose (rosacea) colored vestments and the only day during Lent when we can use instrumental music.  On Laetare Sunday we momentarily relax the penitential character of Lenten Sundays.  Traditionally during Lent, and still by the Novus Ordo rubrics, there should be no flowers, decorations, or instrumental music (organ should be used only to support congregational singing).  Today this can be relaxed.  The tradition of rosacea vestments grows from the history of the Roman Stations.   The Station church today is the Basilica of the Holy Cross of Jerusalem, where the Emperor Constantine’s mother St. Helena placed relics of Cross and Passion brought back to Rome from Jerusalem.  At this basilica on this day, Popes blessed roses made of gold to be sent to Catholic monarchs and distinguished sons and daughters of Holy Mother Church.  Therefore Laetare was also nicknamed Dominica de rosa…. Sunday of the Rose.  This is how rose-colored vestments developed for that church on this Sunday.  The color spread to the rest of Rome, and then spilled over to the corresponding Sunday in Advent, GaudeteRosacea was diffused to the whole world with the promulgation of the Missale Romanum by St. Pope Pius V in 1570. 

    Pope Innocent III (+1216) wrote about the significance of the rose and Laetare Sunday: “As Laetare Sunday, the day set apart for the function, represents love after hate, joy after sorrow, and fullness after hunger, so does the rose designate by its color, odor, and taste, love, joy, and satiety respectively.”  Innocent says the rose is the flower spoken of in Isaiah 11:1: “there shall come forth a rod out of the root of Jesse, and a flower shall rise up out of his root”.  Pope Leo XIII (+1903) wrote that the beautiful golden flower signifies Christ in His majesty, spoken of by the prophet as “the flower of the field and the lily of the valleys”; the flower’s fragrance shows the sweet odor of Christ which should be diffused through the whole world by His faithful followers. The thorns and red color symbolize His Passion, harkening to both the real event of the Crucifixion and its foretelling by the prophet Isaiah 43:2: “Why then is thy apparel red, and thy garments like theirs that tread in the winepress?”

  11. Bill in Texas says:

    Oops! I guess I’m too new to have seen it, so thanks for re-posting! You tell the story better anyway.

  12. ssoldie says:

    Oh! how very beautiful, a labor of love had to go into the making of it.

  13. Margaret C. says:

    My pastor appeared for the first time this morning in an elegant set of rose vestments, donated by some members of the parish. Ours is a small parish without a lot of spare cash, so we couldn’t have afforded them without their generosity.

  14. joe says:

    From a dissident? Wow…it IS true, then, that “God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform.”

  15. Francesco B. says:

    In my parish, rose vestments were not used today. And yet, I think that they were used on Gaudete Sunday…hmm…

    Well, we unfortunately have plenty of instrumental music and flowers throughout lent and “mulieresque/feminaeque” is probably scribbled into the rubrics after “viri” for Holy Thursday, but at least the holy water fonts aren’t dry…

  16. RC says:

    That’s neat that a dissenter gave you his vestments. At least somebody will be praying for him annually!

  17. Kaneohe says:

    Our pastor – and only priest – prefers to always wear a white chasuble and an overstole of the correct liturgical color. I weep when seeing the photos Fr. Z posts. I am going to put my house on the market – no matter how bad it is – and move from here!

  18. We also can’t afford rose vestments in my small OF parish. However, we were reminded of the day because the woman who decorates the church had placed a beautiful rose-colored hydrangea with a tall sprig of lighter pink flowers in front of the altar. It was beautiful…

  19. Mitch_WA says:

    Our pastor broke out his fairly new gothic roscea vestments for today. They are a traditional gothic pattern. But not the semi-gothic size, they were almost as big as a borreomean one, and any longer in the arms and it would start to approch conical. In other words they were really cool. He has the maniple for it, but doesnt wear it… oh well (he isnt opposed to maniples though, but he wants consitancy and he only has maniple for 2 of the sets of vestments one of which are roscea and the other i believe are white. so…)

    The only bummer about the vestments he had today since they were mass produced ones they were a little quirky. The company who made them wanted the vestments to be good for ad orientem and versus popolum so it has identical appliques on the front and back that the joining of the 3 orphery bands.

  20. Bill in Texas – I thought I did a fine job in telling the story! J/K – My story is more a history on the pilgrimage of the Station Churches day by day.

    Fr. Z – Still waiting for our trip!

  21. Andrew, UK and sometimes Canada says:

    Laetare Ierusalem! Today our parish priest brought out a SURVIVOR! Yes, the parish never invested in rose vestments, since they’re only worn twice a year, so today we were privileged to see a proper Gothic rose and gold chausable and stole. Presumably left over from the good old days. Now that’s what I call recycling!

  22. Dr. Eric says:


    You and I need to get together and get a proper set of rose vestments for St. Francis de Sales!

  23. Elliot says:


    Actually the rose set that was used at SFDS last year was borrowed from St. Mary’s in Wausau,WI.,another ICK parish. I know the sacristan at St. Mary’s and have seen the vestments that they have there…very nice. They have solemn sets in all the liturgical colors including the rose set, which is a deep rose and very beautiful.

  24. irishgirl says:

    Ooooo-nice vestments!

    And from a dissenter, did you say? Amazing…..

    It’s funny that the Latin term ‘rosacea’ is the same as the facial rash! I should know, since I suffer from it….

  25. Anton says:

    The picture of you and the Pope in “rose” vestments gives new meaning to the movie title: “Pretty in Pink”

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