The poppy flower in its beauty and in its variety of colors surpasses even the rose: it has admirable graduation from the purest white up to the brightest crimson. Wild in the fields and cultivated in the gardens, it is for this season one of its beauties. It is odorless though but it does not matter: the perfection is distributed and divided among the different species that adorn our gardens. It is similar and so similar to the most beautiful of all roses, and that placed by its side and mixed in the bouquet with the others, its brightness rivals that of the rose confusing to the eyes.

Kindness and the fourteen works of mercy

Charity has, besides from mercy, another daughter and is the kindness. Good will is not enough, a heart that has compassion for the miseries of others is not enough; charity is work and these are guided in its terrain by kindness.

The works of mercy are fourteen: the seven pertains to the corporal needs, and the other seven to the spiritual needs of the neighbors.

Because the poppy flower resemble the rose, and possesses its figure and beauty, we consider it as most appropriate to represent the beneficence [kindness]. It has no fragrance in itself, but when aromatic herbs are planted around it you can then form a perfect bouquet… plant it in the midst of the fourteen works of beneficence figured in the fragrant herbs and these will supply what is lacking in it and it will supply what is lacking in them.

Kindness in Mary

Mary did for us a work of mercy so great that there will never be another like it. We were lost because of original sin and she gave us a Savior.

The poppy flower in Mary’s hands

What can you do for the welfare of your neighbor? If you have no charity you can do nothing, or almost nothing, for without charity kindness is not a perfect virtue, it cannot be: it is only what we call philantrophy, and which in itself, without charity its queen, has no merit before God. If you have charity, if you love what God loves, if you want what God wants, you can do much, very much, for the welfare of others. You must do for others what is within your means…

Offer yourself to Mary and she will inspire you, and say:

Lady, I oblige myself to practice all the works of mercy

that I can and are within my power for the good of my neighbors.

I will strive to be affable, kind, sweet and meek

to all those I become familiar with and I will be their servant.

I will not sadden nor disturb nor mortify them directly or indirectly

by my words, actions and gestures.

Receive Lady my good intentions

and grant that they will always have efficacious effect.